Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wanna-Be Greek Salad: An Easy South Beach Recipe

Greek SaladOne very popular part of my recipe archives is what I call Easy South Beach Recipes. I started featuring these simple recipes after a few friends urged me to post "some easy recipes" once in a while. After I got started, it became a fun challenge to find things that were super simple to make but also delicious. Easy South Beach Recipes are supposed to have five main ingredients or less, but this salad is so easy to make and so tasty, I'm going to slip it in with six ingredients.

I call this Wanna-Be Greek Salad for a couple of reasons. First, I was taking it to a family party where I worried that Kalamata olives would be considered "weird food" so I used regular canned olives which certainly makes it not a true Greek salad. Second I left out the onions, and you know every true Greek Salad has to have onions. Finally, the dressing here is much more Italian than Greek, with fresh chopped basil added to commercial vinaigrette dressing. But even if this is American-Italian Greek Salad, it still tasted very good!

Wanna-Be Greek Salad
(Makes 6-8 servings but can be easily cut in half, recipe created by Kalyn)

8-10 ripe tomatoes (I used half yellow and half red for a pretty look to the salad)
2 -3 cucumbers (I used European cucumbers)
1 can black olives
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese (or more)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup purchased vinaigrette dressing (for South Beach Diet, choose dressing with less than 2 grams of sugar per serving)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil (about 1/2 cup before chopping)

Combine purchased salad dressing and chopped fresh basil in food processor or blender and mix until well combined. Let dressing sit while you cut salad ingredients so the dressing picks up the basil flavor.

Drain olives into colander and let drain while you proceed chopping other ingredients.

Wash tomatoes, cut away stem end, and then cut into pieces lengthwise. (Cutting the tomato so each piece still has a strip of skin helps them keep their shape in the salad.) Wash cucumbers and cut lengthwise into strips, then cut strips into 1-2 inch pieces.

Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives and gently toss with dressing. (You probably won't need all the dressing. The extra will keep in the fridge for about a week.) Sprinkle salad with Feta cheese, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet as long as you make sure to use dressing with less than 2 grams of sugar per serving. This would taste great with Grilled Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Marinade and Grilled Mushrooms for phase one. For phase two or three, add something like Basil and Parmesan Rice with Pine Nuts.

More Greek Salad Ideas:
For more salads that are or wanna-be Greek Salad, here's something I wrote about Greek Salads for Blogher.counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Lovely!
    It is interesting to think about the different ways in which we perceive recipes to be easy or difficult.

  2. Chocolate Lady, I do agree! This recipe might be very difficult if you didn't have access to fresh ingredients.

  3. I wanna Eat this salad:) It looks great! Great photo and I love the dish:)

  4. Wow, another delicious salad with feta! :)

    Enjoy your day, Margot

  5. It looks so pretty! And made vine ripened tomatoes--it would be wonderful. And it's easy. Perfect!

  6. i'm glad i found your blog! hubby and i are trying to eat more sensibly after much comfort-eating during winter (we're down under). this salad looks absolutely delicious.

  7. Maria, Margot and Sher, thanks. It was so simple and I've made quite a few similar salads, but I had to post it because I enjoyed it so much!

    Maybahay, welcome. You're just starting the season for this type of dish.


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