I have a mantra that people will eat vegetables if only they can be made to taste good. Too many folks envision wilty iceberg lettuce and spongy canned green beans when they think vegetables, but I have converted more than one person to the side of green with my salads (yes, I’m boasting right now).
I concocted this salad one night as I was rifling through the fridge looking desperately for a way to avoid making another über boring salad for dinner, since, as I just mentioned, I abhor über boring salads. Before I knew it, I had pulled together lots of deli bits and pieces and voila, my newest favorite salad was born.
It’s cheating a little bit because this is not one you can 100% harvest from the garden. Nevertheless, this salad is packed with flavor and is a full meal in itself. With a quick spin through your local deli beforehand, you’ll have this salad ready in 5 minutes flat.
I put both fresh cherry tomatoes and roasted, marinated tomatoes that I found in the grocery store olive bar. The cherry tomatoes need to be ripe and sugary sweet—toss them in after you mix everything else together so they don’t get too covered with dressing and they’ll provide a bit of relief from the tangy dressing.
I guarantee you’ll be speaking fluent Italian—probably even Greek—by the time you’re done. Don’t forget the hot crusty bread to wipe up the leftover vinaigrette.
We’ve paired some wines to this recipe over at WineTable.com. Check them out for an even more satisfying salad-and-wine experience!
10 oz. fresh baby spinach
Red onion, sliced paper thin
¼ C. feta cheese, crumbled
20-30 Greek olives, pitted or filled with garlic or feta
¼ C. roasted tomatoes, marinated in olive oil and herbs
½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ C. marinated artichoke halves
3-4 oz. Boar’s Head Pepperoni, sliced paper thin and cut into bite-sized wedges
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 t. stone ground mustard
½ t. Italian or Sicilian dried herb blend
½ t. salt
Freshly ground pepper
¼ – 1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil
To make the salad:
1. Layer in all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
2. Whisk together all dressing ingredients, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk.
3. Whisk some of the crumbled feta into the dressing and toss with the salad. The cheese absorbs some of the vinaigrette, and helps disperse it evenly through the greens.
4. Dress the salad and toss in the cherry tomatoes. Top with lots of cracked pepper.
Tip: Double the dressing to make enough for a dipping sauce for bread.
Enjoy what you see?
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