In August, when all the ingredients are in their peak season, I love using all the herbs in our garden to really boost a simple greek salad by adding them to every component. Served on a large platter it makes a beautiful centerpiece for a simple dinner...especially if you are shopping at a farm stand or farmer's market and find beautiful little tomatoes in an array of colors. We ate this one with yogurt marinated grilled chicken, grilled pitas with fresh herbs, and corn on the cob. Although this recipe sounds like a lot of steps each one only takes a minute or two.
GARDEN HERB GREEK SALAD
1 small red onion
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
1/2 pint feta
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil, plus 1 cup basil leaves
6 tablespoons basil oil (can substitute regular olive oil)
1 head romaine lettuce
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 kirby cucumbers
1/2 cup black olives
1 teaspoon digon mustard
Peel and thinly slice the red onion and put it in a small bowl. Add red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and dill and stir to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened.
Drain any water from the feta and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and basil. Drizzle one tablespoon of the basil oil over the feta and set aside.
Chop lettuce and wash and dry in a salad spinner with basil leaves. Place greens on a large platter. Add cherry tomatoes, halving the largest ones and add to platter. Peel and slice cucumber and add to platter. Remove pits from olives: this is done easily by pressing on them with your thumb to split them open, and add to salad.
Remove onions from vinegar, reserving the vinegar mixture, and add to the salad. Add mustard to the vinegar and whisk to combine. Add remaining 5 tablespoons of basil oil and whisk. Add dressing to salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle feta cheese on top and serve.
You can prepare all the components of this salad a half an hour in advance but do not add the dressing until ready to serve.