Like all of my recipes, there’s a story for this one too. I love trying new dishes while on vacation, and replicating them when I get home! One night while we were in Budapest, Hungary, we went to a street fair on the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, a suspension bridge built in 1849 between Buda and Pest over the Danube River.
There were several vendors and food stands on the bridge that night but my favorite was the one grilling Greek kebabs served with lemon rice and the best Greek salad I’ve ever tasted. The simplicity of ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, black olives, red onion and herbs combined with a fresh lemon dressing was delicious. Unfortunately vacations have to end, but we’re still enjoying the great food inspired by our trip to Hungary. The full story about that enchanting street fair is here, including recipes for Greek kebabs, lemon rice, grilled vegetables and tzatziki. I hope you enjoy this Greek Salad, using fresh summer produce, as much as we have!
- 1 lb tomatoes
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/2 purple onion
- 1 cup pitted black or Kalamata olives
- 2 T fresh parsley
- 1 cup block-style feta cheese
For the dressing:
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
- 1 small garlic clove, chopped finely
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Cut tomatoes and cucumbers into bite-sized pieces and put into a large bowl. Slice onion thinly, then cut slices in half; add to bowl. Slice olives in half, chop parsley and zest lemon; add to bowl and stir to combine. To make the dressing, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, herbs de provence, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and mix. Fold in the feta and enjoy!
- II especially enjoy using cherry tomatoes in this recipe. But often, they are either not available or too pricey. So just use whatever tomato variety you like. Campari, Roma, heirloom, on the vine, cherry or grape are all good. Heirloom are especially tasty and colorful, which makes the salad even prettier (yes, that’s a ‘thing’). If using larger tomatoes, cut them into bite-size pieces.
- I like to use English cucumbers because they can be peeled or left unpeeled based on your preference and they have small seeds which don’t need to be removed.
- At the street fair, they used whole black olives but you can cut them in half if you prefer.
- If you don’t have any herbes de provence, just substitute oregano.
- I fold the feta in last so it won’t break up too much.
- For extra flavor and crunch, feel free to add my Garlic Parmesan Croutons to this salad, making it more like Italian Panzanella!
- Panzanella is a “Tuscan chopped salad of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes that is popular in the summer. It often includes cucumbers, sometimes basil and is dressed with olive oil and vinegar.’ The white bread, red tomatoes and green basil imitate the colors in the Italian flag!