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Kitchen & Cooking

This Greek salad has a pro-chef twist you won't want to miss

A serrated knife is the key to easy meal prep for this dish.

A Greek salad on a white plate on a wood surface. Credit: Reviewed / Tara Jacoby / Ned Baldwin

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Ned Baldwin is the chef-owner of Houseman restaurant in New York City, where he lives. Before diving into the restaurant world he studied art and philosophy at Bennington College in Vermont and earned a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Yale University. He wrote a cookbook called How to Dress an Egg and was previously chef de cuisine of Prune restaurant.


Greek salad sometimes gets a bad rap stateside, most likely because it’s typically found on menus at greasy pizza joints and old school diners year-round, so more often than not it’s made with poor ingredients. That’s where my take on this classic dish couldn’t be more different. My Greek salad only finds its way to the table when the farm stand stocks the ingredients: tender and juicy tomatoes, crispy green peppers, and cold crunchy cucumbers. A serrated knife makes easy work of preparing these seasonal ingredients.

This recipe also calls for a good quality feta, some great Kalamata olives, and a slightly untraditional herb dressing made with minced fresh oregano and parsley instead of dried oregano. You can cut the feta using your serrated knife if you’d like, but I’m also going to show you a trick that magically transforms dry crumbly feta into a creamy spread that’ll take your Greek salad to the next level.

What You Need

An illustration of three knives arranged on a wood cutting board.
Credit: Reviewed / Tara Jacoby

This recipe proves that serrated knives aren't just for bread.

Ingredients:

2 ripe beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
1 medium green pepper (ribs and seeds removed), sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
1 large cucumber, cut into ½-inch thick discs
½ medium red onion, sliced as thinly as possible
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
6 ounces feta cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced oregano
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2-3 tablespoons robust olive oil (like these)
Salt, to taste

Tools:

Serrated knife (like this highly rated option)
Cutting board
Food processor (or mini food processor)
A set of mixing bowls

Time Needed

15 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

How to make Greek Salad with Whipped Feta and Herb Dressing

Tomato and red onion slices arranged on a wood cutting board next to a wood-handled knife.
Credit: Reviewed / Tara Jacoby / Ned Baldwin

Serrated knives come in all shapes and sizes.

Step 1: Prepare the veggies

Using a serrated knife, slice the tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, red onion, and kalamata olives on a sturdy cutting board. Set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the feta

Some years ago I learned a super fun feta trick: If you run it in the food processor for a few minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple of times, that dry crumbly stuff will become shiny and creamy not unlike the consistency of hummus. (Of course, if you’re short on time, simply cut slabs of feta or crumble it on top.) Finish the feta by folding in the sour cream with a spatula. Set aside.

A top-down photo of a food processor filled with whipped feta.
Credit: Reviewed / Ned Baldwin

Whipped feta made in a food processor serves as the base for this Greek salad.

Step 3: Make the oregano sauce

In a small bowl, combine the minced herbs, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Stir it all together and set aside.

Step 4: Assemble salad

Combine all tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, red onion, Kalamata olives, and herb dressing in a large mixing bowl. Toss gently but thoroughly. Check for seasoning and add more salt or vinegar if necessary.

If you made creamy feta, schmear the feta on your plate and set the salad right on top of it. Otherwise, set the dressed salad on the plate and garnish with either crumbled or slabbed feta.

This recipe is part of our Chef's Course newsletter series. Sign up to be the first to receive tips, tricks, and delicious recipes from top chefs sent straight to your inbox. It’s a whole master course for free.

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