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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Elliniki saláta (Greek Salad)

This is my version of Traditional Greek Salad. When traveling in Greece with my Manamu I noticed that greeks seldom used any lettuce in their salads. Commonly they would like to have one or two vegetables sprinkled with a good extra virgin olive oil and lemon or vinegar. Of course you must throw a few kalamata olives on top and finish it off with a slab of feta cheese. The best accompaniment for this salad is a good crusty bread in which to soak up the leftover dressing. No meal seem to ever start without some form of this salad.


Cucumbers ( 1 large or 4 small, the kind you don't have to peel)
Tomatoes (2 large tomatoes)
Red Onion (about 1/4)
Kalamata Olives (1/2 to 1 cup)
Capers (2 or 3 tablespoons)
Feta Cheese (8 oz. crumbled or cut into cubes)
Optional: Green or Red Bell Peppers, Crispy Romaine Lettuce (Untraditional)

Cut the cucumber into half moons by first slicing down the center lengthwise and then cutting into bite-sized pieces. They should look like this.

Your tomatoes should be halved then quartered. I would say large bite-sized pieces are good. Make sure your tomatoes are red and ripe.

Slice the Red Onion into slivers, they add a nice color to the salad.

sprinkle some olives and capers over the vegetables and then the feta cheese to finish it off. Next is the dressing which gives it it's exquisite flavor.

The magical Dressing:

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (It should have a fruity flavor)
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
{my secret touch is adding either a good red wine or balsamic vinegar to the mix - about 2 tbsp.}
1 clove Garlic (alway fresh is best!)
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp. Dried Oregano (I'm lucky enough to have it in my yard which grows wild. We will cut a bunch and dry it. )

To Prepare: I have a very high tech device to mix these wonderful ingredients, it's called a jar.

Put the salt, pepper and oregano into the jar. Crush the garlic in a press or whatever method you have. My friend Guy Few showed me how he minced garlic using two forks, it was marvelous!

Put the garlic into the jar and then add the vinegar, wine or balsamic, and olive oil. Shake vigorously.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve. People will rave.

1 comment:

  1. My plan for the remainder of the summer is to make and post recipes which are commonly done in the season. Tzatziki, the fresh yogurt and cucumber dip. Yemista, summer stuffed vegetables which is delicious and colorful. Kota Kapama, a greek chicken stew with cinnamon and tomato that you ladle over noodles and top with cheese. All favorites in my house.