Tag Archive for Red onion

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad is another recipe from Olives, Lemon and Za’atar. This is definitely a dish that is right up my alley! It’s a great compliment to any piece of chicken or lamb. Lay off the onions if you don’t like them…it won’t mess too much with the overall flavor of the dish. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min.


1 pound of feta cheese, cut into 1/2 in. cubes (please splurge on GOOD feta for this)

8 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 c. fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons or to taste

Sea salt to taste

1 smal red onion, sliced into thin rings, optional

Preparing Feta Cheese Salad:

In a medium serving bowl, combine the feta and tomatoes with oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir in oil, lemon juice and salt. Gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust the lemon juice, oil and salt to taste. 

Feta Cheese Salad

Important Tips:

If you are buying crumbled feta in a plastic container, make another dish. In order for this to be as good as it is supposed to be, you really need some GOOD QUALITY feta! It’s worth it. I promise. 

Meal Ideas:

The options for feta cheese salad are endless. A few of my favorite ideas are 1) as a side dish to chicken kabobs 2) in a piece of warm pita bread 3) over lettuce to make a more “traditional” salad and topped with chicken kabobs…this is actually the best way, in my opinion!


Kale Citrus Salad

For the holidays, I typically make a salad that has craisins, glazed pecans and feta cheese with a champagne vinaigrette. This year, however, I wanted to do something different. I found this recipe in the Thanksgiving 2014 issue of Southern Living and thought I’d give it a try. I thought it was fantastic, but I love every ingredient in this salad. If you aren’t a red onion fan, use less than what the recipe calls for. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 20 minutes


3 large oranges

2 Ruby Red Grapefruit

3 T. orange juice

2 T. white wine vinegar

2 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1 5 oz. package baby kale

1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


Preparing Kale Citrus Salad:

1. Peel oranges and grapefruit; cut away bitter white pith. Cut each orange into 1/4 in. thick rounds. Holding 1 peeled grapefruit in the palm of your hand, slice between membranes and gently remove whole segments. Repeat with remaining grapefruit.

2. Whisk together orange juice and next 6 ingredients. Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Toss together kale, onion and 1/2 c. dressing in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top salad with citrus and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with remaining dressing. 

Kale Citrus Salad

Meal Ideas:

This salad is such a great compliment to any meal. However, if you add a simple piece of grilled chicken or salmon, it would be a great meal all on its own!

Got Leftovers?:

Not everyone likes leftover salad. However, the kale doesn’t wilt like typical lettuce does. I thought it was fantastic the next day! 

Middle Eastern Salad

Middle Eastern Salad

As I mentioned in a very early post, I am half Middle Eastern. I am sure that is why I love garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and such. As many of you who frequent the mall food court know, Hovan makes a great side salad. Many years ago, I tried to recreate it and didn’t do a bad job at it if I do say so myself! It’s very easy to make it your own and add more or less of certain ingredients depending on your tastes.

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 15 minutes. Chill time: At least 30 minutes


For the Salad (these are ideas, use them all or just some):

Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Feta Cheese, Crumbled
Small or mini cucumbers, quartered
Parsley, chopped
Fresh mint, chopped
Red onion, sliced
Chick peas, drained
Kalamata Olives, drained

For the Dressing:

Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 T. Olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano

Preparing Middle Eastern Salad:

For the salad: Combine desired quantities of chosen ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

For the dressing: Combine all ingredients together in bowl and whisk together.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Middle Eastern Salad

Important Tips:

Most of the time, we will suggest adding “salt and pepper to taste”. However, with this dish, you need to remember that feta cheese and Kalamata olives are quite salty. If you want to add salt, do so after all of the flavors have blended together for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, you might ruin the dish.


You can certainly eat this as a side dish by itself. I chose to put it in some radicchio for lunch one day to make it more of a “lettuce based salad”. You can also add a piece of grilled chicken to it and some nicely crisp green lettuce if you like. You really can’t go wrong. Make it your own!

Middle Eastern Salad

Awesome Appetizer Idea – Zucchini Flatbread with Boursin Cheese

I made this zucchini flatbread with Boursin cheese for a party a couple of years ago and it was loved by all. It’s something about the cheese that makes this addicting. I found it in Bon Apetite magazine. If you are a moderately skilled home cook, you should get a subscription to Bon Apetite! It also makes a great gift for the cook in your life.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 20 min; Cook Time -25 min


1 portion of pizza dough (fresh in the bakery section of your grocery store or in the refrigerated section)

1 package of boursin cheese (recipe called for Alouette which is also great, I just prefer Boursin)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese  – really need to use a microplane for this so that it is nice and fluffy.

3T chopped fresh parsley

1 small red onion – emphasis on the small, I’ll explain why below

1 zucchini/squash – sliced in rings very thinly

Olive oil

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


Pizza cutter

How to make the zucchini flatbread:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Dust your counter top with some flour. Roll out dough until relatively thin and big. Try to roll into a rectangular shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s supposed to be a bit rustic.

NOTE: For these pictures, our power went out (while I had guests over, ughh!) Check out our post on improvisation in a situation like this. Anyway, the pictures are dark and I had to roll more circular because I had to cook it on the grill and my pizza stone is round)

boursin vs alouette

Told you it was dark – the lights went out!

Once rolled out, spread half of the Boursin on half of the dough. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the parmesan on the same half of the dough. Sprinkle some of the parsley.

