Greek Salad with Fried Leeks

Serves 4 to 6
I love its simplicity and the juxtaposition of the vegetables, cheese, olives, and stuffed grape leaves. The addition of fried shredded leeks had me returning weekly to my neighborhood restaurant where I discovered the idea. I serve it with Spinach Phyllo Pie (page 87) for a satisfying vegetarian meal.


  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts only, cut into 3-inch julienne
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced crosswise 1/3 inch thick
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 Romaine heart, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 6 ounces store-bought stuffed grape leaves, halved
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces Greek feta cheese


  1. Heat vegetable oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Fry leeks in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch, and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil. Add cucumber, tomatoes, and kalamata olives and toss to combine.
  3. Spread out Romaine on a large platter and cover with dressed vegetables. Top with grape leaves, chickpeas, leeks, and feta and serve.
cook's note
I love chickpeas plain in Greek salads, but fried chickpeas offer a whole new texture to enjoy. Also try them seasoned and fried to serve as a bar snack with drinks.

NUTSHELL RECIPE: spiced chickpea snack
Rinse and dry canned chickpeas and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a favorite spice like cumin or garam masala (see page 17). Spread on a baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes, until golden and slightly firm.
Need help with the ingredients? Check our pantry list: