Greek Vegetable Salad with Homemade Greek Vinaigrette

Without thinking too much about it on Sunday, I registered for a half marathon.  I have been thinking lately about getting back into running a few road races, possibly a half marathon but I have really been trying to wrap my mind around that kind of mileage again.  It’s been a looooong time, my friends, a long time since my legs have had that kind of endurance.  We are talking 13 miles here.  13.1 to be exact.

Friday night Paul and I were out and about, running a few errands and we stopped off at a sporting goods store.  I’ve been really needing new running shoes for a while so I ended up buying a new pair.  I had a great walk/run on Saturday morning and Saturday night I had a dream about running a race.  I got out of bed, did a quick search and found a half marathon in September.  I thought about it for less than 5 minutes before filling out the registration form and submitting it.

Greek Vegetable Salad with Homemade Greek Vinaigrette

And then I sat and bit my nails for 10 minutes before pulling out my old training plans and weight lifting programs.  Time to get serious!  I am as excited as I am nervous.  I have 14 weeks to be ready and training has already started – slowly –  but it’s started.

I can already feel myself craving salad – big salads full of veggie and homemade dressings exactly like this one!  This is the kind of salad that makes you just feel healthy by eating it!

I made this and shared it for our Memorial Day cookout at Paul’s mom and dad’s house and I think it was a big hit.  I always prefer to make a homemade dressing for salads and this one is so simple and so flavorful and the thing I love most about this salad is that you can use any veggies you have on hand.  I had garden-fresh asparagus and tomatoes, a bell pepper and broccoli and threw in some artichoke hearts and olives – but feel free to sub in anything you like.

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Greek Vegetable Salad with Homemade Greek Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 (main dish); 10 (side dish)

Total Time: 30 min

Quick and simple salad loaded with fresh summer veggies and a simple homemade Greek vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

For the Greek vinaigrette:
1/3 cup STAR Fine Foods California Olive Oil
1/4 cup STAR Fine Foods Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

For the vegetables:
1 1/2 pounds broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
1 jar (14.75 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained & roughly chopped
1 can (5.75 oz.) black olives, halved
6 oz. grape tomatoes
4 oz. feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Directions:

To make the vinaigrette:
Combine all dressing ingredients in a dressing cruet or jar with a lid and mix well. Adjust salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

To prepare the veggies:
Bring about 3 cups of water to a simmer in a shallow pan. Add the broccoli and asparagus and cook for 60-90 seconds, just until crisp-tender. Drain and move to an ice bath to stop the cooking. After about 5 minutes, drain from the ice bath and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the bell pepper, artichoke hearts, olives, and tomatoes. Stir well until the vegetables are evenly distributed. Add in the feta cheese and stir well.

Pour about half of the dressing on and stir well (I used tongs) to distribute the dressing, repeat. Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts just before serving.

Cassie's Notes:
For added protein, grill or pan-fry simply seasoned chicken breasts, cube them, and add to the salad before serving.

Recipe developed for STAR Fine Foods.

Homemade Greek Vinaigrette

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by STAR Fine Foods.  As always, all opinions are my own.