Greek Salad with Crispy Feta Croutons (Veg)
This Greek Salad with Crispy Feta Croutons will change your life. More specifically the Crispy Feta Croutons. This recipe originally came from a Bobby Flay cookbook called Bobby at Home. We tried it once and then became obsessed with it. The whole recipe is from his cookbook but we then adapted it to gluten free which is very easy. Majority of the ingredients are already gluten free, so it was mainly just using gluten free flour and panko style bread crumbs for the crispy feta croutons.
The rest of the salad is actually really great on its own. You could use the Red Wine Vinaigrette as a dressing in so many other salads and dishes, you don’t just have to use it for this one. The ingredients in the salad, such as all of the vegetables also make a great salad on their own. We omitted the pitted kalamata olives because neither of us like olives. But they are classic in a greek salad and many people do like them. Marinating the onions in the Red Wine Vinaigrette is a key element to this salad. I don’t know the science behind it, but the vinegar and lemon juice I think breaks down the onions a bit. Then you don’t get that really strong raw red onion flavour.
Crispy Feta Croutons
The crispy feta croutons in my opinion are what makes this salad. They remind me of mozzarella sticks (not that I have had those in many, many years). They are crispy on the outside, as per the name suggests and gooey in the middle. When you think of feta cheese, you imagine it being crumbly. At least, that what I think of. However, when you buy it in a block an cube it, it’s a lot less crumby. Then when you coat it and pan fry it in a bit of oil, the feta becomes gooey and stringy similar to mozzarella cheese. Something I never expected of feta cheese.
The trick to making the crispy feta croutons is cutting the feta small enough. It Bobby Flay’s original recipe is says to cut the feta into 1-inch cubes. However, when we tried this they feta cubes were way too big. So we have said to cut them into 1/2-inch cubes instead. Once all of the flour, egg wash and bread crumbs are on the feta, they grow a bit. Having smaller cubes also cuts down on the cooking time.
Follow our instructions of using forks while you are dredging the feta cubes. When we first did this recipe we tried a “dry hand, wet hand” method. It did not work at all. Forks allow you to move the feta through each steps without contaminating the next bowl with the previous ingredient. It is a lot cleaner in the end and the cubes get fully coated without mixing up the flour, eggs and bread crumbs.
So let us know if you try out the Greek Salad with Crispy Feta Croutons. It is gluten free (as always) and vegetarian since it has no meat in it. If you’re looking for more ideas for sides to accompany a main dish, check out our Gluten Free Naan with Garlic or our Mini Smashed Potatoes.
|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Cook Time||20 minutes|
|Passive Time||30 minutes|
- 1 medium red onion halved, sliced
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 english cucumber halved, sliced
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives optional (we didn't use them)
- 1 cup Italian or flat lead parsley roughly chopped
- 1 head romaine heart chopped
- red wine vinaigrette recipe down below
- feta croutons recipe down below
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 block Greek feta cheese
- 1 cup Gluten Free Flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free panic bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
Red Wine Vinaigrette
Crispy Feta Croutons
- In a small bowl blend together canola oil and olive oil. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, lemon. juice, honey, oregano, salt and pepper, until the salt has dissolved.
- Continue to whisk the ingredients in the medium bowl. Take your small bowl of blended oils and drizzle it into the medium bowl while continuing to whisk until emulsified.
- Red Wine Vinaigrette can be made up to 1 day in advance. Make sure to refrigerate it in an air tight container or jar.
- Wash and dry all your produce.
- Half and thinly slice the red onion. Half and cut the cucumber into 1 inch pieces. Half cherry tomatoes. Take your romaine heart and cut across into 1 inch sections. Roughly chop parsley.
- Put the sliced onions into the medium bowl with the red wine vinaigrette making sure the coat them completely. Set aside for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- In a large bowl mix together, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, olives (if using), parsley and romaine lettuce. When onions have finished marinating in the vinaigrette, add them to the bowl and toss to coat all the vegetables.
- Take your feta block and cut it into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Put your gluten free flour (we use Newton's No Gluten All Purpose Flour) in a small to medium sized bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
- In another small bowl whisk together 2 eggs and 2 tsps of water.
- In a second medium bowl place the panko bread crumbs (we use Kinnikinnick Panko Style Bread Crumbs. See notes at the end if you can't find gf panko),
- First dredge the cubed feta pieces into the flour. It is easiest to put a few pieces into the flour and use a fork to move them around. Using the same fork lift them up and tap the excess flour off.
- Place the flour covered feta piece a few at a time into the egg mixture. Using a second fork coat the feta in the egg, lift the pieces on the fork letting the excess egg drip off.
- Lastly, place the feta pieces into the gluten free panko. Use a third fork to roll around and coat the feta until all sides have a layer of panko. Then, transfer the covered pieces onto a plate or cutting board.
- Repeat steps 5-7 until all of the feta has been coated in flour, egg wash and panko.
- Heat a medium sized pan or skillet over medium heat and add in 1 cup of canola or vegetable oil. Meanwhile, line a plate of baking sheet with paper towel.
- Once the oil has come up to heat (simmering), you can start adding the feta pieces in batches. Do not over crowd the pan because it will make the oil drop in temperature. The oil should come up halfway on the feta pieces not submerge them.
- Cook the feta pieces 1 minute and then flip and cook on the second side for 1 minute, or until both sides are golden brown.
- Remove the cooked feta and place on the paper towel. Continue cooking the remaining feta until all the pieces are done.
- Transfer the salad to a serving platter. Top the salad with the warm Crispy Feta Croutons. Serve Immediately.
*If you can't find gluten free pink style bread crumbs. Take old stale gluten free crackers and put them into a food processor. They won't be as good as the panko we mentioned but they will do the job. Just make sure they are processed super finely because if you have bit pieces, it will make the croutons too bulky and absorb the oil when cooking.*