Feta Dip

Feta Dip

My little boys and I are in the middle of a very fun and long adventure. It began nearly a week ago. Since last Tuesday, we have visited six states, we have driven 1,396 miles in our old, trusty little car and we have met/reunited with 24 people. We are not even halfway done! We have so many adventures yet to experience before we head back to Minnesota.

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Creamy feta vinaigrette

This is Week #33 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

I'm not gonna lie. This week has been a tough one and it has left my head spinning. So tough that even food blogging is a challenge for me, which is saying a lot because cooking and blogging about food happens to be one of my favorite things in the world. So I was pleased to see an easy recipe on my challenge list for this week. Easy and delicious...even better! Once I made it, I kind of fell in love. I want to put this dressing on everything! And now I'm encouraged to make more of my own salad dressings. Who needs Paul Newman?! 

In a food processor, add:

3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)

2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Pulse until smooth and season with kosher salt and pepper.

Drizzle over a salad or grilled veggies. I can imagine this to be delicious drizzled over just about anything. It is one tasty, creamy little dressing.

Chopped Salad with Mint and Grapes Recipe

This is a great toss and serve recipe! Loaded with flavor, lots of crunchy vegetables and juicy ingredients helps make this a full meal with chicken. Chopped basil and mint highlight all the vegetables. This light dressing doesn’t drown out the ingredients either, so enjoy!

I made this chopped salad on Sunday and I have had it for lunch every day since. Well, except for yesterday when I met my husband for sushi only to return to work to find that roasted chicken, glazed carrots and mashed potatoes had been brought in by the company. My intention was to take just a teeny sampling of the food because, goodness, I had just eaten lunch. But my "sampling" turned into an entire heaping plate of food, which I had no problem stuffing into my face. Then someone said to me, "You have to try the carrot cake!" I do? Ok. So I tried the carrot cake. And then my belly hurt until dinner, which I wasn't at all hungry for.

What is chopped salad?

Chopped salad is famed from back in the 1960’s over in Los Angeles when it became quite the thing to have a salad chopped - meaning the salad and all its ingredients are now cut into tiny, fine pieces. The idea is that each bite is filled with all the flavors of the salad, you aren’t missing any. Chopped salad today doesn’t always mean that it’s finely chopped, because, to each his own!

Does a chopped salad have specific ingredients?

Nope! A chopped salad can consist of whatever proteins, vegetables and dressing you desire. There’s no limitations, it just suggests that any ingredients selected are cut into bite sized pieces so each bite is flavorful.

So aside from that ridiculous double-lunching day, I have been enjoying this salad for my lunches all week. It's the absolute perfect lunch, packed with flavor and nutrients and it didn't leave me feeling either hungry or full. I'm pretty sure I emptied the salad bowl this morning, so tomorrow I'll be back to Ramen noodles. Wooo.

In a large bowl, combine:

1 heart of romaine, coarsely chopped

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 cup corn kernels

1 cup diced cooked chicken (I used meat from a Rotisserie chicken)

1/2 cup green grapes, halved

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Toss all ingredients together and serve!

By the way, I combined the ingredients for the dressing separately since I knew I would be eating the salad over the course of a few days.

I loved it! Totally delicious!

Chopped Salad with Grapes and Mint

Just toss ands serve! (Source: Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010)

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Apr 27, 2011

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Serves: 4-6

Total time: 30 min

ChoppedSaladGrapesMint"

Ingredients:

  • 1 heart of romaine, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 small red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken
  • ½ cup halved green grapes
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, toss all of the ingredients together. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.