Greek Vegetable Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese is a fresh, crunchy twist on the classic Greek salad!
You know how you always remember where you were and what you were doing when something catastrophic happened? Sadly, the older you get, the more events there are like that. Fortunately, happy events stick clearly in one’s memory, too.
I remember my first Greek salad.
I was living in Milwaukee at the time. After a night out with friends, we went to an all-night Greek diner. I don’t recall the name or even if the diner is still there, however, at the time it was a popular place to go after the bars closed. Everyone was ordering breakfast, but I saw “Greek Salad” on the menu and it sounded delicious.
I was in love. To this day, a good Greek salad is one of my all-time favorites! Better yet, a Greek vegetable salad!
This Greek vegetable salad was inspired by one I found in an old Southern Living magazine a long time ago. When I was getting ready to move to Tennessee 21 years ago, a coworker of mine gave me all of her Southern Living magazines to help prepare me for living in the South. (It WAS culture shock!)
I’ve looked for the link online, but the recipe was published when the internet was still in its infancy.
This salad is similar to a Greek Village Salad which is basically tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, olives and feta cheese. I’ve added marinated artichoke hearts, garlic and gone the extra step of marinating the feta cheese.
How to make Marinated Feta Cheese:
- Start with a block of good Greek feta cheese.
- Cut into cubes, place in a jar.
- Add wonderful things like thyme and rosemary sprigs, dried red chiles, black peppercorns, lemon zest and juice and a fruity extra-virgin olive oil.
- Refrigerate for a day or two.
It’s tempting to want to add garlic, but it’s best to be on the safe side. Although the cheese is refrigerated and there’s acid in the form of lemon juice, garlic submerged in an oxygen-free environment such as oil can cause food-borne illness. Save the garlic for the salad.
You don’t have to marinate the feta cheese first. It adds another layer of flavor, but you can buy marinated feta or just use plain.
I absolutely love marinated artichoke hearts and often cannot bear parting with the delicious marinade, so I saved it and used it as part of the dressing (as I did in my Massaged Kale Antipasto Salad.) Besides the fact it’s delicious, it’s frugal!
This Greek vegetable salad is great with grilled meat, poultry, fish or on its own with some good, crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices!
Helpful Tools and Equipment to make Greek Vegetable Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese (Affiliate Links):
- MARINATED FETA CHEESE
- 1 block (8-ounce) feta cheese
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 4 dried red chiles such as cayenne
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 2 (1-inch) long strips lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- 2/3 cup olive oil (or to cover)
- 5-6 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2-3 medium cucumbers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 jar (12-ounce) marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
- 1 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- MARINATED FETA CHEESE: Place cheese, herbs sprigs, chiles, peppercorns and lemon zest in 1 or 2 jars (depending upon the size you have). Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over cheese. Seal and refrigerate two days.
- SALAD: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add feta cheese and carefully toss.
Amount Per Serving Calories 368 Total Fat 32g Saturated Fat 6g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 25g Cholesterol 8mg Sodium 310mg Carbohydrates 20g Fiber 5g Sugar 9g Protein 5g