I can get pretty complacent in the kitchen, making the same few dishes over and over, without tiring of the meals in rotation. I've even been known to drink the same chocolate smoothie every day (sometimes twice a day) for six months. What can I say? When I like something, I really like it. Moderation is not exactly a forte of mine. So when I realized that I have only one good go-to salad recipe in my collection, I decided it may be time to add another. And that's what I did over the weekend.
I am not a big fan of bell peppers or cucumbers. They usually overpower a salad when thrown in raw and I'm guilty of scooting them over to the edges of my plate to avoid their robust flavor. If the mood strikes and I can handle a few bites of them, I dice them up extra tiny: a little goes a long way. I do, however, enjoy a good greek salad tailored to my liking: salty olives and feta cheese atop crisp greens, seasoned with garlic-infused dressing and fresh oregano. My most recent version of this tangy hodgepodge replaces the cucumbers with sun-dried tomatoes and roasts the red bell pepper, mellowing out its punch and lending a lively, earthy essence. Fresh oregano serves as a strong antioxidant and enhances the overall tone. If you are sensitive to dairy, white beans are a great substitution for the feta cheese.
The aftermath is a hearty salad that will more than likely be on rotation for the next six months. Or years.
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 head of romaine lettuce
1/4 red onion
1/4 cup black olives
1/4 cup feta cheese
1. Place sun-dried tomatoes in small bowl with water and let soak for 30 minutes.
2. Wash red bell pepper and slice in half. Remove stem and seeds. Place onto cookie sheet with skin facing upward and broil in oven for 15-20 minutes until skins are black. Remove from oven and place the bell pepper in a bowl with plastic wrap over the top. Set aside and let the steam from the heat soften peppers for 10 minutes.
3. Rinse, dry, and chop lettuce. Place into large bowl. Slice onion into thin pieces and add to bowl. Add olives and feta cheese.
4. Remove skin from bell peppers, slice into small strips and add to salad. Chop sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces and add to salad.
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 tsp. salt
Mix all ingredients together and toss into salad.