I love Greek salad (horiatiki) — that refreshing pile of crunchy cucumbers, peppers & peperoni, tomatoes, onions & olives tossed in lashings of olive oil and lemon juice and topped with briny feta cheese.
However, when you live in less-than-Mediterranean climes, as I do (it’s cold and snowy for four to six months out of the year in Colorado), wet, raw food isn’t always what your body wants for dinner.
Enter roasted Greek salad.
It features all the same ingredients as horiatiki, but rather than serving them raw, you roast onions, tomatoes and peppers in olive oil and lemon juice until they’re silky soft and fold in olives, raw cucumber and a bucketload of herbs just before serving.
While I’m at it, I have to confess to another change I’ve made: replacing the traditional feta cheese — delicious, but relatively low in protein and high in salt & saturated fat — with a filet of salmon topped with tapenade (chopped olive paste). But since feta is a key ingredient of horiatiki (and I love it!) I don’t want to shun it altogether, so I sprinkle the fishined dish with feta crumbs for a salty-tangy finish.
Roasted Greek Salmon Salad
- 4 6-oz salmon filets
- 4 tbsp olive tapenade I love Trader Joe's refrigerated tapenade; pic here
- 1½ cups grape tomatoes
- 2 large bell peppers cored, seeded & coarsely sliced
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced from root to tip
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice fresh; about ½ lemon's worth
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 6 cloves garlic chopped or sliced
- ½ cup kalamata olives pitted & halved lengthwise
- 1 medium English cucumber unpeeled; halved lengthwise, seeded with a teaspoon and cut into ¼-inch chunks
- 1 cup fresh herbs coarsely chopped; I like top use a mix of parsley, mint & dill
- 2 oz sheep-milk feta cheese crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 420 F. Line two small or one large baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Place tomatoes, peppers and onions on the baking sheet(s). Drizzle with the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper and toss; spread out in an even layer. Roast for 15 minutes (set timer); add the chopped garlic and stir with a spatula.
- Nestle the salmon filets among the softened vegetables and return the baking sheet to the oven. Roast another 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and start to brown at the edges and the fish is cooked through (around 130F internal temperature).
- Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes. Lift the salmon filets out of the vegetables with a spatula and set on a plate; cover to keep warm.
- Toss the roasted vegetables with the cubed, raw cucumber, olives and chopped herbs. Serve salad on four plates, place salmon on top of the salad, and sprinkle with feta crumbs.
- Optional: accompany with crusty sourdough bread or warm pita bread and/or a dollop of tzatziki sauce (not included in the nutrition analysis below).