Like most recipes of this type, it also lends itself to just about endless variation. The traditional Greek way is simply greens, eggs, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, with a generous helping of olive oil and wine vinegar dressing.
But there’s nothing that says you can’t make all kinds of substitutions and additions.
For example, my husband usually uses regular salad greens. But I love beet greens, so I often opt to steam and serve them with this salad instead of the more typical romaine or green or red lettuce. In the wintertime, this is definitely my preferred version.
Spinach would also be a very nice alternative.
I also sometimes use diced sweet potatoes instead of, or in addition to, the tomatoes and cucumbers. And you can easily add other salad makings, such as carrots, celery, or just about anything that suits your fancy.
Regardless of the exact ingredients, it’s still a terrific, simple, and nutrient packed meal.
When the time comes, I heat the dish for about 40-60 seconds in the microwave – just enough to warm it - and then dress it and mix everything together just before eating.
I use a simple room temperature or warm balsamic vinaigrette dressing for this salad, but I also think a Dijon mustard dressing would be a terrific accompaniment alternative. And my husband makes a fabulous wine vinegar dressing that’s also yummy with this salad.
It’s just a terrific, wholesome and versatile, yet simple and satisfying meal option.
Here’s the recipe:
Makes approximately 6 servings
Total Prep Time – 5-10 minutes
Total Start to Finish Time – 60 minutes
(or 20 minutes, if you’ve precooked the ingredients)
Total Recipe Cost – approximately $9
Total per person meal cost – approximately $1.50
12 small potatoes
1-2 cans whole or sliced beets
2-3 bunches of fresh beets with greens
1 medium onion
2 large sweet potatoes (optional)
6-8 large leaves of romaine, green, or red lettuce
4-8 cups of greens of your choice
2-4 medium tomatoes (optional)
1-2 medium cucumbers (optional)
Dressing (recipe below)
- Wash and peel or scrub the potatoes.
- Wash and scrub or peel the sweet potatoes if you’re using them. Cut them in half so they approximately match the size of the regular potatoes.
- If you’re using fresh beets, cut the greens off and set them aside.
- Scrub the beets.
- Put the potatoes, beets,and sweet potatoes in one medium to large pan and cover them with water. Cover the pan and place it over high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and allow the potatoes and beets to cook for about 30-45 minutes or until you can pierce them easily with a fork. The beets will be firmer than the potatoes. NOTE: You can also cook these vegetables in a pressure cooker or instant pot in about 10-15 minutes to speed up the process. Or cook them ahead of time.
- Meanwhile, cover the eggs with cold water in a covered pan and bring them to a boil over high heat. Once they are boiling, turn the heat down to medium and allow them to simmer for 7 minutes. Set a timer so you don’t forget. When the timer goes off, remove the pan from the heat, drain the hot water, and then run cold water over the eggs to cool them just enough to handle. Peel the eggs and set them aside.
- Meanwhile, hold the beet greens in a bunch and cut across them to make strips. If desired, continue by cutting across the strips to make rectangular pieces. Cut the stems into approximately 1-inch pieces. Put the greens in a large bowl and fill it with water. Swish the greens around gently to loosen any garden residue. Scoop the greens out into a colander. Empty and rinse the bowl, and repeat the washing 1-2 more times, as needed.
- Place the washed beet greens in a steamer basket over about ¾-inch of water in a covered pan. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking/steaming the greens for about 10 minutes, until the stems are firm-tender and the greens are tender. Remove from the heat.
- Wash the salad greens the same way, if you’re using them, give them several good shakes to get rid of excess water, and leave them to drain in the colander while you continue with the meal prep.
- When the beets and sweet and regular potatoes are done, remove them from the heat and drain them (you can combine and reserve the liquid to make vegetable broth for soup). If you did not do so before cooking them, peel the sweet potatoes with a knife now (the peel will come off very easily). Leave the peel for the regular potatoes.
- Cut the sweet and regular potatoes into pieces about ¾-inch in size. Set them aside.
- Cut the ends of the beets and peel them by rubbing your hands firmly over the beet- the peel will slide off easily. Cut the beets into pieces about ½-inch in size. Or cut up the canned beets, if you’re using them instead. Set them aside.
- Cut the ends off the onion and peel it. Dice the onions quite fine. Set them aside.
- Wash the tomatoes and cucumbers and dice them, if you’re using them. Set them aside.
- Cut the peeled eggs into eighths and set them aside.
Put the salad together
Individual bowls or plates work best for this.
- First, put a generous portion of regular salad greens or the steamed beet greens on the bottom or to the side of the bowl. Follow that with a handful each of potatoes and sweet potatoes. Top that with the optional onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and any other salad makings you're using.
- Finish with the cut-up eggs.
- Salt and pepper the salad
- Proceed to dress only those portions of the salad you are going to eat immediately.
12 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar per serving
12 tablespoons of red wine vinegar per serving
12 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per serving
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
½ teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
- Measure out all ingredients into a bottle or jar or other container with a secure lid.
- Shake to blend well.
- When you are ready to serve the salad, pour about 2 tablespoons over each bowl or portion.
- Toss and mix the salad gently with a large spoon to thoroughly distribute the dressing. Or put a lid on the bowl or container and shake it gently to completely coat everything with dressing.
Serve the salad with a portion of whole grain bread for a delicious, satisfying meal.