The other week, I had dinner at Kefi, the most casual of Michael Psilakis’ ever-growing roster of New York City restaurants. Something I always order there, in addition to the fantastic meze platter and the transformative halva chocolate mousse, is the Greek salad. Kefi’s salad is simple, yet perfectly balanced, the way a good Greek salad should be. There's a little more tang to the vinaigrette to balance out the mellow saltiness of the feta; crisp, crunchy veggies; and of course plenty of olives. Kefi’s version uses roasted red peppers instead of raw, and it also incorporates some shaved fennel, which I think makes it a standout. I attempted to recreate the salad on my own, and I think I got fairly close. (I left out the cucumbers, which my husband – a cucumber fanatic—would not approve of, but with the added fennel, I felt there was plenty going on.) Hope you enjoy it! —Merrill Stubbs
small red onion
red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 small lemon
salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
large fennel bulb, with fronds
roughly chopped Romaine (2/3 small head)
roughly chopped roasted red pepper
green olives, sliced
Kalamata olives, whole
In This Recipe
Thinly slice the onion and put the slices in a small bowl of cold water. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Taste and add more salt if you like, as well as a few grinds of pepper. Chop up about 1/4 of the feta and whisk into the dressing. Set aside.
Use a mandoline or a sharp knife to slice the fennel as thinly as possible, setting aside any nice fronds first. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of fennel when you're through.
Add the lettuce, fennel, red pepper, olives and red onion (squeezed dry) to a large bowl. Drizzle about half the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Crumble the rest of the feta over the top of the salad and toss just a couple of times to combine. Garnish the salad with the fennel fronds and serve immediately.