Monday 14 June 2010

Greek Salad

This is the final salad of the 5 salad theme. I have made Greek salad once before on this blog, but it is such a delicious yet simple dish that I couldn’t resist sharing it with you again. When made with real creamy Greek feta cheese, sun ripened tomatoes, olives, lemon and fresh oregano it captures the taste of Mediterranean summers. It makes use of all the Mediterranean colours too, red, white and green, which look beautiful together.

It’s zesty, juicy, salty, creamy, fresh, crisp, fragrant…in a word delicious. What more could you want on a summers day?

One of the things I like best about this salad is how it matures and develops in flavour when made a few hours or even a day in advance. All the juices slowly seep out of the fruits and vegetables, mingling with the herbs, lemon, olive oil and the saltiness from the feta creating its own dressing. It’s also highly versatile and tastes great eaten on its own or served in pita bread, with baguettes, a topping for a jacket potato or even used as a filling for a tart. Next time you have need of a salad I urge you to give this one a go.

Greek Salad
200g Greek feta cheese
½ cucumber
200g cherry or small tomatoes
1 small red onion
100g black olives
1 lemon, zest only
1 tbsp fresh or 2tsp dried oregano
2½ tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Start by preparing all your ingredients ready for layering.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds using a teaspoon to create little boat shapes. Slice them into 5mm thick crescent slices.
Drain the whey from the feta cheese and pat dry using some kitchen roll before cutting into small cubes. Slice the tomatoes into halves or quarters, size dependant, along with the black olives.
Peel, cut in half and very thinly slice the red onion, as thin as you can. Finely grate the zest of the lemon onto a chopping board for ease of sprinkling later. Do the same with the oregano.
Arrange a third of the tomatoes, feta, olives, red onion and cucumber over the base of your serving dish. Scatter over a third of the lemon zest, oregano and a light dusting of freshly milled pepper.
Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the top and repeat the process with another third of the ingredients, followed by another spoonful of oil and the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle with a little extra oil and cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
I find Greek salad tastes best if made a few hours or even a day before you need it to allow time for the flavours to develop and meld. All the vegetables release their juices and create their own delicious lemony, herby, fresh tasting dressing if left for half a day or more.
Serves 6 – 8 as an accompaniment. Perfect served with a picnic or BBQ.

Here’s a photo of all the five salads together – so colourful and summery! Now we just need the warmer weather back again to enjoy them.


Beth (jamandcream) said...

My favourite all time salad. I adore feta

traveler said...

I love greek salad !!so refreshing for hot summer days

Unknown said...

I like your pictures with all the fresh ingredients.

Nic said...

This one is my favourite, looks brilliant! Must toddle off and pick up a cuc now!

Johanna GGG said...

such a great array of salads - all great alone but that plate of them together just looks incredibly delicious and colourful - can you come and make salads at my place please (we will even make sure the sun is shining for you)

Monica H said...

That plate of salad is so colorful and beautiful!

This salad looks much better than the Greek salad I had a few days ago. Loving those big chucks of Feta too!

The Caked Crusader said...

I made this when you posted it last year - it's divine and, as you state, just gets better and better day after day!

Deborah said...

That looks so fresh and delicious!

Jessica said...

I LOVE greek salad, and this one looks delicious!

Perfect for these hot summer days.

Emmie said...

I love feta cheese and so greek salad is my favourite salad. So tasty.

blackcherries said...

Good morning looking for an easy chutney recipe I came across your blog which I find outstanding . If I may add a comment from my long taste experience(a greek native ) i would suggest no lemon but light wine vinegar and a summer swirl from a handful of caper. Nomatter the weather it's my alltime salad.
Keep on with your excellent work.