This salad is more robust than ordinary Greek salads, and is perfect showcase for summer’s brightest ingredients. Seek out the freshest produce you can find, and use a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil to enhance the salad’s dramatic flavors. Dried mint might seem unusual here, but when combined with fresh mint, it adds an extra layer of refreshing coolness. Remember to toss the salad just before serving.
Serves 6 to 8
2 hothouse cucumbers (about 1ó pounds total), seeded and cut into ó-inch chunks (see Cook’s Notes)
6 plum tomatoes, 4 cut into 6 wedges each, 2 coarsely chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into .-inch cubes
1/2 cup Kalamata olives (pitted optional)
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon crushed dried mint
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, red onion, feta cheese, olives, parsley, and fresh mint in a large bowl. Whisk the lemon juice, oil, black pepper, dried mint, seasoned salt, and salt in a small bowl to blend. Toss the salad with the dressing to coat. Serve immediately.
Serving Suggestions: Top the salad with grilled chicken breast or leftover rotisserie chicken for a satisfying entrée. If doubled, this salad makes a great buffet item for serving to large groups. For a unique and pretty presentation, hollow out the centers of heads of butter lettuce, and spoon the salad into the centers.
COOK’S NOTES: It’s important to select crisp and firm cucumbers for this recipe. I prefer Japanese cucumbers because they are crunchy and virtually seedless. You can also use regular cucumbers but you must peel and seed them first.