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How many times have you gone to a restaurant with a deliciously full menu of tempting offerings only to order that healthful, lower-calorie salad you think you should eat instead of what you really want? At the end of the meal, you’re still craving fettuccine Alfredo and now are a bit cranky because that bowl of lettuce leaves just didn’t fill you up, right? The same scenario likely plays out at home, too, as you wrestle with hankerings for pizza and instead tuck into an everyday tossed salad.
Now that the healthy-eating season is in full swing and it seems like everyone is committed to making smarter food and fitness choices in the New Year — well, at least in the month of January — it’s time to master the entree salad: that flavor-packed dish of not just lettuce and lemon juice but also other, more filling ingredients that surely won’t leave you feeling deprived. The key to enjoying a salad as a meal is to incorporate creamy cheeses, crisp vegetables, crunchy crackers, good-for-you grains and just about anything else you have on hand so that it becomes something substantial that you look forward to eating.
While Food Network Magazine’s Big Greek Salad (pictured above) doesn’t pretend to take the place of fettuccine alfredo or pizza, it is full of bold, seasonal flavors and texts, and perhaps best of all, it can be prepped in just 20 quick minutes. Celebrating classic Mediterranean ingredients like kalamata olives and capers plus fresh cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, this salad is a bright dish finished with sweet Peppadew peppers and crunchy red onions. Toss the salad with an herb vinaigrette to marry these classic flavors in an easy, big-batch salad that your whole family will enjoy.
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup large caperberries
1/2 cup chopped Peppadew peppers
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl; slowly whisk in the olive oil until smooth.
Add the cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, caperberries, Peppadews and red onion to the bowl with the dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine