Several summers ago, Paul and I had lunch with our friends, John and Sara. The initial plan was to eat at a cute local restaurant near their home; however, that quickly changed once we realized it was Monday and the restaurant was closed.
These are the breaks when working jobs with alternative schedules. Sara is a nurse, Paul is a bartender, and John and I were both college writing instructors. For this ragtag bunch, Monday was a perfectly normal day to makes plans and enjoy a leisurely afternoon. For the rest of the world, not so much, which is why museums are often closed on Mondays, as are certain small restaurants.
In response to this news, John and Sara drove straight to Trader Joe’s, picked up a few last-minute items, and managed to craft one of the most awesome lunches I have had in ages. We ate olive bread and salami with this Greek salad, which has now become a staple in the Richard household. It’s simple, yet brilliant.
Fresh tomatoes from a farmers market can really push it over the top, and most important of all? Buy a block of feta in the brine. NOT the crumbled stuff.
I’m serious about this. Feta in a brine will change your life. It’s so much fresher and bolder and will elevate your salad to a whole new level. Yes, it’s a little more expensive and will require an added step of chopping into bite-sized squares. But the second you try a bite of brined feta—with a kalamata olive and slice of tomato, perhaps—you will see why it was one hundred percent worth it.
John and Sara’s Greek Salad
2-3 tomatoes, chopped (preferably the kind that comes on the vine)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup kalamata olives
10.5 oz. Feta in brine, drained and chopped
1 tsp. Dried oregano
2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil (or more, if needed)
1 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar (or more, if needed)
A few splashes of pickling liquid from the olives
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Dump everything in a bowl and mix together. Done.
Couldn’t get much easier than that, right?