Greek Salad

Do you experience a big gravitational pull towards salads that happens every January?

Eating salads as a main meal isn’t something we do as often as we probably should. And when we do it comes in waves. Maybe we’ll make it a whole month having a salad night once a week and then all of a sudden you’d be hard pressed to find lettuce in the fridge.

This Greek Salad is one that we made in the beginning of the year. There were a good deal of moving parts but it still came together quickly and easily. While homemade pita chips are baking in the oven, the rest of the dish can come together. And don’t forget to let your meat rest before slicing it, allowing you the perfect amount of time to pull together the dressing.

Greek Salad (assembly)  Sew You Think You Can Cook

To use up the leftovers, I stuffed everything inside a pita pocket as a perfect lunch.

Greek Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb sirloin steak
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing pita
  • 4 pitas
  • red pepper flakes
  • dried oregano
  • 1 C Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • juice of 2 lemons, divided use
  • 2 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 C loosely packed fresh parsley

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Rub 1 tbsp olive oil over the steak and season both sides with S+P. Grill 3-4 minutes on each side, or until desired temperature is reached. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes. Thinly slice.
  3. Tear pitas and place on a baking sheet, brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt, oregano, and pepper flakes. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until crispy but not burnt.
  4. Put the yogurt, Feta, garlic, cumin, and juice of 1 lemon in a food processor. Process until smooth and a pour-able consistency is reached. Add a little water if needed.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the juice of 1 lemon and the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Season to taste with S+P.
  6. Assemble the salad: Top lettuce with pita, veggies, dressing and parsley, and meat.

*This recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook*

Greek Salad  Sew You Think You Can Cook

#EVOOChallenge: Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette

It’s day 2 of the #EVOOChallenge. This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!

While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)

This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.

Shallot Confit for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can CookOne of the cookbooks I got for Christmas is The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag. While flipping through it for the first time we came across a recipe for Shallot Confit. I knew I just had to try it for this challenge! The recipe calls for a mix of olive and canola oils, but as that would go against the rules I omitted the canola oil. I was a little nervous about omitting the canola oil and didn’t think substituting was the right way to go either. I opted with using fewer shallots than called for. And it worked.

These shallots would be incredible as a pizza topping, would add a little something extra to a sandwich, and could even work well in an onion dip. I decided to add them to salad. And as a bonus I used some of the oil in a vinaigrette!

The shallots will keep up to two weeks in the oil.

Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole shallots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 C + 1 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • mixed baby greens (I used spinach, swiss chard, and arugula)
  • crumbled Feta cheese
  • cooked, crumbled bacon
  • pear, sliced

Steps:

  1. Make shallot confit: Place shallots in a small saucepan with 1 C oil to cover. Add the thyme, peppercorns, and S+P. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to low and cook 25 minutes until shallots are easily pierced. Allow shallots to cool. Store in fridge, covered.
  2. Roast chickpeas: Lay chickpeas out on a clean towel and pat dry. Remove any lose skins. Leave chickpeas out until completely dried, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay chickpeas out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 40 minutes, or until crunchy. Toss roasted chickpeas in 1 tbsp oil. Add the garlic powder and a little salt to taste.
  3. Make dressing: Put 3 oz of the shallot confit oil in a jar with the balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and S+P. Shake until combined.
  4. Assemble salad: Top greens with Feta, bacon, pears, chopped shallot confit, and roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

*The shallot recipe is adapted from The Chef Next Door*

*The chickpea recipe is adapted from Debbie at http://www.madefrompinterest.net/roasted-chickpeas-recipe/*

Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer 1: By participating in this 5 day challenge I received a bottle and pouch of Spartan Olive Oil. 

Disclaimer 2: This post contains affiliate links.