The ingredients in a Greek salad are very simple and need little improving: tomatoes, olives, onions, cucumbers, feta cheese, and peppers. Some tender greens fill out the salad, while add-ins like leftover shredded chicken or cooked chickpeas can add more substance.
But, the true stars of today’s salad are the black ripe olives. These olives have a firm texture that can stand up to a few hours in a lunch box. Plus, they have a uniquely mild and smooth flavor thanks to a processing technique that's unique to California ripe olives – no bitter-tasting olives here!
The olives actually soak up the flavors of the dressing and other ingredients, making each bite burst with flavor.
The ingredients here are enough to make four smallish salads, each with just a small amount of greens and which fit in a pint-sized canning jar. You can, of course, use a larger jar and pack yourself a larger salad with more greens and other ingredients.
The main premise is to put the dressing and the juiciest ingredients on the bottom of the jar, and top the remaining ingredients, ending with the tender greens. The advantage of this "salad in a jar" is that the dressing and the juicier ingredients stay on the bottom, and the other ingredients stay crisp and fresh. No need to fuss with tiny, leaky containers of dressing.
When ready to eat, dump the salad out into a bowl or onto a plate, toss a few times with a fork, and you're good to go!
These salads will keep for two days (sometimes longer) packed in jars and stashed in the fridge. They're a great make-ahead lunch for busy weeks, or for a ready-made side-salad to serve with dinner.
Greek Salad in Jars
If you prefer more greens in your salads, pack the salads in quart-sized jars and pack the top with more spinach or salad greens. The salads will even keep for two days (sometimes longer) in the refrigerator.
- For the salad dressing:
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- For the salads:
- 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 large English cucumber, sliced
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup black ripe olives
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta
- 4 small handfuls fresh baby spinach, or other dark leafy greens of choice
- 4 pita bread rounds, halved, to serve (optional)
Prepare the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano and honey.
Gradually whisk in the oil. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if you like.
Divide the dressing between 4 pint jars
Assemble the salads:
Divide the onion between the four jars. (The onions will marinate in the dressing as the salads sit, which will keep them from overpowering the salad.)
Divide the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives and feta between the jars. Pack the remaining space with spinach, compressing the leaves slightly.
Secure the lids and refrigerate for up to 2 days:
Store and transport the salads upright so the dressing stays on the bottom.
Empty the salads into bowls and toss with the dressing. Serve with pita bread.