a true greek salad

January 4th, 2012 · 17 Comments

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!

And speaking of color, I couldn’t resist breaking out my Noritake Colorwave plates — they’re 15% off on the Noritake website until January 8th!

True Greek Salad

1 package red or yellow cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 shallot
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.

Tags: appetizers · food · salads · side dishes

scallop salad with fresh corn and pomegranate

October 10th, 2011 · 10 Comments

This month, I’m doing something especially fun with my food posts — I’ve partnered with Noritake China to create some dishes beautiful enough to live up to their gorgeous china! 

For my first dish, I created this scallop salad full of colorful, fresh ingredients.  Scallops are a personal favorite of mine — more delicate than shrimp, and more bite-size than a full fish fillet.  I can hardly ever resist them on a menu.  And the craziest part?  I made these in our toaster oven — just a slow bake and a quick broil, and you have all the flavor with exactly zero mess.

To bring out the deep brown tone in the Colorwave place setting, I wanted some bright, vibrant ingredients in this salad — crisp, hand-torn romaine, fresh corn, bright green chives, and juicy pomegranate seeds.  Can you think of a better combo? 

So what do you guys think?  What would you pair with this place setting?  I can’t wait to show you the other recipes I have lined up!

For step-by-step photos of how to prepare this recipe, check out Noritake’s Facebook page!  And if a pattern catches your eye, use the coupon code SUGARLAWS for 10% off the merchandise in your cart on the Noritake website!

Scallop Salad with Fresh Corn and Pomegranate

8 large sea scallops
1 ear corn, husked
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp chopped chives
10 large leaves of romaine lettuce
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Additional olive oil, ground pepper and sea salt, for scallops


Heat a pot of boiling water and cook corn cobs for approximately 7-8 minutes, or until they are brightly colored and tender.  Remove from water and slice kernels from cob (I find corn is easier to cut when you cut the cob in half first, and then rest the cut end on a surface and cut vertically).  Reserve.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush scallops with olive oil and sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt.  Bake for approximately ten minutes at 400 degrees, and then broil at 500 degrees for one minute.

While the scallops are cooking, tear the romaine into bite-size pieces by hand.  Combine the romaine, corn, chives, Parmesan, olive oil and vinegar into a bowl and toss together. 

Divide the salad into two bowls, and arrange the cooked sea scallops so that there are four in each bowl.  Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.

Serves two.

Tags: appetizers · food · salads · side dishes · sponsored

crab and avocado salad, take two

August 18th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Ok.  This has got to stop.  I’m pretty sure that seven of my last ten recipes have included avocados, and if I were you guys, I would be getting sick of them by now.

Come on, Katy.  What is this, an avocado blog?

[Wait, is that a thing?  Because I would subscribe.  Just saying…]

My first take on an avocado salad was here, with crab and grapefruit, and let me tell you — as recipes on Sugarlaws go, it’s only topped by this and this.  But the avocado lover in me wasn’t totally finished, and I happened to have some extra crabmeat…

This little salad is incredibly simple, and you can use pastry molds to make it look really elegant and special.  Check out the ingredient list — you probably have most of them in your kitchen already.  Now go get yourselves a big bag of avocados and get to work!

Crab and Avocado Salad Recipe

1 avocado, diced
4 ounces lump crab meat, pulled apart slightly
1 small shallot, minced
Juice of one lime
Dash of garlic powder
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper

Combine lime juice and avocado, toss gently to coat.  Separately, combine olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper with crab meat, and toss.  In a pastry mold or on a dish, first layer the avocado mixture, then layer the crab mixture over it.  Sprinkle the minced shallots over the top and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.  Serve.

Serves four.

Tags: appetizers · food · salads · side dishes