Salads are most always found made and ready to eat in my refrigerator. They may include cold salads like my Quinoa Tabbouleh or my most recent creation this Mediterranean Salad with an Oregano Lemon Vinaigrette. I was recently traveling and at the Phoenix airport I stumbled upon a salad that I bought for the long plane ride home. It was a Mediterranean salad with pearl cous-cous, chicken, lots of vegetables and a light and flavorful dressing. I made note and wanted to recreate it when I go home, it was that good!
Quick healthy weeknight meals… that is the name of the game most weeks for me. I am in and out of the house and after a day at work, I like to have something on hand to quickly grab and enjoy. Salads are easy, versatile, and can almost always be enjoyed as a main course or a side to a meal.
This week I made this Mediterranean Salad with Oregano Lemon Vinaigrette in a large quantity and will enjoy it all week long. Paired with pita bread and a side of hummus for an appetizer, you have a ready made meal to enjoy!
To recreate this salad, I used Quinoa instead of cous-cous because I had it on hand. I usually have cooked quinoa in my fridge at any given moment to use on salads, as a side dish, or to add protein to a meal as it is a “super food” full of good things for you! I then made a dressing including lemon juice, garlic, oregano, honey, and EVOO to top it all off.
Tips on Creating Salad Dressings
I stopped buying salad dressings at the store years ago. Making your own is so simple and much healthier for you knowing what ingredients are involved! Here are some tips for making your own dressing at home (including the one in this recipe).
Using a mason jar with a lid allows you to easily mix ingredients together and store the leftovers all in one. Shake Shake Shake and you are finished!
- Dressings are most always 3 parts oil to 1 part acid
- Acid: Fruit juice (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) or vinegar (white, red wine, champagne, apple cider, balsamic)
- Oil: EVOO (good for stronger vinaigrettes), Grapeseed oil, vegetable oil
- Additions: Honey (for sweetness), herbs (for flavor), minced shallots or garlic (for tang), mustard or egg yolk (to emulsify the dressing together), Salt and Pepper to taste ALWAYS!
My favorite go to dressing is a mixture of balsamic vinegar, dijian mustard, evoo, a touch of honey to cut the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Simple, elegant, and very tasty.
*Making more or less vinaigrette: Stick to a rough ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, and scale up or down accordingly. Smaller amounts are easily whisked together in a small bowl and poured immediately over the salad. Here is a great article sharing 6 Essential Salad Dressings that you can make at home.
Mediterranean Salad with Oregano Lemon Vinaigrette
- Romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- 1 can chick peas (rinsed and drained)
- Hand full of kalamata olives
- 1 cup colored peppers (yellow or orange) diced
- 1 cucumber diced
- 1 cup cooked shredded chicken
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup EVOO (give or take for consistency)
- 1/2 T dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the dressing add all ingredients into a mason jar, close lid and shake until combined. If mixing in a bowl, add all ingredients except the EVOO and whisk together. Slowly add in the EVOO as you whisk to emulsify the dressing.
- Top lettuce with other vegetables, chicken, feta cheese, quinoa and other ingredients. Toss with dressing
*To keep leftovers from wilting, only dress the amount of salad you will eat at the time. Save the remaining salad separate from the dressing and toss before serving.
If you enjoy this recipe, you will love these other recipes as well!
- Mediterranean Salad with Oregano Lemon Vinaigrette
- Salmon Salad with Orange and Tarragon
- Roasted Summer Vegetable Herb Bean Salad and Buttermilk Chicken
- Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad
- Rosemary Honey Mustard Chicken
- Green Bean and Potato Salad
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