Tuesday October 05, 2010

Trader Joe’s Inspired Greek Salad

This is a salad I have been making for the past year. I shop at Trader Joe’s a lot and always have my favorite products on hand for last minute dinners. I will be posting a Trader Joe’s inspired recipe every so often. This is my current favorite. I love their breaded eggplant cutlets and they play well in this salad because the texture is great. A while ago I ran out of oil in my pantry and really wanted this salad which I usually dress with good olive oil and lemon juice. So I compromised, I thought. Turns out that I got lucky and the oil free version was really tasty. For the dressing I had some eggplant hummus and some lemons on hand, with a little addition of salt and pepper.

Trader Joe's Inspired Greek Salad image 1

While I was baking the eggplant cutlets I popped in some cherry tomatoes that I had tossed with some chili oil, the only oil I had on hand, and roasted them until they were nice and caramelized. The eggplant needs a bit more time in the oven than the package directions for it. I like to get them nice and crisp and I flip them over with tongs half way through the cooking process. Chopped romaine, feta cheese, kalamata olives and cucumbers round this salad out and for a bit more texture I break up some Ak-Mak crackers in the end right before I toss it.

Trader Joe's Inspired Greek Salad image 2

T. J’s Inspired Greek Salad

You could add a bit of red or green onion and maybe some Italian parsley, I just did not have any on hand. Also if you don’t have any hummus around, than a good olive oil and lemon dressing tastes great. Just drizzle the oil first onto the salad, sprinkle with salt, pepper and finish with some fresh lemon juice. Add the crackers, toss and enjoy!

Trader Joe's Inspired Greek Salad image 3

Crisp Romaine Hearts

Trader Joe's Inspired Greek Salad image 4

Sheep’s Milk Feta Cheese
Ingredients:

1 head of romaine hearts, chopped
6 pieces breaded eggplant cutlets, follow package directions and let crisp for a few minuets more
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, tossed in oil, sprinkled with salt and roasted at 400, about 15 min.
1/4 cup kalamata olives
2 inch square piece of feta cheese, cubed
1/2 cucumber, sliced horizontally and then into 1/4 inch thick half moons
2 Ak Mak cracker squares, broken in small pieces

Dressing:

2-3 tablespoons hummus, any brand will do
1 lemon, juiced reserved
Salt
Pepper

For the Dressing:

In a small bowl add the hummus and slowly drizzle half of the lemon juice in and stir to smooth.
Taste and then add enough salt, pepper and more lemon juice to taste. Set aside.

To Assemble:

In a salad bowl add the romaine lettuce. On a cutting board slice each eggplant round into 4 strips.
Reserve 6 slices and add the rest into the bowl. Now add the roasted cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumbers and drizzle the dressing over the salad. Now add the Ak Mak crackers and gently toss to coat. Divide into 2 shallow bowls and garnish each plate with 3 eggplant slices.

Serves 2