American Greek Salad (with Lettuce)
Greek Salad with lettuce is strictly an American thing, but this is the salad I make every summer, all summer long, and American Greek Salad is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
As soon as summer arrives, this American Greek Salad with Lettuce will be on the menu at my house for every single family party, and I’ll be making it quite often just for a quick lunch or dinner as well. Definitely this is one of my signature salads, and I never get tired of it! And summer is nearly here, and this recipe is getting some very badly needed new photos, which I hope will entice you to try it if you’ve never made this one.
I’ve been making and eating so-called Greek salads like this for years and years, but when I went to Greece in 1998, I discovered that what many American restaurants called Greek Salad didn’t really exist there! Greek Salad in Greece (often called village salad) has cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, Kalamata olives, green pepper, and Feta with a dressing made from olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice and seasoned with a little dried oregano. But no lettuce. NEVER lettuce!
I like my Greek salads both with and without the lettuce, but the version with lettuce is the one I make the most. I used to be somewhat unenthusiastic about the green bell pepper, but the last few years I’ve realized that thin slivers of green pepper and some sliced green onion add a lot of flavor to a salad like this. I’m also pretty insistent on the addition of some caper juice and capers in the dressing, and I actually like this salad with blue cheese dressing too, which is most definitely not Greek! You can add or subtract ingredients based on what you prefer, but don’t leave out the handful of lettuce if you’re going to call this American Greek Salad.
Cut up the Romaine and if it’s even the slightest bit limp let it crisp in a salad spinner with ice cold water for a few minutes. While the lettuce soaks, whisk together the dressing, cut up cucumbers, and cut cherry tomatoes in half.
You’ll also want crumbled Feta cheese (although it’s usually served in a block on top of the salad in Greece). And prepare Kalamata olives cut in half, thin slivers of green bell pepper, and some sliced green onion if you’re using them.
Spin the lettuce very dry, then toss together the lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers and green onions with enough dressing to moisten the salad to your preference. Add the crumbled Feta and olives and gently toss to combine. (I like to save some tomatoes, Feta, and olives to garnish the top of the salad.)
Season salad to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and enjoy! (I took photos before I remembered to do that; bad blogger!) I served this recently with Low-Carb Steak and Mushroom Kabobs.
More Tasty Salads with Feta Cheese:
Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Lime, Mint, and Feta ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Joanne Weir’s Cucumber and Feta Salad ~ David Lebovitz
Green Bean, Tomato, and Feta Salad Oreganato ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tabbouleh Salad with Freekah and Feta ~ Rachel Cooks
Mary’s Spring Mix Salad with Feta and Pine Nuts ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Greek Chicken Salad with Greek Tomato Dressing ~ Created by Diane
American Greek Salad (with Lettuce)
(Makes about 4 servings. Adjust the amounts of each ingredient for how many people you are serving and your own preferences.)
1/4 cup purchased vinaigrette dressing
(I like Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing; choose dressing with not more than 2 grams of sugar per serving for low-carb diets or South Beach Diet)
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice
2 tsp. capers (chopped if you prefer; use more capers if you’re a capers fan like I am!)
1 tsp. caper juice
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
4 cups Romaine lettuce, broken or chopped into bite sized pieces, washed and dried
1 cup cucumbers, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup green pepper, cut into thin slivers
2 T thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup Kalamata olives or black olives, cut in half if desired (I like pitted olives for this salad)
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese (or more; see below for more about Feta)
If the lettuce is at all limp, chop lettuce and put into the salad spinner with ice cold water and let it sit for about 5 minutes to crisp. This will make a HUGE difference in the quality of the salad.
While lettuce crisps, whisk together the purchased vinaigrette, olive oil, lemon juice, caper juice, capers, and dried oregano and let the dressing stand while you prep other ingredients.
Cut up cucumbers and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Crumble the Feta, slice olives in half, and thinly green pepper, and slice green onions.
When you’re ready to assemble the salad, spin the lettuce very dry in the salad spinner, or drain well and dry with paper towels. In large salad bowl toss together lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and green onions with desired amount of dressing. Add crumbled Feta cheese and olives and gently toss again. (I like to save out some Feta, cucumbers, and tomatoes to garnish the top of the salad.) Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and enjoy.
Personally I have a strong preference for sheeps milk Feta in a salad like this, although truthfully I never met a Feta cheese I didn’t like. To me, the sheeps milk Feta is creamier and a little milder. Whatever Feta you buy, try to avoid the pre-crumbled type; it simply does not last in the refrigerator. If you’re lucky enough to have a FoodSaver machine which vacuum packs food in plastic bags, it’s perfect for sealing those big blocks of feta, and sealed packs of Feta is something I always have in my fridge.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This would be a great main dish salad for low-carb or low-glycemic diet plans, including the South Beach Diet, although South Beach would recommend going a bit easy on the Feta.
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