Recipes for updated Greek salads


Semi-dried cherry tomatoes packed in oil make a great addition to this salsa, which goes well with grilled tuna, swordfish or shrimp.

Spooned over labneh and served with warm pita slices or pita chips, the salsa makes a terrific meze, or appetizer.

You can buy labneh at Mediterranean markets, or you can make your own; see notes.

The salsa can be made a day in advance, but it's best to add the cheese just before serving. From food writer, former chef and cookbook author David Hagedorn.


4 servings

2 mini cucumbers (seeded) or half an English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (unpeeled)

1/2 cup semi-dried cherry tomatoes packed in oil, such as Isola brand, drained (see notes)

1/2 cup cured pitted black olives, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 teaspoon minced preserved lemon (optional)

1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons Greek olive oil, plus more for drizzling

One 3-ounce piece feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup homemade or store-bought labneh (see notes)

Warm pita triangles or pita chips, for serving

Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onion, preserved lemon, if using, the oregano, lemon juice, the 2 tablespoons of oil and the feta cheese in a medium bowl.

Spread 1/4 cup of labneh on each plate, then spoon the salsa over it. Drizzle with oil and serve with pita bread or chips.

NOTES: To dry fresh cherry tomatoes, cut each one in half, spread them on a lined baking sheet, season them with salt and bake at 200 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

To make labneh, place Greek-style yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined strainer and let it drain at room temperature for 8 hours.

NUTRITION Per serving: 220 calories, 7 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar.


In this recipe, radishes add to the cucumbers' crunch; jalapeno pepper and red wine vinegar add zestiness. Whether you peel the cucumbers is up to you.

The ingredients can be prepped and refrigerated separately a day in advance, but assemble the salad just before serving.


6 servings

2 pounds Campari or Kumato tomatoes, peeled, hulled and cut into 2-inch pieces (see note)

4 mini cucumbers (seeded) or 1 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 small red onion, cut into thin slices

1/2 small daikon radish, peeled and cubed

10 red radishes, trimmed and cut into quarters

1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, if desired, cut crosswise into thin slices

1 cup pitted kalamata olives (may substitute other Greek olives)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

1/2 cup Greek olive oil

One 8-ounce block feta cheese, cut into 6 equal slices

Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, daikon and red radishes, jalapeno, olives, salt, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano and 1/4 cup of the oil in a large bowl. Toss to coat evenly and incorporate.

Divide evenly among individual plates. Top each portion with a slice of feta. Sprinkle the cheese with the remaining oregano and drizzle with the remaining oil.

NOTE: To peel and seed tomatoes, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Cut an "X" in the bottom of each tomato and remove the stem. Working with one at a time, place the tomato in the boiling water for 15 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to quickly transfer it to the ice water. The skin should slip off.

NUTRITION Per serving: 330 calories, 8 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 29 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 800 milligrams of sodium, 4 grams of dietary fiber and 8 grams of sugar.


This is a Cretan salad similar to Italy's panzanella. A hard rusk made from barley flour is softened slightly with water, then piled with tomatoes, oregano, olives, olive oil and feta or mizithra cheese. Capers or caper berries are often added as well.

It's best to make this salad just before serving, although the bread could be toasted in advance.


6 servings

6 slices ciabatta bread (may substitute barley rusk, available at Mediterranean markets)

2 pounds Campari tomatoes, peeled, hulled and cut into 1-inch pieces (see note

Pinch kosher salt

4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained (may substitute caper berries, cut into quarters)

3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup chopped scallions (white and light-green parts)

1/4 cup chopped dill

1/4 cup Greek olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread on a baking sheet and toast it until crisp, about 25 minutes. Place one slice on each serving plate and let cool.

Combine 3/4 cup of the tomatoes and the salt in a food processor; puree until smooth. Spoon the pureed tomato over each piece of toasted bread.

Combine the remaining tomatoes, capers, olives, vinegar, scallions, dill, oil and oregano in a mixing bowl. Spoon the mixture over each piece of toast. Top with feta cheese and a drizzle of oil.

Serve right away.

NOTE: To peel tomatoes, use a sharp knife to score a shallow "X" on the bottoms. Drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water; leave them there just long enough for the skins to start to separate and curl. Transfer to a bowl of cold water. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skins.

NUTRITION: 360 calories, 20g fat, 7g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 730mg sodium, 35g carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 6g sugar, 12g protein.


This is a sophisticated presentation of a Greek salad based on chef Michel Richard's concept of a Caesar salad rolled and presented in this manner. In this version, cucumbers and red onion are combined with labneh (Greek-style yogurt that has been strained into a ricotta-like consistency) to make a filling that gets rolled up with romaine leaves, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

To make labneh, place Greek-style yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined strainer and let it drain at room temperature for 8 hours. Or it's available at larger grocery stores and at Mediterranean markets.

The salad needs to be rolled 6 hours ahead of time, but will become soggy if prepared much more ahead of time than that.

Adapted by food writer, former chef and cookbook author David Hagedorn from a recipe by chef Michel Richard.


6 servings

1 English (seedless, unpeeled) cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 heads romaine lettuce, very dark green outer leaves removed (about 24 leaves, plus small inner leaves)

1/2 cup labneh

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/3 cups)

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1/2 cup pitted green or black Greek olives

1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Greek extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Combine the cucumbers, onion and salt in a small bowl. Transfer them to a strainer set over a bowl and let them drain for 30 minutes.

Trim the tops of the romaine heads so the leaves have a flat edge. Discard the cores. Separate the leaves, wash them and dry them in a salad spinner. Then lay the leaves flat on paper towels to blot them completely dry. (Damp leaves can make the salad soggy.)

Combine the labneh, 1 cup of feta and the garlic in a food processor; puree until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Transfer the cucumbers and onion to a towel and gently squeeze and excess moisture from them. Stir them into the labneh.

Combine the sun-dried tomatoes and olives in a small bowl.

Lay 36-inch lengths of plastic wrap on a clean work surface, overlapping them horizontally to form a 3-foot square. Starting 3 inches in from the edge of the plastic wrap closest to you, use the romaine leaves to form a rectangle that is 6 leaves wide and 4 leaves long, overlapping the leaves a bit. (Top the rectangle randomly with any small inner leaves left over.)

Spoon two parallel, horizontal rows of cucumber mixture onto the rectangle of romaine leaves. Then spread a row of tomatoes and olives below each row of cucumber mixture. (You should have 4 stripes of the mixture now.) Sprinkle the entire surface with oregano and pepper.

Starting at the side closest to you, roll the lettuce leaves over themselves and into a cylinder, like a jelly roll; you can use some of the plastic wrap as a guide to facilitate the rolling (as you would use when rolling a log of compound butter). Do not let the plastic wrap get caught in the lettuce roll. Once the lettuce rows have rolled over themselves into a completed cylinder, fold the piece of plastic wrap that's closest to you over it to cover the cylinder completely. Use your fingertips to tighten the lettuce roll so that most of the air trapped inside is pressed out.

Finish rolling with the plastic wrap that's left on the counter. Twist the ends to tighten the roll as though you were wrapping a piece of toffee. Refrigerate the roll for 6 hours.

To serve, use a sharp knife to cut a total of 12 equal-size slices through the plastic wrap, forming salad "medallions," laying two on each individual plate. Use scissors to cut and remove the bands of plastic wrap.

Garnish each portion with a sprinkle of the remaining feta cheese and a drizzle of oil.

NUTRITION: 160 calories, 10g fat, 5g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 780mg sodium, 14g carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 5g sugar, 7g protein.


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