October 7, 2011
Boutari is the world’s best selling Greek wine. Christina Boutari shows food radio talk show host Cleverley Stone how to make a perfect Greek salad – with a modern twist. The tastes are complex but it’s a simple salad to make. She also recommends a white wine that pairs well with the salad.
. If you roast the tomatoes and lemons earlier in the day, the whole thing comes together quite quickly.
. Add salt with a light hand, as there is plenty of saltiness present in the salad from the cheese and the olives.
The dressing is made with a combination of red wine and red wine vinegar for a richer and quite sophisticated flavor.
In place of the traditional cucumber, thin ribbons of raw zucchini provide delicate flavor and crunch. The tomatoes
are roasted for extra depth of flavor and sweetness, and there is a surprise burst of caramelized citrus from the lemons,
which get roasted alongside the tomatoes.
Feta, made from sheep’s milk, is the classic cheese for Greek salads, and is always fantastic. However, for a change
you can also try Manouri, which is the Greek equivalent of ricotta salata also made from sheep’s milk, but a bit drier and crumblier.
The dressing will not get as creamy, but it adds another texture to the salad. You can eat the caramelized lemon wedges, or if you
choose to just move them to the side. Tossing them with the salad will still allow the cooked juices to add flavor to the dish.
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston, listen to Cleverley’s radio show Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM.
(By the way, She gives out restaurant gift cards on every radio show!)
Boutari’s Modern Greek Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette (Serves 4 to 6 people)
Ingredients for the Salad
- 1 medium zucchini, washed
- 1 lemon, washed and cut into ½ inch pieces with the rind still attached, but seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 heart of romaine, slivered crosswise
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
- ½ cup slivered Vidalia onion
- ¼ cup crumbled feta or Manouri cheese (see Note)
Ingredients for the Dressing
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta or Minouri cheese (see Note)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons red wine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. To make the salad, first preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a medium sized bowl, toss the lemon wedges with a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Spread them out on one end of a rimmed baking sheet.
3. In the same bowl toss the tomatoes with the other two teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt,
and spread them out, cut side down, on the rest of the baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, until the lemons are turning golden brown and the tomatoes are starting to shrink.
Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
5. Meanwhile, take the zucchini and using a vegetable peeler press it against the side of the zucchini and
pull down so that you create long, almost transparent strips the length of the zucchini. Keep rotating the
zucchini so that you get nice wide flat strips, making sure to stop before you get to the seedy core.
6. Place the slices in a large salad serving bowl, and toss with the romaine and slivered onion.
7. Top with the olives, roasted tomatoes, and roasted lemon. Sprinkle on the 1/4 cup crumbled cheese.
8. For the dressing, mash the feta or Manouri with the vinegar, red wine, thyme and oregano with a fork until well blended.
Add in the olive, and continue to mash and stir until smooth. You can add more water as you like to achieve the desired texture.
Season with salt and pepper.
9. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss, and serve.