Oven-roasted Greek Salad is a satisfying vegetarian dish

Linda Gassenheimer
Tribune News Service

Roasting a Greek salad? Yes. I tasted one made by my friend Wendy Kallergis at the St. Sophia Cathedral’s Greek Festival in Miami. In addition to tomatoes, feta cheese, oregano and thyme, it had sliced fennel, which melted into the dish.

I’ve adapted her recipe and added pistachio nuts to make this a complete vegetarian meal.

The recipe calls for a 10-by-7-inch casserole dish. You can use any roasting dish you have on hand. The ingredients should fit snugly in the dish.

Helpful Hints:

Broken walnuts can be used instead of pistachio nuts.

Panko breadcrumbs are a crisp, flaky type of breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs can be used.

Oven-roasted Greek Salad

2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use

1 medium-size fennel bulb, stems removed (about 2 cups sliced)

1/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

6 pitted black olives

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup shelled, unsalted, dry-roasted pistachio nuts

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 whole wheat pita breads cut in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce each cherry tomato with a sharp knife once. Set aside.

Slice fennel bulb in quarters and then thinly slice.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and add the fennel slices. Saute 5 minutes or until the slices soften. Spread the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a roasting pan (about 10 by 7 inches). Spread the fennel and tomatoes evenly in the pan. Roast in the oven 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and mix in breadcrumbs, thyme and oregano. Spread the olives, feta cheese and pistachios over the top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return pan to the oven for 5 minutes.

Serve with the pita bread on the side.

Yield: 2 servings.

Per serving: 541 calories (49% from fat), 29.7 g fat (7.1 g saturated, 13.2 g monounsaturated), 23 mg cholesterol, 18.9 g protein, 54.8 g carbohydrates, 9.6 g fiber, 707 mg sodium

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer