Wanna see kids eat vegetables? Make Greek salad!
I wouldn’t have thought it, but kids will even eat raw green pepper when it’s prepared in the traditional Greek fashion. Well, maybe not our pre-K and Kindergartners. The little ones typically shy away from anything green or too healthy looking. But older kids seem to really enjoy the flavors of olive oil, red wine vinegar and feta cheese next to a bunch of freshly chopped vegetables.
Plus, they have a ton of fun cutting all the vegetables with their little steak knives.
Our version of Greek salad is pretty traditional, meaning no lettuce and plenty of authentic kalamata olive. But there are a number of optional ingredients you might explore, such as lemon juice and chopped fresh mint.
I also prefer cherry or grape tomatoes for this salad. Standard tomatoes are too wet, usually, and have too many seeds. Plus, it’s so difficult these days to find a decent tomato at the supermarket. Cherry and grape tomatoes seem to pack plenty of flavor without all the juice.
To make a family-size salad, start by peeling one whole cucumber, then slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the cucumber into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.
Likewise, remove the seeds and stem from 1/2 green bell pepper and cut the pepper into 1/2-inch pieces. Similarly, cut 1/2 red onion into 1/2-inch pieces, as well as 4 ounces feta cheese. Slice a fistful of pitted kalamata olives (available in jars) lengthwise. Do the same with 20 grape or small cherry tomatoes. Add everything to the mixing bowl with the cucumbers.
Stir in a handful of chopped parsley, along with a similar amount of chopped fresh mint leaves if so desired, and 1/2 teaspoon or more dried oregano leaves. Drizzle in enough extra-virgin olive oil to lightly coat the vegetables. Add a generous splash of red wine vinegar and the juice from 1/2 lemon. Season with salt to taste.
This brilliant salad is best eaten immediately as the salt tends to draw a lot of liquid out of the vegetables over time, turning your dressing into a soup colored white by the feta cheese. As far as I know, that’s the only drawback to this incredibly healthful dish.