Roasting a Greek salad? Yes. I tasted one made by my friend Wendy Kallergis at the St. Sophia Cathedral's Greek Festival in Miami. In addition to tomatoes, feta cheese, oregano and thyme, it had sliced fennel, which melted into the dish. I've adapted her recipe and added pistachio nuts to make this a complete vegetarian meal.
The recipe calls for a 10-by-7-inch casserole dish. You can use any roasting dish you have on hand. The ingredients should fit snuggly in the dish.
– Broken walnuts can be used instead of pistachio nuts.
– Panko breadcrumbs are a crisp, flaky type of breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs can be used instead.
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Prepare the tomatoes and fennel and place in the oven.
– While they roast, prepare the remaining ingredients.
– Complete the recipe.
To buy: 1 container cherry tomatoes,1 medium-size fennel bulb, 1 container panko breadcrumbs, 1 bunch fresh thyme or 1 bottle dried, 1 bunch fresh oregano or 1 bottle dried, 1 small container pitted black olives, 1 small package crumbled feta cheese, 1 package shelled, unsalted dry-roasted pistachio nuts, 1 package whole wheat pita bread.
Staples: olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
OVEN ROASTED GREEK SALAD
Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
1 medium-size fennel bulb, stems removed (about 2 cups sliced)
1/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
6 pitted black olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup shelled, unsalted, dry-roasted pistachio nuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 whole wheat pita breads cut in half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce each cherry tomato with a sharp knife once. Set aside. Slice fennel bulb in quarters and then thinly slice. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and add the fennel slices. Saute 5 minutes or until the slices soften. Spread the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a roasting pan (about 10 by 7 inches). Spread the fennel and tomatoes evenly in the pan. Roast in the oven 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and mix in breadcrumbs, thyme and oregano. Spread the olives, feta cheese, and pistachios over the top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return pan to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve with the pita bread on the side.
Yield 2 servings.
Per serving: 541 calories (49 percent from fat), 29.7 g fat (7.1 g saturated, 13.2 g monounsaturated), 23 mg cholesterol, 18.9 g protein, 54.8 g carbohydrates, 9.6 g fiber, 707 mg sodium.
(Linda Gassenheimer is an author of over 30 cookbooks. Her newest is "The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook." Find her on Facebook (@FoodNewsandViews) and Twitter (@LGassenheimer), and listen to her podcasts at www.880thebiz.com.)