One thing you may not know about me: I’m half Greek. That means that growing up, I learned to count to ten in Greek, celebrated a whole separate Easter (seriously!), baked bread with a dime in it, and ate the best baklava on earth, made by my grandmother.
What it also means: I am extremely picky about Greek food. Which is too bad, because Greek and Mediterranean dishes tend to be pirated on terrible menus more than just about any other type. But one of my major pet peeves: when a Greek salad uses lettuce.
Greek salads are about thick, chunky vegetables and fresh, colorful ingredients. And yet every diner and subpar restaurant I’ve ever been to seems to want to add lettuce to this dish — probably because it’s cheap? But a real, true Greek salad consists of just a few ingredients, and it’s one of the freshest, most delicious meals you’ll ever eat.
And on that note, I want to introduce you guys to Costa Navarino, a gourmet food line that’s based in one of the most beautiful regions of Greece, and also happens to be run by one of my cousins! Even better — their products are available at Dean & Deluca. So you can bring a little Mediterranean sun (and salad) to your cold January day!
True Greek Salad
1 package red or yellow cherry tomatoes
1/2 jar Costa Navarino olives, in olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil (you can use the oil that the olives were packed in if it’s good quality!)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper
Dice tomatoes and cucumbers into 1/2″ wedges. Dice shallot into 1/4″ pieces. In large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion and olives. Toss with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta cheese over salad, toss again lightly, and serve.