chopped salad with easy Greek vinaigrette
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I’m not kidding you when I say we make this every other week, at least. It’s memorized by half of us and taped inside a cabinet door for the other half. It’s been our go-to for travel (hello, I’ve made the whole shebang in a hotel). Both of my bigs have brought dried oregano to college, and it might be part of my favorite client prep because packaging a chop-chop salad is a rainbow dream. While I like most salads, this flavor-packed chopped salad with easy Greek vinaigrette makes me want to put beans with greens and whatever else I have on hand.
Recently, I made it with my raw summer zucchini shaved with a vegetable peeler!
Speaking of things that satisfy. As a parent, choices or outcomes like made beds, A’s on report cards, or awards and accolades don’t translate as success to me, but when my 14-year-old son called to ask me how to make that “yummy dressing” so he could have “that one chopped salad” for lunch, I might have cried. What?! If my kid wants to make something to nourish himself and it happens to include all the vegetables? Undeniably, this feels like a kid win, which is actually the kind of winning I want. Ever since, it’s been permanently taped inside the cupboard.
What is a chopped salad?
I use this easy Greek vinaigrette for any green salad, but my favorite way is to make a chopped salad, aka chop-chop, where everything is chopped into similar-sized pieces with classic Greek ingredients. Additionally, there are always a few riffs; see below. Because the ingredient options are endless, all you need for sure is this Greek dressing + greens (or one of its substitutes like zucchini or cabbage) + at least one other topping. Ultimately, this equation will equal a side salad, a quick lunch, or a full meal.
Build your chopped salad with Greek vinaigrette using these tried and true ideas!
My original chop-chop salad recipe included:
- kale or romaine greens sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch strips, close to shredded
- garbanzo beans drained
- cherry tomatoes halved
- cucumbers seeded, quartered, and chopped
- kalamata olives halved
- red, orange, or yellow bell pepper seeded and chopped
- feta cheese loaf chopped into garbanzo bean-sized cubes
- fennel thinly sliced and chopped small
- red onion chopped small or green onions diced
My client version of chop-chop salad usually included one of these additions:
- roasted chicken cut into strips or small bite-sized pieces
- salami cut into 1/4 inch cubes or julienne strips
- Greek meatballs with yogurt dill sauce
Lately, I’ve been throwing a few curve balls into the chopped salad mix:
- raw zucchini shaved instead of any greens for a quick raw zucchini Greek salad, as seen above!
- red cabbage for extra crunch and color, or half red cabbage and half greens
- substitute pecorino, parmesan, or mozzarella for feta cheese or none at all
- basil, dill, parsley, and/or oregano chopped and tossed into the mix
What do I need to make this easy Greek vinaigrette?
What do I need in my pantry, or rather what do I need to make this a habit? That is the question. Child or adult, let’s not kid ourselves (pun intended), we all need options and choices to make a food choice that feels good. Consequently, this dressing doesn’t only help my kids, it helps me. Further, if it’s made in my fridge, chances are I’m going to want a salad to go with it. Does the storyline sound familiar? If you give me/them a salad dressing, I’ll/they’ll want a salad to go with it? Yep, rings true over here and sounds like a new Numeroff book title. (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and more of my favorite foodie books on my resource page.)
After the holiday break last year, my daughter was struggling physically with college food options. It doesn’t matter how many vegetables you offer someone, but if the dressing options don’t taste good, it makes it hard to eat day after day. And that’s when I got her set up with a salad dressing jar that looks like this:
And these simple ingredients you can add to your list too!
- dried oregano
- olive oil
- white wine vinegar
- garlic (fresh or dried)
We are constantly told we “should” eat more vegetables and “shop the perimeter of the grocery store,” but what if the solution isn’t only buying more vegetables and trying harder to eat it all, regardless of taste? In addition to filling the fridge with a rainbow of produce, I’ve found that keeping essentials in my pantry like oils, vinegars, mustards, and sauces for easy recipes is just as important. And Thrive Market is, as I’ve said, my pantry assistant. If you want an easy way to keep stocked, save $$, and the convenience of shipping right to your doorstep, check them out. Receive an extra 30% off organic groceries & a $50 free gift when you become a Thrive Market member!
Let’s make it!
Easy Greek Vinaigrette
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano)
- 1 garlic clove crushed (or 1/4 tsp dried)
- 1/4 tsp salt and 7 cracks of pepper more to taste
Ideas for a chop-chop Greek salad
- 1 bunch of dinosaur kale, romaine, and/or red cabbage, chopped into thin strips
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 small cucumber peeled, partially peeled, or unpeeled cucumber diced into small pieces about the size of tomato halves.
- 1/2-1 can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup feta cheese diced or crumbled
- 1/2 bulb of fennel chopped and rinsed To save leftover fennel, rinse with cold water, and wrap tightly.
- 1/4 cup chopped red or green onion If using red onions, rinse under water to remove some of the strong juices.
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives, pitted, whole or halved
- 1/4 cup dressing or more to taste
- 2-4 cups Raw zucchini peelings instead of some of the greens or cabbage. 1 medium zucchini peeled until the core equals about 1 cup.
- Use pecorino or parmesan shavings, mozzarella, or no cheese instead of feta.
- Add roasted chicken or salami cubed or julienned
- Add chopped fresh herbs like basil, dill, oregano or parsley!
- Measure vinegar, oregano, and garlic into a bowl and whisk until combined. (If you are using a salad dressing jar, shake the jar with the lid on tight for each step!)
- Lastly, drizzle in olive oil as you whisk to blend well.
- Add salt and pepper and give it another whisk.
- Dip a piece of lettuce or veggie into the dressing to taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Use right away or store in the fridge for a week or so.
- Put greens and/or cabbage into a bowl and toss with 2 tablepsoons of dressing to coat.
- Add the rest of your ingredients except for feta and toss gently to combine.
- Add feta on top or gently fold together.
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Last Updated on August 31, 2022 by Heather Bursch
I just made this yesterday at the cabin for Grammy, Grandpa, Harrison and myself. Yum!! was the consensus. In fact, from the living room, I could hear Harrison pause from his video game and say, “Hey Mom, this salad is really good!!” Well, that makes it even better. Since we are not all sold on Kale yet I used both romaine and kale and chopped up the kale into pretty small pieces. I thought it added interesting texture to the salad and like it a lot. The jury is out on the elder folk, but Harrison liked it. The funny thing is, that until I looked at the picture just now, I didn’t realize that we had forgotten to put the feta on the salad…ha! And we still loved it! I chopped up extra toppings and have extra dressing and greens so I plan to bring this to work a couple of days this week. I’ll definitely be “loving my lunch” this week thanks to you!! I love to love my lunch!
Hey, one last thing too…speaking of loving your lunch. Last week I had leftovers of that Blue Cheese Dressing that you make and I love. I had some spinach, grilled chicken (the kind you get near the packaged deli meat at the store), some strawberries and almonds just hanging around in my refrigerator/pantry. Guess what? It turns out they all love each other in a bowl together…a spontaneous “love your lunch” moment, but really, I think any salad with your Blue Cheese Dressing recipe would be lovable!! Thanks for sharing all the great ideas and recipes!! Looking forward to what’s to come 🙂
Hey you! That’s so cute both our boys like it, such a compliment. I love spontaneous love-your-lunch moments and I’m with you on that blue cheese dressing. Love it.