Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recipe for Chopped Greek-Style Salad with Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Pepper

I love the many colors of peppers in this Greek-style salad, but you can use just one color if you prefer.

(Updated with better photos and instructions July 2011.)   When I went to Greece I was surprised that what I'd thought of as Greek Salad didn't seem to exist there.  Instead, every little restaurant had a dish they called country salad or village salad, which had cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, Kalamata olives, and feta, and a dressing which always contained oregano.  Now a few years later, one of my favorite Salt Lake City restaurants calls this combination Greek Salad and when it has lettuce added, they call it American Greek Salad.  That works for me, and I do really like this type of chopped Greek-style salad without lettuce.

When I made the salad in the photos, I replaced the green pepper with chopped orange, red, and yellow peppers which are loaded with anti-oxidants.  I used all the colors because they were on sale, but you could use just one color and it would still be pretty.  I used a purchased salad dressing with some dried Greek oregano added, but you could easily combine a little olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt and pepper if you wanted to make your own.   There's no need to measure the ingredients for this type of salad, so you can vary the proportions according to your own taste.

Whisk the dried Greek oregano into 1/2 cup prepared vinaigrette dressing (or make your own homemade vinaigrette if you prefer.

I used about a cup of grape tomatoes cut in half, but I'd like this salad even better with chopped tomatoes fresh from the garden.

I am starting to get a few garden cucumbers, but for this salad I used mostly small Persian cucumbers from Costco.

I chopped the red, yellow, and orange bell pepper into bite-sized pieces.

I'm not a big fan of raw onion in a salad, so I used 1 inch lengths of sliced green onions.

I'm crazy about Kalamata olives, but if I was making this for picky eaters I might even use black olives from a can.  (That would make the salad even less authentically Greek, but it would still taste good!)

I cut the Feta cheese into cubes about a half-inch square for this salad, but in Greece they usually served a thin slice of Feta on top of the salad.

Put the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers onions, and olives into a bowl and stir in enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients.  (You may not need all the dressing.)

Then gently stir in the feta cubes, season the salad with fresh ground black pepper to taste, and enjoy!  (This salad tastes even better if you let it marinate for a few hours, and I found it to still be very good even when it had been in the fridge a few days.)


And just for fun, here's the original not-horrible-but-not-inspiring photos from 2006 when I first posted this recipe.


Chopped Greek-Style Salad with Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Pepper
(Makes 3-4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise (or use diced fresh garden tomatoes)
1 European cucumber (or 2-3 small regular or Persian cucumbers)
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 orange bell pepper
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut in half (I use pitted olives)
1/4 cup chopped red onion or sliced green onion (optional)
1/2 cup diced Feta cheese (or more)

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing
(or your favorite dressing, for South Beach Diet use dressing with less than 3 grams sugar per serving)
1 tsp. dried oregano

Instructions:
Mix oregano into salad dressing, set aside.

Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, or dice garden tomatoes.  Peel cucumber in strips, leaving some green stripes lengthwise.  (For small garden cucumbers or Persian cucumbers you may not need to peel.)  Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, then in slices. Remove seeds from peppers and dice peppers in 3/4 inch square pieces.

Dice red onion or cut green onion into 1 inch long pieces.  Drain olives and cut in half lengthwise.  Cut Feta into cubes about 1/2 inch square.

Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and olives and toss with desired amount of salad dressing. (You may not need all the dressing.) Stir feta cubes into salad and season with fresh-ground black pepper.  The salad can be served immediately, but I like it best when the ingredients marinate for an hour or two.

This salad keeps surprisingly well in the refrigerator for a few days.



South Beach Suggestions:
This would make a great salad for a dinner which might include something like Almond and Parmesan Baked Tilapia or Marinated Flank Steak. For phase two or three, add a low glycemic rice dish like Lake Powell Spicy Rice.

More Greek-Inspired or Authentically Greek Salads You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Wanna-Be Greek Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Greek Salad with Marinated Onions and Oregano from Kalyn's Kitchen
Israeli Couscous Greek Salad from Healthy Green Kitchen
Eve's Greek Salad from And Then I Do the Dishes
Chunky Greek Salad Topped with Sardines from Clean and Delicious
Village (Greek) Salad from Kalofagas
Greek Village Salad from Thursday for Dinner
(Want even more recipes?  I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

37 comments:

  1. Yay -- a salad that goes "crunch"!

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  2. Ah Kalyn, this is *just* what I am in the mood for--especially after all those homentashn (The strange thing is--I am sure I have not eaten an entire homentash, but all the tasting, spoon-licking and crumb-disposal has led to a bit of a sugar-daze). This never happened when I was baking full-time, but I guess I was younger and had built up a tolerance.

