THEME: #212 SALAD STORIES
Salads, what are salads? Salads are a combination of ingredients put together like grains, vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts,seeds. Vegetables and fruits are usually cut into small pieces, grained used are cooked, meats are usually boiled or roasted and nuts and seeds are either added raw or roasted lightly.
A salad is usually enjoyed as a starter, as a light meal or with a main dish. Its the best way to eat your daily required vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If a salad is consumed as a meal then its necessary to get your protein, carbs and good fat included in it.
The more colorful a salad is the more tempting and attractive it is, making it a meal or side dish that even kids would love to have. I know of many adults too who say no to salads.
Personally, I’m a big fan of salads. Give me a bowlful and I’m happy. However, the ingredients especially the fruits and vegetables have to be crisp and crunchy. The worst thing one can serve in a salad is wilted vegetables and fruits.
My favorite kind of salads are the ones with cheese in them. Words on the menu like mozzarella, feta, cheddar, goat cheese all pop up for me. So no wonder when Narmadha who blogs at Nam’s Corner suggested salads as our next theme I immediately knew the salad I was going to make. You’ve got to check her blog out for some exciting recipes like her Bourbon biscuits and dosa pizza.
I had a large collection of salt recipes on my blog but what was missing is a Greek Salad. Greek Salad or as its commonly called in Greece Horiatiki Salad, is a basic refreshing combination of fresh, tangy and crispy ingredients. Its a very simple salad to put together and its the yummiest. I hear that the feta cheese we get everywhere outside Greece is not the type they have there. Its suppose to soft. However, for now the feta I bought will have to do till I get the opportunity to taste the real thing when I go to Greece in April. Yes, another family wedding and its in Greece this time.
The basic ingredients of the salad are tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, olives, onion and feta. You will find slight variations as it all depends on one’s taste.
I also believe in making my own dressing at home. I’ve tried a readymade Greek Salad dressing and I found it too sour. Making the dressing at home hardly takes a few minutes. I love to put the dressing ingredients in a jar, close the lid tight and give it a good shake. Remember close the lid tight. I once didn’t put the lid on properly and in a matter of seconds had dressing all over me and the wall!
This time no dressing on me or the wall, just in the salad. So lets check out to make this easy peasy salad.
GREEK SALAD/HORIATIKI SALAD
For the Salad:
1 medium size cucumber
½ sweet pepper, any colour of your choice
10-15 cherry/plum tomatoes
10-15 olives (ideally kalamata olives)
100g (approx 1 cup) feta
1 medium red onion
a handful of mint leaves (optional)
For the Greek Salad Dressing:
4 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tbsp wine vinegar, or any of your choice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp pepper powder
Get the salad ready:
- Wash all the vegetables and pat them dry on a kitchen towel.
- As the skin of the cucumber was tender I didn’t peel it. Cut into slices and then either halve or quarter them.
- Cut the pepper into cubes.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves.
- You can leave the olives whole or cut them into halves.
- Cut the onion into thin long slices.
- The feta can be cut into cubes or you can crumble it.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
Prepare the Dressing:
- Add all the ingredients into a jar and give it a good shake.
Greek Salad is ready to be served immediately with the dressing on the side or drizzled over it. Or leave it in the fridge for a while and enjoy it chilled during summer.
- I used colored pepper as I prefer them over the green ones.
- If you don’t get kalamata olives (they taste so different from the green and black ones) then use black ones.
- Use a proper vinegar and not vinegar substitute for your salads.
- Add more lemon juice instead of vinegar.
- I have tried to make the classic version of the Greek Salad. You can add seeds and nuts for variation.
- Use dill instead of oregano.
- I just couldn’t resist adding fresh mint leaves. Its entirely optional.
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