When I returned from my trip to Vegas and Branson last Sunday night, I was depleted. In a five day stretch, I had competed in three races, navigated five different airports and checked in and out of four hotels, all on a diet that revolved mostly** around a jar of peanut butter. Needless to say, my body was in desperate need of fruits, veggies and anything nutritious.
When I opened our fridge to find that, while I was away, SJ had filled it with our weekly CSA haul, I knew just how to kickstart my recovery - with our Athlete Food Editor Melissa's take on the traditional Greek Salad. This is the salad to make if you want to pack a week's worth of veggies into one bowl. Ok, so maybe that's an exaggeration, but as you can see in the photos, this salad does not skimp on the amount or variety of fresh vegetables. Tossed with a bold Sherry Vinaigrette, feta cheese, olives and anchovies (yep, we love 'em!), this salad packs a flavorful punch. Top it with grilled chicken skewers and serve it with warm pita bread it's the perfect recovery meal.
**Laurel and I did enjoy one great meal in Vegas, at B&B Ristorante at the Venetian. And we ate ramen for another.
Athlete Food Greek Salad
1 seeded cucumber, chopped
2 handfuls of small tomatoes halved or 1 large, chopped
1 small zucchini or other summer squash, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup parsley leaves
up to 4 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards) of feta
6-8 kalamata or marinated olives
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
leaves from 6 raw kale stems, torn into bite size pieces
Fill salad bowl with kale, lettuce and parsley leaves. You should have a ratio of about 70% lettuce, 30% kale. Arrange chopped veggies and feta in piles on top of the greens. Scatter with sunflower seeds. Lastly, pour sherry vinaigrette evenly around the bowl. Serve salad untossed.
Yield: 1/2 cup
1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/2 t sea salt
1 t Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup good quality olive oil, plus a few optional teaspoons
Whisk together the shallot, salt, mustard, and vinegar or shake in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Let sit 5 to 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 3-4 grinds black pepper and whisk or shake to combine. Dip a lettuce leaf or vegetable in to taste. If the dressing is too bracing, add more olive oil by the teaspoon. It should taste very acidic, but not make you choke.