Greek salad my way
So I mentioned that I have been trying (mostly) to keep the menu very healthy, fresh, raw and light. Salads have been a focal point as the whole family loves them and so do I. It has been fun tweaking some of my old favorites using the locally available ingredients and also trying some recipes which my bosses wife has been sharing with me.
I loved the way this Greek salad turned out. The look of it really appeals to me. Naturally there isn’t a recipe as I am not cooking with my note pad and measuring equipment around me, while on this job. But I will try to explain some of the steps which I felt made this salad such a success.
How you cut up the veggies which form the body of the salad is vital if you want it to look great. The way I like to handle the veggies is as follows. Look at the photo of the salad to see what I am trying to describe if it is not clear.
Cucumber – cut the cucumber in half length-ways and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Try to create an even semi circle when doing this so that when you slice it each slice looks perfect. Then cut the top and bottom off and slice the cucumber into 1/2cm slices.
Tomatoes – if using big tomatoes slice them into quarters and with a paring knife remove the seeds leaving only the flesh. Then slice that in half length-ways creating little crescents. Removing the seeds also prevents the salad drawing too much water.
Peppers – choosing the right colour here is important as your cucumber is green and your tomatoes are red so I would go for a yellow or orange pepper to keep the colours vibrant. I would try to cut this into pieces around the same size as the cucumber and tomatoes. I usually cut the top and bottom of the pepper off leaving me with the straight sides of the pepper. Then I cut that up into manageable pieces and slice that into 1/2cm wide sticks.
Onion – I like to use red onion for the colour and I cut the onion in half length-ways cut off the top and bottom and slice up the onion into 1/4cm slices creating half moon shaped slices. I pour boiling water from the kettle over them, to remove the sharp taste and then rinse them in cold water.
The rest were ingredients I found in the fridge (ie – I hadn’t bought them myself). The feta came in blocks pre marinated in herbs and olive oil. The olives were from what looked like a Turkish mix with various types of olives and some kind of bean too. I used the oil from the marinade to drizzle over the salad as it looked particularly well spiced. I had fresh thyme, basil and oregano at hand so I decided to use them all. I topped this off with a light grating of lemon zest, a drizzle of lemon juice and rose peppercorns which are light, crispy and sweet with a lovely peppery zing.
The family and their guests loved the meal. I served the salad with a home baked quiche, fresh bread and a platter of smoked salmon with horseradish and capers.
In Norway when you buy fresh herbs at the supermarket, you buy the whole plant. I just love this concept.
It keeps the herbs fresh while you use them and decorates the kitchen at the same time.