(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites, August 2010) When I visited Athens in 1998, I ate salads with cucumbers, tomatoes, green bell pepper, cucumbers, onions, and Feta cheese, always served with a dressing that combined red wine vinegar, olive oil, and dried Greek Oregano. In Greece this combination was usually called Village Salad, but in the U.S., any salad with those ingredients would be called Greek Salad. This particular version of an American-Style Greek salad is something I came up with years ago when my garden had lots of zucchini and tomatoes, and not many cucumbers. Grilling the zucchini with olive oil and Greek Seasoning, and then brushing on some vinaigrette dressing as it cooks adds wonderful flavor to the salad, even if it's not authentically Greek. If you have surplus zucchini in your own garden, give this idea a try.
Cut zucchini into fourths lengthwise, brush all sides with olive oil and sprinkle the white sides with Greek Seasoning. (There are many brands of Greek Seasoning, but I like Greektown "Billy Goat" Seasoning from The Spice House.)
On a grill that's preheated to high, cook zucchini 3 minutes on first white side.
When you see grill marks on first side, flip over to second white side and grill about 3 minutes more.
Then turn over so green skin of zucchini is down, brush top with vinaigrette dressing, and grill 2-3 minutes more. (The dressing brushed on top makes this look like a fuzzy photo, but these grill marks were pretty distinct.)
Let the zucchini cool for a few minutes while you chop tomatoes, cut olives in half if desired, and crumble the feta cheese. Then cut zucchini into pieces about 1 inch long.
Mix the chopped tomatoes and zucchini pieces with about 2 T vinaigrette dressing.
Add the sliced olives and crumbled feta and gently combine. Season with fresh ground black pepper and serve.
Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad
(Amounts given are for one salad, recipe created by Kalyn when she had a surplus of zucchini and wanted a new way to use it!)
1 zucchini about 10 inches long
2 medium summer tomatoes (or 5-6 cherry tomatoes), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, about 8 olives (Use pitted olives, I cut the olives in half but you don't have to.)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (or less)
olive oil, to brush on zucchini
1 tsp. Greek seasoning (I use Greektown "Billy Goat" Seasoning from The Spice House.)
1 T + 2 T vinaigrette dressing (Use a dressing with less than 3 grams sugar per serving for South Beach Diet.)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat grill to high. (You can only hold your hand there for a second at that heat.) Cut ends off zucchini and cut into quarters lengthwise. (If you have large zucchini with seeds, cut away the white inside from each zucchini piece so you have the green skin with about 3/8 inch of white on it.) Brush all sides of zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle white side with Greek Seasoning.
Place white side down on hot grill and cook about 3 minutes, or until starting to get grill marks and barely starting to soften, then turn and cook other side of white about 3 minutes. Turn zucchini over so green side is down, brush with 1 T of vinaigrette dressing, and cook about 2-3 minutes more. Zucchini should still be slightly firm when you remove it from the grill.
Let zucchini cool while you chop tomatoes, cut olives in half, and crumble the feta. Cut zucchini strips into pieces about 1 inch wide.
Put zucchini and tomatoes in salad bowl. Pour 2 T salad dressing over (or less, you don't need much because the zucchini is already very flavorful). Add sliced Kalamata olives and crumbled feta and gently combine. Season with fresh ground black pepper to taste, and enjoy!
South Beach Suggestions:
This salad would be a good main dish salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet Be sure to use a vinaigrette with not more than 3 grams of sugar per serving for South Beach.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Ideas for Greek-Inspired Salads:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
American Greek Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Greek Salad with Marinated Onions and Oregano from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken Greek Salad from Kitchen Parade
My Favorite Greek Salad from Feels Like Home
The Ultimate Greek Salad from Sweetnicks
The Perfect Greek Salad from Seduction Meals
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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