Grilled Summer Vegetable Greek Salad

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I love a Greek salad. Salty feta, briny olives, sharp red onion, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers – what’s not to like?! In my opinion, Greek salads should really only be served (in the US anyway) during the summer and fall months, when tomatoes are ripe and delicious. Hothouse winter tomatoes just aren’t the same!

With that in mind, I thought – why not add some of my other favorite summer vegetables? Squash, zucchini, and red bell peppers are so delicious when grilled, and I love them in salads, so I knew they’d all go together perfectly. Oh, plus I threw some avocado in there. Why not!

Toss it all with a rather lovely red wine vinaigrette, and you’ve got a fantastic side dish for four people, or main dish for two people.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Greek Salad

Servings 2 to 4 people

Equipment

  • Outdoor grill or indoor grill pan
  • Salad bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife

Ingredients

  • 1 squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt 
  • Black pepper
  • 3 big handfuls of baby spinach (about half of a 5 ounce container)
  • 1 medium tomato (about 6 ounces – whatever kind looks the best!), cut into thin wedges
  • 1 Persian cucumber (or 1/4 English cucumber), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 4 ounces feta cheese (omit for Whole30)
  • Optional: fresh oregano and mint

Instructions

  • Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium-high heat.
  • Cut the squash and zucchini vertically into 1/4-inch thick planks. Cut bell pepper into 3 or 4 big pieces. Toss in the salad bowl you’re going to use with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a pinch of black pepper.
  • Grill vegetables until charred and tender, 3 to 5 minutes per side. The peppers will take longer than the squash and zucchini. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into 1-inch pieces.
  • Add 3 big handfuls of spinach to your salad bowl and use a fork and chef’s knife to chop the spinach into small pieces. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add the grilled vegetables, 1 sliced medium tomato, 1 thinly sliced Persian cucumber, 1/4 thinly sliced medium red onion, and 1/4 cup kalamata olives. Before you toss them into the spinach, season them well with a big pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Toss the salad together with desired amount of dressing. Taste and season with salt as desired.
  • Top with 1 cubed avocado and 4 ounces feta cheese. If you have them, garnish with a couple tablespoons of fresh oregano and mint leaves.
  • 1 squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt 
  • Black pepper
  • 3 big handfuls of baby spinach (about half of a 5 ounce container)
  • 1 medium tomato (about 6 ounces – whatever kind looks the best!), cut into thin wedges
  • 1 Persian cucumber (or 1/4 English cucumber), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 4 ounces feta cheese (omit for Whole30)
  • Optional: fresh oregano and mint

Red Wine Vinaigrette aka Greek Salad Dressing

Servings 6 to 8 People

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil

Substitutions:

    Dressing swaps

    • Red wine vinegar: any vinegar! Balsamic is great here, but does make the salad kind of a dark ugly color!Lemon juice: 2 more tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
    • Dijon mustard Tahini is a great swap for Dijon if you don’t like it! It serves the same job of making dressings thick and creamy.
    • 1 Garlic Clove Garlic powder Grated
    • Olive oil I like using plain olive oil here so that the dressing isn’t too overpowering, but extra-virgin olive oil is OK too! Avocado, grapeseed, etc. oils all work too!

    Salad swaps

    • quash, zucchini, red bell pepper Swap in whatever veggies you love to throw on the grill!
    • Spinach arugula, but don’t chop it up. Romaine would also be great. I love iceberg lettuce with Greek salads, but if you want to use it here, make sure your veggies are totally cool first. Wilted iceberg is no bueno.
    • Tomato Cherry tomatoes work when tomatoes aren’t in season. They’re by far the best hothouse tomato!Cucumber: thinly shaved raw fennel would be fab!
    • Red onion Don’t love raw onion in salads? I hear you. You could use 3 thinly sliced green onions instead, or just omit it!
    • Kalamata olives any kind of olive, or omit!
    • Avocado You already have a healthy fat from the olives, so just omit the avocado if you don’t have it! You could also add some toasted almonds or other nut for a healthy fat!
    • Feta cheese Goat cheese would be DELISH here. So would parmesan, shaved thinly with a vegetable peeler.
    • Fresh oregano and mint They add so much fresh, wonderful flavor. But not worth buying just for this!

    Instructions

    • Whether you’re using 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crush it between your fingers to release it’s oils, then add it to a small jar. Add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Shake vigorously to combine, for 15 to 20 seconds. Taste the dressing. Do you want it to be thicker? Add more olive oil. Adjust salt to taste if needed.
    • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 lemon Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil

    Substitutions:

      Dressing swaps

      • Red wine vinegar: any vinegar! Balsamic is great here, but does make the salad kind of a dark ugly color!Lemon juice: 2 more tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
      • Dijon mustard Tahini is a great swap for Dijon if you don’t like it! It serves the same job of making dressings thick and creamy.
      • 1 Garlic Clove Garlic powder Grated
      • Olive oil I like using plain olive oil here so that the dressing isn’t too overpowering, but extra-virgin olive oil is OK too! Avocado, grapeseed, etc. oils all work too!

      Salad swaps

      • quash, zucchini, red bell pepper Swap in whatever veggies you love to throw on the grill!
      • Spinach arugula, but don’t chop it up. Romaine would also be great. I love iceberg lettuce with Greek salads, but if you want to use it here, make sure your veggies are totally cool first. Wilted iceberg is no bueno.
      • Tomato Cherry tomatoes work when tomatoes aren’t in season. They’re by far the best hothouse tomato!Cucumber: thinly shaved raw fennel would be fab!
      • Red onion Don’t love raw onion in salads? I hear you. You could use 3 thinly sliced green onions instead, or just omit it!
      • Kalamata olives any kind of olive, or omit!
      • Avocado You already have a healthy fat from the olives, so just omit the avocado if you don’t have it! You could also add some toasted almonds or other nut for a healthy fat!
      • Feta cheese Goat cheese would be DELISH here. So would parmesan, shaved thinly with a vegetable peeler.
      • Fresh oregano and mint They add so much fresh, wonderful flavor. But not worth buying just for this!

      Notes

      Try this with your favorite grilled veggies! Fennel, onions, eggplant, etc.!
      To add chicken, I recommend seasoning 2 small chicken breasts with oregano, garlic powder, and salt, coating with olive oil, and grilling for about 4 minutes per side. Allow to rest then thinly slice. See photo above!
      Author: Caroline Chambers

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