Tuesday, August 2, 2011

greek salad recipe

I'll never forget the first time I had a Greek salad in Greece. It was filled with big chunks of green tomato. One bite explained everything.... In Greece, green tomatoes are sweet, juicy and delicious, nothing like the green tomatoes we fry in the US.

I want to be in Greece right now sitting along the water, drinking a Mithos beer and eating grilled octopus and a Greek salad filled with those green tomatoes. There's something about the beautiful blue water, the simplicity of the food, the meze or small plates, the fresh fish and really flavorful vegetables.

And now, when everything is at it's peak, this is the time to make Greek salad. Start with the freshest height-of-the-summer tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and red bell peppers. I love to add lots of fresh spearmint and Greek oregano sprinkled onto the top. If you can find a pot of fresh Greek oregano, all the better.

One of the coolest things I found on a recent trip to Santorini were brined and jarred caper leaves. I bought a few jars and have been chopping them and putting them on top of my Greek salad ever since. I've never seen them in the US but I really like the sour kind of zing they add.

And make sure you throw in some good Kalamata olives and crumble feta onto the top. I love Mt. Vikos barrel-aged feta from Greece. I think it's the best. Have you found any other source for feta that's better?

And no vinegar! I only use a sprinkle of sea or kosher salt and a good dose of really good extra virgin olive oil.

Grilled lamb chops, a simple piece of grilled fish or hell, anything along side. That's dinner! Hey I might even make one tonight. If I close my eyes, I can only imagine that the tomatoes are green.

Links:
Dad's Greek Salad from Simply Recipes
Greek Salad from The Pioneer Woman
Recipe for Chopped Greek-Style Salad with Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Pepper from Kalyn's Kitchen

GREEK SUMMER VEGETABLE SALAD

3 large ripe tomatoes, about 2 pounds, coarsely cut into 1 to 1 ½-inch pieces
1 small red onion, 1-inch dice
1 red bell peppers, coarsely cut into 1-inch pieces
1 English cucumber, unpeeled, 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
3/4 pound feta cheese
1 cup Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped caper leaves (optional)

Place the tomatoes, onions, peppers and cucumber on a serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt.

Season with salt and pepper. Crumble the feta over the top. Sprinkle the olives, oregano, mint and caper leaves over the top and serve immediately.

Serves 6

1 comment:

Kalyn said...

I wish you lived next door and I'd be happy to share my Green Zebra tomatoes! Sounds like a perfect Greek Salad, and thanks for the mention.