I don’t want to state this too strongly, but I’m kinda all about this salad these days. I mean, it’s packed with flavorful ingredients, works as a meal or a side, easily transportable for work lunches, and reminds me of little trip to Greece a few/5 years ago. And yes, I will include a few pictures from a magical day at Poseidon’s temple on Cape Sounion. I enjoyed a more traditional and amazingly fresh Greek salad while overlooking the Aegean Sea. But yeah, these salad lunches at work are great too…
Now I know that, unfortunately, produce often goes to waste as our busy schedules get the better of us and those planned meals for the week take a back seat to a work dinner, meeting a friend, or just grabbing a pizza. That’s where this salad has an advantage! The most flavorful (sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives) and filling ingredients (chickpeas, quinoa) here aren’t perishable like fresh produce. So, if you don’t get around to making this for a few days later than planned, no problem!
Salads often have a bad rap for being “boring” and that you’ll “be hungry an hour later.” As I’ve made more entree salads, I’ve really not found those concerns to be true, especially when you have a incorporate grains or proteins. Also, making your own salad dressing makes a big difference in the flavor and really ensuring the salad continues to lean in the healthy direction.
This recipe comes from Cookie and Kate. I’ve been reading her blog for the last few months and she is very inspiring! She cooks vegetarian dishes and always offers helpful tips and adaptations along with her recipes. Cookie, the pup, makes appearances as well. I’ve enjoyed several of her salad recipes. Here’s the link for the Greek one I’m writing about today: Greek Salad with Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. I’m including the recipe below, with my cooking notes as well.
On to the salad!
Recipe from Cookie and Kate, original recipe linked above
Servings: 2-2.5 large entree salads, or 4-5 side salads
Time: 20-30 minutes
Mixed greens. I use about 4 oz of the “Mixed greens with herbs” packages or the “50/50 Spring Mix and Baby Spinach”
1 cup sliced broccoli
2/3 cup cooked, rinsed, and dried chickpeas
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup crumbled feta
10 pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (could substitute cherry tomatoes too)
1/2 cucumber, sliced and quartered (my addition)
handful unsalted sunflower seeds or pepitas (I always use pepitas)
Grains (optional, but really, do it):
1 cup cooked quinoa. Kate suggests a few other types of grains too.
Drizzle olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup quality olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
1. Cook the grains. I cook quinoa. You can use a recipe like this. For extra flavor, add a 1/2 tsp of chicken bouillon. I swear by this.
When finished cooking, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
2. While the grains are cooking, prep your other ingredients. For the dressing, whisk together all ingredients. This makes more than you’ll need for this salads, but the dressing keeps well in an air tight container in the fridge.
3. Toast your pepitas or sunflower seeds in a small pan over medium heat. Stir every few minutes.
4. Chop your salad ingredients: sun-dried tomatoes, olives, cucumber, onion, broccoli
5. Assemble your salad! I think it’s easiest to assemble in one bowl. Start with your mixed greens as the base and layer in all other salad ingredients. Toss to combine. If you are saving some of the salad for later, should store the grains and dressing separately and add only when ready to serve.
A great part about salads is their adaptability. You can substitute, omit, or add any ingredients here and it would be great! Maybe some artichoke hearts? Or leave out the grains if you are looking for a lighter side salad.