Tall Greek Tomato Salad

A fun and elegant way to serve a traditional Greek salad, piled high in a sculptural form with tomatoes, cucumber, feta, red onion, fresh oregano, and assorted olives in a lemon olive-oil dressing. I served this with lamb burgers with feta (another fabulous recipe from Jacques Pépin!). To serve, I held on to the tower and using a serrated knife and cut down the middle, turned 90-degrees and cut again.


5 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

4 tomatoes with stems attached
1 cucumber, unpeeled, cut into 1/4" thick rounds
8 slices red onion, 1/8" thick
Fleur de sel (I used regular salt)
4 oz. feta, cut into 1/4" slices, about same diameter as tomato (cut off square edges to try and make it roundish)
Mixture of about 24 olives (black oil-cured, kalamata, etc.)
2 T. fresh oregano (garnish)

Cut around the stem of the tomato so you can use it as a cap at the top; alternatively, you can cut out the stem and use a sprig of fresh oregano to stick out of the top. Cut a narrow slice from the base of the tomato so it will sit flat. Cut each tomato horizontally into 5 equal slices.

Place the bottom slice from each tomato in the center of four salad plates. Cover each slice with some of the cucumber slices and a slice of onion with a sprinkling of salt and a small spoonful of dressing. Put the second tomato slice on top and cover with feta slices and spoon a little of the dressing over the cheese. Add the third slice of tomato and top with cucumber slices, onion, and a little of the dressing. Add the fourth tomato slice and top with feta and a little dressing. Finally, add the last tomato slice.

Sprinkle the olives and some feta crumbles and any leftover cucumber on the bottom of the plate around the cucumber "tower" and a bit of salt and fresh oregano leaves. Drizzle dressing over the tomato tower, and around the plate and serve.

– Jacques Pépin, "More Fast Food My Way"