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  3. MMMM--that looks so good. The colors are beautiful.

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  4. Mmmm, that looks so good! Aren't salads always tastier when they are pretty too :)

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  5. I don't think that I've ever known a Greek salad with lettuce in it and I love mine with lemon, olive oil and oregano.

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  6. We will DEFINITELY be making this one. :)

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  7. yum! Looks great! I love using fresh lemon juice with a drizzling of olive oil on my greek salads with the oregano and fresh mint. Greek salads are the best since they are so simple and quick. While I think most greek salads don't have lettuce in it, I love adding some romaine or iceburg for the added crunch. Have you ever had Labne? It's a Greek/Lebanese yogurt cheese that goes great with pita and a Greek salad.

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  8. Alanna, I love the crunch.

    tcl, I will watch your blog to see if you are eating salad next!

    Cher and Michele, thanks. It was delish.

    tdd, I think that would be ideal, but (confession) I was out of lemons.

    Cate, let me know if Nicholas likes it. I will be impressed if you can get him to eat peppers.

    Gourmetish, haven't had Labne. I'll look for it. Sounds like something I'd like.

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  9. This looks sooo good.Definately have to try it.

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  10. Looks like a dream of a summer salad. We're just entering that, "Oh my gosh, what do I do with all the produce coming from the garden" phase. This will be perfect.

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  11. Jeanie, I definitely know about that phase! Hope you enjoy the salad!

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  12. I enjoyed one of these salads with you at that restaurant and it was really good. This is so colorful and makes the perfect light meal for a hot day.

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  13. Beautiful colors, healthy, perfect combination!

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  14. Dara, doesn't that seem like such a long time ago that we first had lunch together! That was the starting of a good friendship.

    Miri, thanks; so glad you like it.

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  15. The feta cheese just finishes this off beautifully and look at all the beautiful colours. This is a commonsalad in Cyprus too. Perfect on a sunny day.

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  16. Jacqueline, good to know. I would love to go to Cyprus!

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  17. So yummy - I'm addicted to feta cheese, so we have some version of this very often. In a few weeks, I'll be able to get all the veggies right out of the garden too. I had to laugh - as I'm scrolling down through the post, the old photo caught my eye and my brain went "arrrrrgh!" I have a LOT of posts to reshoot myself :)

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  18. Greek salads are definitely one of my favorites and I love this chopped version as opposed to the lettuce type! Nice and hearty.

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  19. Thanks Dawn, glad you like it.

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  20. Kalyn, this is such a beautiful salad. It has outstanding color and texture andI'd be hooked at first bite.Have a wonderful evening. Blessings...Mary

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  21. Thanks Mary. I did love the crispness of the salad.

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  22. I love the abundance of peppers in this salad! Such a nice change from the traditional greek!

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  23. Isn't it great how something so simple can be so good - healthy and yummy? And I love anything with fresh, crunchy veg, feta, olives and a lemony olive oil dressing.

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  24. Joanne, the peppers are so full of anti-oxidants too! Love them. I'm even starting to like the green ones a little, although the colored ones are still my favorite.

    Jamie, give me a salad with crunch and lemon and I'm happy!

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  25. Wow! This looks so good! I've been on a little blogging break but have enjoyed catching up on your recipes!

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  26. Thanks; hope you had a nice break!

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  27. Yum, love the salad ingredients and dressing both :)

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  28. Priya, so glad you like it.

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  29. Now that my supermarket sells packages of one of each -- red, yellow and orange -- bell peppers, this salad is so easy to put together. Great flavors, especially with the olives.

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  30. Lydia, Costco has those packs of multi-colored peppers too and that's exactly what I used!

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  31. Kalyn, this salad looks simply yummy! I make a similar one using fresh chopped peppers too.

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  32. Thanks Nancy. I love the colored peppers.

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  33. I love Greek Salad...crunchy, fresh, and beautiful!

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  34. I love the looks and sounds of this salad. ;-)

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  35. Not many folks know that this is the authentic way to serve a Greek Salad- no lettuce, just chopped vegetables with a block of feta. Yours looks especially good! This is my favorite salad and one we make often at our house.

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  36. So true Becky, glad you like it.

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