Our lamb salad is loaded with Greek flavours and colourful vegetables. with our Tzatziki dressing adding a scrumptious creaminess to this dinner salad that is also very packable for your lunches.
What are Greek flavours?
No matter where you travel in Greece you will come across foods that epitomise Greek cuisine. These include olives, olive oil, oregano, garlic, lemons, Greek cheeses such as feta, yoghurt, lamb, goat, fresh fish and seafood, and honey.
Many Greeks prefer to cook with fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. In most areas in Greece, locals will buy their fresh fruits and veg from a weekly “Laiki” as opposed to a supermarket. It is a local farmers market where you will find fresh homegrown produce which in many cases is organic. Favourites are tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, salad greens (Horta), lettuce, cabbage, and the list goes on.
The Greek flavours in this salad are:
- Lamb – we have used lamb fillets because they are tender, cook quickly, and look good cut into rounds. You may use any cut of lamb you prefer and dice it up instead. This is also an excellent salad to make with leftovers from a lamb roast.
- Oregano, olive oil, and lemon – classic Greek flavourings used to marinate the meat and in the dressing. Try and find Greek oregano from Greek deli as it is so much more flavourful.
- Tomatoes – we have used Roma tomatoes because they are thicker skinned and hold up better in this salad. Any thick-skinned tomatoes would also be great, try whole cherry tomatoes or heirloom Black Russian tomatoes. If you plan on making and then eating this salad straight away, then any tomato variety will do.
- Tzatziki dressing made with Greek yoghurt, garlic, lemon and olive oil. This creamy, tangy dressing brings this salad together.
The other ingredients
- Romaine Lettuce – this is a sturdy leafy green that we have used as a base and to add bulk. Try kale, iceberg or arugula instead.
- Cucumbers- Persian or Lebanese for crunch and because they are seedless
- Yellow pepper – for sunny colour, crunch and sweetness feel free to use red bell peppers
- Mint – for its pleasant refreshing aroma try some dill if you prefer.
Additions & Variations to try
- Add some feta cheese and olives with a pure olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing instead.
- Use a balsamic glaze instead with some goats cheese or parmesan flakes.
- If you don’t like to eat lamb, you can use chicken tenderloins instead.
- Some red onions would go well in this salad as well but if you are going to use them add them just before serving as they well smell in your fridge.
How to make this salad
This is a layered style salad as opposed to a tossed salad with the dressing served on the side. I will usually allow people to help themselves to the salad and drizzle as much dressing as they like on top.
1MARINATE THE LAMB
Place the lamb strips in a container add the oil, zest, oregano and season with some sea salt and cracked back pepper.
Keep covered while you prepare the vegetables for the salad. Just keep them in a cool place but not in the fridge as adding cold fillets to a hot pan lowers the temperature in the pan and you will not be able to get a good sear on the fillets.
2PREPARE THE VEGETABLES
Wash all the vegetables and pat dry with a clean towel.
Cut off the lettuce core and remove any damaged outer leaves then shred. Place on the bottom of your salad bowl.
Remove the tomato core and bottoms, slice in half lengthwise, then slice horizontally into half-moons. Arrange on top of the lettuce and season with a sprinkling of salt.
Trim the tops and bottoms of the cucumber and cut into rounds then place on top of the tomatoes.
Slice your peppers in half, remove the core and seeds, cut it in half again and slice into small 1 inch strips. Add to your bowl.
3COOK LAMB TO YOUR LIKING
Preheat a non-stick, frypan on medium to high heat.
Take your lamb strips out of the fridge, and add to your hot pan. Heat a non-stick pan on medium to high heat. Sear on each side for approximately 3 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the hot pan; the lamb absorbs the lemon flavour better this way. Remove to a plate and allow to rest for five minutes.
4MAKE THE DRESSING
Add all dressing ingredients to a blender, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Blitz to combine, taste and adjust seasonings according to your preferences.
5ASSEMBLE THE LAMB SALAD
Slice your lamb into rounds and place on top of the peppers, add the mint leaves on top, keep your salad chilled until you are ready to serve with the dressing on the side. Great with warm pita bread.
Make-ahead tips and meal prep for lunches
- This salad can be made a day ahead and kept covered in your fridge without the dressing.
- Make the dressing 4-5 days in advance and keep covered in a container in the fridge. Keep it in the cooler part of your refrigerator and not in the door.
- An ideal salad for weekday lunches as it made with sturdy ingredients and is very satisfying. Make up the salad in individual containers with the dressing in a separate container to pour over the salad just before eating.
Looking for more Dinner Salad Ideas?
(Times are an estimate and will depend on your skill level)
- Salad Spinner
- Non-stick frypan
- Small Food Processor or High-Speed / Bullet Blender
- 500 grams lamb fillets
- 1 tsp oregano
- Zest & juice from 1 lemon
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- ½ cos/romaine lettuce (approximately 350 grams)
- 3 Roma tomatoes (approximately 400 grams)
- 1 Lebanese cucumber (approximately 150 grams)
- 1 yellow pepper/capsicum (approximately 180 grams)
- ¼ cup mint leaves (washed and dried for a garnish)
- 1 cup tzatziki
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsps lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon