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~Greek-Style Chopped-Salad w/Red Wine Vinaigrette~

IMG_2426When tomatoes and cucumbers are ripe for the picking, small side-salads accompany our dinner almost every evening.  Our seasonal herbs du jour always determine what cuisine-style I'll lean toward -- dill for Eastern European, basil for Italian, thyme for French, cilantro for Tex-Mex, and, oregano for Greek.  Once that's decided, the cuisine-appropriate embellishments easily fall into place.  It's a pretty straightforward process, but, no matter what I decide, my all-purpose super-easy-to-make red wine vinaigrette pulls it all together -- you'll rarely find my refrigerator without it.

This refreshing relish-esque salad, goes great with grilled chicken, any type of steak, pork chops, and fish or seafood too.  Got leftovers?  Pull or slice the the protein into bite-sized pieces, toss it into the salad and stuff it into pita pockets for lunch the next day.  There's more.  If you want to serve it as a starter course to a sit-down meal, spoon it atop a bed of crispy lettuce chiffonade -- it's dressed to pucker-up, briny perfection.  That said, because it's marinated, it's best served within 12-24 hours, so, don't make more than you and yours can eat in within that time frame.

This refreshing chopped relish-esque, condiment-type salad... IMG_2422... pairs great w/chicken, steak, chops, &, fish or seafood.

IMG_2392For the Greek-style chopped salad:

1-1 1/2 cups quartered and sliced cucumber, peeled or unpeeled, your choice

1-1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/2-3/4  cup coarsely-chopped Greek deli-salad-bar-style pitted-olive mix, preferably one containing garlic

1/4  cup thinly-slices red onion, slices cut into 1" lengths

1/4  cup feta cheese crumbles + 1/4 cup additional crumbles for garnish

For the red wine vinaigrette:

1/2  cup vegetable oil 

1/4  cup red wine vinegar

1-2  tablespoons sugar, to taste

1  teaspoon dried Mediterranean oregano

IMG_2394 IMG_2394 IMG_2394 IMG_2394 IMG_2404 IMG_2404~Step 1.  To prep salad, slice, dice or chop ingredients as directed, placing all in a medium bowl as you work.  To this point, salad ingredients can be prepped, covered and refrigerated 2-4 hours prior to dressing and tossing.

IMG_2410 IMG_2412 IMG_2412 IMG_2420~Step 2.  To prepare the vinaigrette and dress the salad, in a 1-cup measuring container with a tight-fitting lid and a pourer top, place the oil, vinegar, sugar and oregano.  Place the lid on the container and vigorously shake it until ingredients are combined.  Add 4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the salad.  Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the dressing into the salad.

Toss w/chicken, steak or shrimp -- chopped salad sammies: 

IMG_2437Greek-Style Chopped-Salad w/Red Wine Vinaigrette:  Recipe yields 3-4 cups chopped salad and 3/4 cup dressing.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 1-cup measuring container w/tight-fitting lid and pourer top; large rubber spatula

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c877664f970bCook's Note:  Chopped salad, also referred to as chop-chop salad, comes to us Americans in many forms. ~ Jumbo Shells Stuffed w/ Shrimp Chop-Chop Salad ~ is one of my personal ways to turn this salad into finger food.  These yummy little appetizer-snacks, like my deviled egg creations, go to a lot of Summer picnics and a few early Fall tailgates too.  The best way to describe them is individual and portable portions of chop-chop salad, and, most people can't keep their hands off them.  They can contain anything your heart desires, as long as the ingredients play well together and are chopped into small morsels prior to judiciously drizzling (not drenching), with a cuisine-appropriate dressing or vinaigrette just prior to spooning the salad into the cooked and well-drained pasta shells and serving chilled.  

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019) 


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