This Greek salad with roasted lamb is a perfect example of how we like to make the most out of leftovers. Serve a suprisingly easy slow-cooked lamb roast with some simple sides one night, and then you have a perfect protein for inventing Greek-inspired dishes all week. You can find more of our ideas for savvy use of leftovers in this post.
What’s in a Greek salad?
The bare minimum staples of a Greek salad look something like this: tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese. If you want extra credit and a really good Greek salad, sprinkle in some fresh herbs – like oregano and basil. Otherwise, the dressing can take care of that just fine with dried herbs.
Whenever possible, you’ll want perfectly ripe tomatoes in your Greek salad. Tomato season tends to run sometime between early or late summer and through fall. Ripe tomatoes will have a fresh green smell whereas underripe tomatoes won’t smell like anything at all. Out of season, the best option is usually smaller grape or cherry tomatoes that can be grown relatively well in hothouse conditions.
If you can find them, English cucumbers are long, thin, and have fewer seeds and water content than the usual variety. Kalamata olives are a must – a purplish dark variety that can only be produced on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece.
If you don’t do dairy, you can skip the cheese, but otherwise, your Greek salad should definitely have feta. Feta cheese is traditionally made from sheep’s milk and sometimes also combined with goat’s milk. It tastes salty and tangy with a creamy and crumbly texture. Like olives, real feta is protected by designation of origin and must be produced in the traditional way in mainland Greece or Lesbos Prefecture. That said, many other countries make “feta-style” cheese that is still wonderfully delicious.
Finally, protein. Lamb roast leftovers are perfect. Not sure how to roast a leg of lamb? It’s easy! Get the recipe here. Rotisserie chicken is a great option if you don’t have lamb.
What dressing is on a Greek salad?
It goes without saying that your Greek salad should be made with olive oil. In a pinch, any kind will do. But you’ll find aromatic nuances in good quality olive oil that can lift your Greek salad to another level. Look for organic, cold-pressed, and unfiltered.
Vinaigrettes should be made with an approximate ratio of 3:1 oil to vinegar, but this can be adjusted based on the fat and acidity of your salad ingredients.
The key flavors to this dressing are red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and fresh ground pepper. We use a bit of Dijon mustard, lemon, and raw honey to balance ours, but the key to a good dressing is adjusting to your taste buds.
Do picky eaters like Greek Salad?
Yet another fun thing about this recipe is that you can serve it in one big bowl or like a DIY salad bar. The latter allows your family members to pick and choose what they want on their Greek salad. This method also works great for leftovers. Store your prepped ingredients separately, and then you’ll have the option of using them in different ways in meals to come.
Greek Salad with Roasted Lamb
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 english cucumber
- 2 c grape tomatoes
- 1/4 red onion
- 3 oz feta cheese, optional
- 2 c roasted lamb
- 1/2 c kalamata olives
For the dressing
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tsp. fresh basil, or use 1 tsp dried
- 2 tsp. fresh oregano, or use 1 tsp dried
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. raw honey
- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- Wash and tear romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Quarter and slice the cucumber into chunks.
- Halve the tomatoes and finely chop the onion.
- Shred the roasted lamb, if not already done.
- Add all the ingredients into a serving bowl and mix well.
- For the dressing: Mince the garlic. Wash and chop the basil and oregano. Juice the lemon.
- Mix all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake.
- Serve salad with dressing.