While it’s not yet officially summer, the weather is fine and easily prepared Greek salad is the order of the day.
Please, do not go out and spend your money on a store-bought dressing. The beauty of Greek salad lies in the simplicity and freshness of its ingredients. This recipe, served with pita bread and humous or tzatziki, can represent a dinner for two or, if served alongside some protein and potatoes or rice, should be plenty for four people.
Ingredients – the Dressing
lemon – one; you’ll want two tablespoons of juice
fresh basil and oregano – to taste
freshly ground pepper
Ingredients – the Salad
tomatoes – one or two
green pepper – half to full, depending on size
red onion – also half to full, depending on size
feta cheese – one and a half cups
olives – to taste
If you think you don’t care for olives, as I used to, turn away from canned products and go fresh. I’d grown to like olives in moderation, but travels to Spain turned that into a true appreciation for this fine food. The gorgeous platter you see on this page is from an olive vendor at the open air market in Inca, Mallorca. When at home, we go for Kalamata olives from Duso’s at Granville Island Market.
Preparation: Whisk together your dressing
Wash the lemon and roll it back and forth on the counter or your cutting board a half dozen or so times, to stimulate the juices. Cut lemon in half and measure two tablespoons of juice into your salad bowl.
Add 1/3 cup of olive oil, and whisk together. Stir in fresh basil and oregano to taste.
Preparation: Assemble most of the salad, and chill
The trick here is that you don’t want to refrigerate tomatoes. So, wash and chop the green pepper, red onion and cucumber. While half an English cuke is plenty for two, you’ll want to use all of a peeled garden cucumber, and you’ll want to gauge the size and your preference in terms of the green pepper and red onion.
Combine the chopped vegetables in the bowl containing your dressing, and crumble in 1.5 cups of feta cheese.
Toss the ingredients together, and tuck the salad bowl in alongside the wine you might be chilling.
Pita Bread, Tzatziki and Homous
If you’re going to enjoy some pita bread along with your salad, pop it in your toaster, under the broiler, or – better yet – on the barbeque, if you have it fired up. If using the barbeque, brush a bit of olive oil on the pita bread and keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Presentation: Chop and Toss In Tomatoes, and Serve
Wash, chop and toss in the tomatoes, and then enjoy a lovely dinner.