Today's recipe is a summertime favorite, but can be enjoyed all year round, without the sweat and mosquitoes. I got this recipe from Nigella Lawson's book Forever Summer. I spare you all of her commentary and vague directions, and give you the "meat" of this salad recipe.
Warning: This recipe requires some advance work (at least two hours ahead of eating time).
1 red onion
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. granulated sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 very large head of romaine lettuce
1 bulb fennel (I don't always use this; it has a slight licorice taste. If you've never bought fennel, it looks like a giant, thick bunch of celery)
4 oz. pitted black olives
14 oz. feta cheese (cut or crumbled)
juice of half a lemon
Peel and finely slice red onion. Sprinkle over the oregano and some black pepper. Pour in the vinegar and oil and toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to steep for at least two hours (I sometimes do this in the morning to serve that night).
At eating time, cut the tomatoes into quarters, then quarters again. Sprinkle the sugar and sea salt over the tomatoes and set aside. Into a large bowl, wash and tear the lettuce. Add sliced fennel, olives and feta and toss well. Add the tomatoes, onion with its oil marinade and the lemon juice. (Note: I never put all of the marinade into the salad, as it would make the salad very greasy. Add the marinade slowly and eyeball it to your taste so you don't drown the salad.) Toss well.