Tarpon Spring Greek Salad with Potatoes

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A couple of weeks ago, I was delighted to serve dinner for a group of Greensboro Symphony supporters. The Fresh Market and Mod Meals on Mendenhall have paired up over the last several years to support the Greensboro Symphony through a collaborative auction item. It’s been fun getting to know symphony supporters who also love good food while The Fresh Market has been kind enough to provide top quality groceries. I’ve curated and prepared menus for some really fun crowds.

This summer, we went Greek with a simple meal of grilled lamb and chicken, fresh salads and easy ice cream sundaes. I was excited to share a family favorite – Tarpon Springs Greek Salad – which is basically delicious potato salad hidden under a bed of fresh lettuce and vegetables. It’s a beautiful crowd pleasing side dish that can serve as a salad and starch. While the dressing has a lot of ingredients, its so worth it!

Symphony Auction Winner Greek Dinner Menu 

  • Greek Mezze Platter
  • Grilled Chicken & Lamb Souvlaki Skewers
  • Grilled Pita
  • Greek Salad with Potatoes
  • Watermelon & Feta Salad.
  • Baklava Ice Cream Sundaes

Greek Potato Salad

Potato Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 or so pounds of Idaho potatoes
  • 1/2 large sweet onion
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • mayo

Assembly: Bring a large pot of very salty water to a roaring boil. Meanwhile, using a mandolin, cut uncooked potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) into 1/4 inch slices. Additionally slice the sweet onion on the lowest setting on the mandolin – I used 1/16 inch. Once the water is boiling, add the potato slices and monitor like a hawk. Once the potatoes are just tender (the water temperature lowered for me and I had to check the taters about every 3 minutes). Once tender, drain the potatoes and add the onions (the heat of the potatoes will slightly cook the onions). Dress generously with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. You want to taste to make sure they are seasoned will with both vinegar and salt. Refrigerate until cold. Once the potato salad is chilled well, add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of mayo. Don’t over do this – it is just to make them creamy not to add any flavor.

Greek Salad, suggested ingredients! 

  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 1/2 lb whole, trimmed bulbs of fennel, sliced thin
  • 1 red or orange pepper, sliced
  • 24 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 lb English cucumber, peeled, halved, seeds scooped out, and thickly sliced
  • 8 whole scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup small picked sprigs of dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup small picked sprigs of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dry Greek oregano
  • a handful of  mixed green and black olives, brined and/or oil-cured, pitted and halved
  • 3/4 cup red wine and feta vinaigrette (see below)
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 pepperoncini (pickled yellow peppers), sliced
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper

With a base of potato salad, layer the salad ingredients on top in any which way you’d like. Top with Red Wine and Feta Vinaigrette!

RED WINE AND FETA VINAIGRETTE RECIPE, from How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis

 

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 small onion, sliced and grilled until tender
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 shallots, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried Greek (yes, Greek) oregano, or less to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, onion, basil, thyme, feta, mustard, garlic, shallots, oregano, salt, and pepper in a in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until smooth and silky. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. You can use the vinaigrette immediately or set it aside for an hour or so, stirring to recombine just before using.

 

3 comments

  1. Wow! Does this bring back memories….I graduated from Tarpon Springs High School….let’s just say a very long time ago. This recipe originated as far as I know from a local restaurant called Pappas’. It had been a hole in the wall place across from the docks then opened an enormous architecture prize winning building. Apparently the new building was too much to take on and the restaurant ran into financial troubles and had to close. I think there is a spin off of it still in the area serving only take out.

    It was my favorite place and knowing that my now husband took me there for dinner on one of our visits back to the area. He had planned to propose on the docks surrounding the building that night but was so nervous he was afraid he would drop the ring in the water so he proposed in the Pappas’ parking lot.

    We have a 30th anniversary coming up. I will have to give this a try. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

    • Hi Kim! It’s so good to hear from you. Glad this popped up in your feed somehow. My family is from Tarpon Springs! My grandmother’s maiden name was Tarapani – if you know the department store downtown. I know Pappas’ well! This recipe isnt exact, but it;s a fun spin on the classic. Where do you live now?

      • Oh I am a long time subscriber to your blog….just my first post. I live in Greensboro, in New Irving Park actually…..17 years, which is hard for me to believe.

        My family moved to Palm Harbor, (Westlake Village), when I was a senior in high school. I had lived in NC most of my life before that…..born at Cone Hospital…..I think 4th generation Greensboro. My parents went to Bessemer School 1st – 12th grade (It was on the spot Erwin Montessori is now.)

        Anyway back to Tarpon Springs,,,I went to high school at TSHS my senior year only. It was a funny environment ….a public school which was more than half Greek Orthodox. Interesting change coming from Charlotte Mecklenburg schools. There were lots of Greek names I never managed to learn to pronounce and unfortunately because I was only there one year I don’t really have very strong connections. I keep up with a couple of people through FB. I enjoyed the food (reminds me I need to get over to the Greek Festival today.) and went to the Epiphany Celebration which was an absolute blast. It was fun but my family moved away while I was in college…probably couldn’t find my way around if I had to!

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