Saturday, September 1, 2018

My Big Fat Greek Salad and Its Big Fat Unoriginal Name

I had a feeling I wasn’t the first person to think of this cinematic play on words, but like I said in the video, so many other people called this a big fat Greek salad, I figured I wouldn’t get in too much trouble. If I had to guess, it was probably the caterer on the set of the movie who first coined the name, or at least I hope so.

This is such a simple salad that there’s no need for me to share a bunch of tips and tricks, although I will reiterate the most important instruction of all.  Be sure to toss the salad with the vinegar first, before adding the olive oil. If you don’t, it will not taste as good. Which reminds me, giving the amounts here is very difficult, since this really should be made to your tastes, so please use the ingredient list below as a very rough outline.

If you need to make this the day before, I suggest making the dressing separate, and then mixing everything before the event.  I think this should only be dressed about 30 to 60 minutes before service for maximum enjoyment, but that’s just my approach, and some folks prefer an overnight marination. Regardless of how long you let your ingredients “marry,” you’re going to be enjoying one amazing salad, which is why I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 1 Big Fat Greek Salad:
2 large English cucumbers
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup sliced olives
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon of dried
salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil, or to taste
4 to 6 ounces feta cheese


Unknown said...

Excellent version chef. Try it , next time , 50/50 Parsley and dill
for a Balkan twist. Keep the good work!

Unknown said...

how about doing Caponata?

Jeff Wilson said...

Best greek salad ever!

I followed your video closely, with only three slight departures. 1) I used tomato and basil flavored feta cheese, 2) I added some balsamic vinegar as well as the red wine vinegar and 3) I used ground up Hatch red chile powder instead of cayenne.

It's a perfect warm weather salad, hearty yet refreshing. Home run!


Jay B. said...

Nice and simple....did it with fresh corn on the cob and a beer can chicken...which I look forward to your take on.....fresh oregano from the garden and a good wine vinegar/olive oil make the the a beer can!!! I know you want to��

Marilyn said...

Awesome...I know what is for dinner tonight. What do you think about adding chickpeas for more protein to make this a meal salad. What would you do differently if anything?

Ratty said...

I love Greek salads and am looking forward to trying your version this weekend. Long ago I discovered it's much better to dress bean salads twice - the first time when the beans are still warm and the final time after it's sat in the fridge a while. The first dressing being heavy on the vinegar and light on the oil. This recipe has no beans so I probably wouldn't have done it here, so thanks for the tip.

Chris K. said...

"Jimmy the Greek Salad"

Unknown said...

Tried this recipe. Was absolutely delicious! Will definitely make again. Thanks, Chef John!

Robhhan said...

1/2 teaspoon of dried salt? I'm assuming all salt is quite dry.

Unknown said...

Made this exactly to recipe and took it to a party. It was a great hit with everyone. The hostess loved it so much I left the leftovers with her. She called me the next day and raved about it again. Have made it many times now and I love it. Thanks chef!

Poingat Opinion said...

Too make it easier to cut the tomatoes in half (not one or two at a time) place them on a small plate. Invert another plate over the top and keeping the plates together slide a sharp knife between the two plates. Viola' you have a plate full of cherry tomatoes cut in half.

Unknown said...

How long does this salad keep in the refrigerator?

Anonymous said...

what brand of red wine vinegar are you using?

I'd appreciate some recommendations of store bought brands as the taste can vary quite a bit.

Thanks Chef John!

Alex R. said...

John, my wife and I love you, and I’ve turned the in laws onto you as well. Re Jay B’s comment in this thread: PLEASE use your platform to set the people straight on the nonsencality of beer can chicken. See, for example,

Chris Si said...

Of course this salad is good Chef John never misses. What's not to like about it? All great, healthy ingredients. I didn't have any fresh oregano so I used dried, and some fresh parsley.
I made a full batch. My wife, and I ate only one serving each. I planned on us eating several. It was a lot more filling than I thought it be. Now I got a week worth of Greek salad. I don't think it will freeze well will it?

Unknown said...

Added some sliced pepponcinis and extra olives. This is my favorite recipe. I make it every week. It's a hit with the family.

Unknown said...

This is my favorite recipe. I add artichokes to the dish. I, also, add splashes of liquid from the olive and artichoke jars. Delicious!

Lacemaker427 said...

I made it the first time almost as written with some slight changes to please my family (they don’t like spicy foods). I made it a few days ago again and decided what it needed was 1 cup of farro (cooked in chicken stock, then cooled and seasoned with a splash of cider vinegar, which I had substituted for the red wine vinegar that I was out of). Winner! People followed me around at the church social begging for the recipe, and many had never heard of farro before, so I collected some farro converts. Excellent recipe! Do try the farro and let us all know what you think of it. It’s the only way I’ll make it from here on. (Land sakes, my mouth is sooo watering!)

Mike said...

I was struggling to find a use for some blue cheese stuffed olives and this salad turned out amazing. Thanks Chef John!

mtorres said...

Could not believe this salad!!!!! We like Greek Salad, but THIS one! THIS! We have made it a couple of times now as our main and pretty much only dish. Wow! Did we EN-joy!!!

Found that variegated oregano - much stronger than the others - will sharpen the taste delightfully!!! And thanks for the bit about putting vinegar in first.

Thank you!!!!

Marianne Torres
Spokane WA