Now for the fun part, fold over the dough onto the half with the cheese. Be gentle. You don’t need to seal the edges and don’t push down on it. You’ll want it to be a bit on the fluffy side when it cooks.

cheesy flatbread appetizer

zucchini flatbread

You’ll need to transfer the dough at this point to your baking sheet. If you want, you could have rolled the dough out on the parchment paper, but that annoys me because it slides all around. So, I do it directly on a floured counter top. Anyway, to move it, use your rolling pin and gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin, move to the baking sheet and unroll back onto the sheet.

awesome appetizer idea


ideas with zucchini

boursin cheese recipe

Since I had to place this on a pizza stone instead of a baking sheet, it was a little big. I just cut the corner off and baked it separately.

Top with Boursin and Parmesan again.

appetizer with boursin cheese

For the onion, you want a small onion because you are going to try and have perfectly round slivers of onion that you will overlap to create a nice row of onion on the flatbread. The problem is that most grocery stores just have the giant red onions. So, if you find a small onion, remove about 1/2 inch of the outer rings of the onion and slice super thin. If you cannot find a small onion, then we’ll continue with the “rustic” look by making small slivers of onion that we will still put in a row just not perfect rings.

Arrange a row of the zucchini along one side of the dough, overlapping slightly. Then make a second row of the onion. Back to the zucchini and repeat with the onion, etc until the dough is covered.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

zucchini and alouette flatbread

Notice, I did not find a small red onion so I have less than perfect rings but doesn’t it look ‘rustic’?!


flatbread appetizer recipe

Cooking on the grill due to our power outage

Bake for about 25 minutes until edges are a golden brown. Sprinkle with a bit more parsley, cut into squares and serve.

flatbread hors d'ouevre idea

Yay! Power came back on so I ended up finishing in the oven as the grill was taking too long.


Change the toppings to whatever you like. The zucchini is great because it is colorful and very mild in flavor. If you don’t like zucchini, I’d be shocked if you did not like it on this. However, I’ve also added tomatoes, just seed them a bit so that they don’t make the bread soggy.

Tomato Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

This tomato cucumber and red onion salad is a great compliment to just about any spring or summer menu. I often see this dish served with grilled meat since it’s light and fresh! The recipe can be found in Chef Scott Peacock’s book The Gift of Southern Cooking. You might not be familiar with the name “Chef Scott,” but I’m sure you Atlantans are familiar with some of the restaurants he has cooked in…Horseradish Grill and Watershed. If you don’t already have this book, you really should get it. You will not be disappointed! There are great recipes in there that I’m sure will become staples in your household!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Chill Time – 30 minutes


1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch wedges

4 kirby cucumbers, peeled and sliced into 1/3 inch rounds

3 large vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch wedges

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for soaking onion

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3/4 c. cider vinegar

6 T. granulated sugar

2 T. vegetable oil

1 T. finely snipped parsley

Preparing Tomato Cucumber and Red Onion Salad:

Soak the red onion wedges in a small bowl of salted ice water for 20 minutes. Drain well.

Put the chilled onion wedges, sliced cucumbers, and tomato wedges in a large bowl and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk together in a small bowl the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and vegetable oil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Toss the salad well and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Taste carefully for seasoning, adjusting as needed, and add the snipped parsley before serving.

Tomato cucumber onion salad

Important Tips:

Soaking the onions first in salted water makes them milder. A tip from Chef Scott himself!

How to Pickle an Onion

how to pickle an onion

Pickled onions are awesome! They have so many uses and elevate any dish in which you use them. I like to add them as a topping for tacos, salads, and just about any braised meat leftovers on a sandwich (pork shoulder, brisket, short ribs, pot roast, etc.). They are also super easy to make and will be the talk of the dish. Even people who don’t like onions, like these!!
To make them, thinly slice a red onion. In a small pot, heat about 1 cup of red wine vinegar, 1T salt and ¼ cup of sugar until the salt and sugar dissolve and the vinegar is hot. Remove from heat and add the onions. You may need to push them down until they are all covered in the vinegar. I usually place something heavy on top to keep them submerged.
pickled red onionLet them sit there for a 2-4 hours and they will be pickled. You can see how much they will ‘cook’ with the warm liquid and the pickling process.
How to pickle an onion
You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week.

Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic and Warm Bacon Dressing

Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing, blue cheese and red onion

Before my husband and I had kids, we would make dinner together on Sunday nights. We would try something new every week and most of the dishes were a little labor intensive since we had the time to spare! Oh those were the days! This Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic and Warm Bacon Dressing is part of the last meal we actually made together! I found it years ago in Bon Appetite.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 45 min


1/4 cup plus 3 T. olive oil
1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves (about 12 large ones)
4 bacon slices, chopped
1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
2 T. minced shallots
1 T. dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. light molasses
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon or 3/4 tsp. dried
1 1/2 6 oz. packages ready to use baby spinach leaves
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preparing Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic and Warm Bacon Dressing:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup oil and garlic in a small baking dish. Cover with foil; bake until garlic is very tender, about 45 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to work surface and finely chop. Transfer garlic to medium bowl. Reserve roasted garlic oil.

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Pour drippings into medium bowl. Add vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey, molasses and tarragon. Whisk to blend. Add roasted garlic, garlic oil, bacon and remaining 3 T. olive oil and whisk to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Place spinach, sliced onion and blue cheese in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Serve.

Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing, blue cheese and red onion