How can this Mediterranean classic get any better? Serve it chopped! And with shrimp! (If you are me, anyway). I made this the other night for dinner and it was completely satisfying. If I'm going to have a salad for dinner there are going to be a couple requirements. The first is it must have some sort of protein or else I just won't fill up. This salad already packs a dose of that with garbanzo beans, but I up it one with grilled shrimp. The other is that it must have a lot of things going on in it in order to satisfy me. This Greek salad is the perfect answer and meets the said requirements. Fresh crisp romaine, garbanzo beans, cucumber, artichoke, feta, red bell pepper, fresh mint, red onion and plenty of kalamata olives for that olive-oily salty bite. The original recipe calls for chopped tomatoes and yellow bell pepper instead of red, but anyone who's been reading this blog long enough knows I have a hate relationship with fresh tomatoes and so I left them out. If you love them add them in. The only reason I chose red bell's was for the color since I was missing the tomato.
We have mass amounts of veggies and protein going on in this dish but if you are more of a carb person just add some torn pita bread (whole wheat recommended) on the side and you have a perfect, light dinner. The dressing to this salad is light and refreshing and finishes it off perfectly. That being said, I have to confess I used a luxury item in the dressing. Instead of regular olive oil, I used a Tuscan blend olive oil my Grandma brought me back from Napa Valley and it upped the flavor quotient five fold and made the salad more interesting. You can buy flavored olive oils in the regular grocery store usually right by the other oils and if you have access to them they are fabulous. If you can't find a Tuscan blend, I imagine basil olive oil would work great with this. This is ready in 20 minutes.
Greek Salad 3.0
Recipe adapted from Lori Powell and Health Magazine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I used flavored olive oil)
1 1/2 heads hearts of romaine, chopped
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small red bell pepper
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (or marinated if your feeling zippy)
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
pitas, toasted for serving, optional
Whisk together the first 5 ingredients (through the black pepper) in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until well combined.
place romaine in a large serving bowl. Arrange chickpeas and next 6 ingredients (through feta) on top in sections. Sprinkle mint leaves over the salad. Drizzle with the dressing just before serving and toss. Serve with pita bread and grilled shrimp if desired.
Grilled Shrimp: skewer 4-5 medium sized, peeled and deveined, tail on shrimp for each person. Turn the grill to high. Coat the shrimp in olive oil, salt and some Chesapeake (or old bay) seasoning. Grill for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side until shrimp are just cooked through.
Since this recipe came from health magazine, I have some stats for you. Based on the serving size of 3 1/2 cups of salad and 1/2 pita plus 1 1/4 tablespoons of dressing: Calories 278; fat 14g (sat 3g, mono 8g, poly 2g) Cholesterol 11 mg; carbohydrate 32g; sugars 11g; Fiber 7g; iron 3 mg; sodium 537mg; calcium 163mg.
Or if you are like me you could not care at all what the nutritional information says because, heck, you are eating salad for dinner. How bad can it be?