Greek Style Salad
What is a Greek Salad?
A Greek Salad is a salad that is part of the Greek Cuisine. Usually, it comprises of tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, some feta cheese and fresh herbs usually oregano. It is also known as a Farmer’s Salad as he/she would have the ingredients at hand. A good healthy salad can be enjoyed as breakfast or as light lunch. These days it common to find variations of this salad where bell peppers, capers, fruits are added.
My Greek Style Salad
During the hot season, (okay I know its always hot in Mombasa), I hate spending time in the sweltering kitchen cooking elaborate meals. Sometimes even a simple meal of roti and sabji (veg side dish) becomes a task to cook. Its during these hot days that I love to create salads that are not only filling, nutritious and healthy but also colorful, full of flavors and a feast for the eyes. I like to keep red beans, chickpeas, and sweet corn ready in the fridge for quick salads.
The salad recipe I’m going share in a few moments is Greek Style and not a Greek Salad, as I took the liberty of adding cooked chickpeas, pomegranate and lettuce leaves. To go with it I made some Greek Yogurt Salad Dressing as yogurt has a cooling effect and is ideal for hot summer days.
Some other summer time salads to enjoy
- Watermelon and Halloumi Salad, a cooling and filling salad with basil and zaatar.
- Summer Salad, named so as its got all the summer fruits pomelo, dragon fruit and mango with a simple lime chilli dressing.
- Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad, the couscous is filling, with cooling cucumber, tomatoes, freshness of mint and feta cheese.
- Have you tried a salad with rice? Black Rice Salad is not only refreshing and cooling but the rice adds an amazing nuttiness to the overall taste.
- Summers are incomplete without my all time favorite Sprouted Moong Salad. I love adding whatever fruit I have in my fridge right from pineapple to watermelon.
- Another cooling and refreshing salad that I love making whenever I get those sweet oranges from Voi is a Cucumber and Orange Salad.
- Summer time means berries and what better salad to enjoy than a Strawberry Green Bean Salad with a delicious Poppy Seed and Orange Dressing.
Salads and Me
Salads always evoke childhood memories for me. I grew up in a huge and I mean a huge family. At any given time we were 12 people in the house and over weekends even more as my aunt’s family would come down. At a very young age, I had to help my mum in kitchen as she had to prepare food for all of us. That’s when I learnt how to prepare a simple salad of carrot, tomato, cucumber and lettuce. I learnt to hold a knife and chop vegetables when I was just 8. By the time I was 12-13, I learnt to venture out of my comfort zone, read up recipe books and experimented with different kinds of salads. With a huge family there were always takers for whatever I mixed together. As a result, I cannot enjoy a simple salad of just a few slices of cucumber or tomato on its own. I love my salads to have a fruit, some seeds, sometimes dry fruits, herbs, lemon or vinegar to make it fun to eat.
- For a vegan friendly salad, omit feta cheese and use a vegan yogurt.
- This salad is gluten free.
- For a Satvik friendly salad, omit onion and garlic. Also avoid feta if you don’t have a vegetarian one.
Let’s get down to making this easy and yummy salad.
GREEK STYLE SALAD
Serves 2 as a light meal
1 cup boiled chickpeas
1 cup diced cucumber
1 medium tomato, diced or 8-10 cherry tomatoes
½ of a small onion, diced
½ cup feta cubes or crumbled
¼ cup pomegranate arils
¼ cup sliced olives of your choice
2 tbsp lightly roasted pinenuts
some lettuce leaves
10 -12 fresh mint leaves or any fresh herb of your choice
GREEK YOGURT SALAD DRESSING
1 cup Greek yogurt
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
6-8 fresh mint leaves, chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper powder
Preparation of the Salad:
- Tear the lettuce leaves into bite size pieces.
- Mix all the ingredients for the salad in a bowl.
Preparation of the dressing:
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Keep the dressing in the fridge to allow it to cool.
- Mix the salad and dressing. Serve immediately.
- Or serve the salad with the dressing on the side.
- Add a fruit of your choice, like grapes, pomelo, berries etc.
- Add nuts of your choice instead of pine nuts.
- If you don’t get Greek yogurt, then use plain yogurt. Strain in a cheesecloth to remove excess water (whey).
- If you use small lemons that are available in India or Kenya, use less of the lemon juice as its more sour than the big Meyer or Sorrento type lemons.
- This salad makes a great party or picnic salad.
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