Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Food: Greek Salad = Summer May 28, 2011

Filed under: Fun Stuff — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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Continuing my new tradition of taking a break from talking about “it” on Saturdays, I thought I’d post something on one of my favorite subjects: food!

Here in the U.S. it’s Memorial Day weekend, which for many people, marks the start of summer. For me, however, summer doesn’t really begin until I make my first Greek Salad. With fresh-picked, sun-ripened tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and fresh herbs, tossed with salty feta cheese and plump kalamata olives, one bite can transport me to the shore of a Greek island, with fishing boats bobbing in the harbor and bouzouki music drifting from a nearby taverna. Heaven.

In our house, this summer tradition usually involves me picking the ingredients fresh from my garden, but this year, between a busier than usual schedule and our attempts to live in two different places, 400 miles apart, I have ended up with no vegetables planted in either place. Undaunted, I’ll be trawling my local farmer’s market, waiting until I can get all the ingredients there. Because, yes, you can make this salad in December, with ingredients from the supermarket, but honestly, why bother? When your tomatoes have been picked while they’re still pink and shipped from Mexico, no amount of imagination is going to conjure a Greek island.

So, here is my Greek Salad recipe. It’s stolen straight from Epicurious.com, my go-to place for recipes, and was first published in Bon Appétit magazine. It takes about a half hour to make, but tastes better when it’s made a couple of hours ahead of time. You can use it as a side dish with a chicken kebab or a lamb burger, but our favorite way to eat it is as a main course, with a loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of chilled rosé – eaten al fresco, of course.

Lisa’s “Summer’s Here!” Greek Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound tomatoes, seeded, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups diced seeded peeled cucumber (from about 1 large)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (from about 1 large)
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, halved
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 ounces)

Preparation:

Toss first 9 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Gently mix in cheese. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

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6 Responses to “Food: Greek Salad = Summer”

  1. Valerie Says:

    I’ve never been to Greece, but I love Greek salad!

  2. Sue Says:

    The way you write about that salad REALLY makes me want to try it and I don’t even like 1/2 of the ingredients it’s comprised of.

  3. happynenes Says:

    My favorite food. We have this little hole in the wall Middle Eastern restaurant in the strip mall near our house. I eat there at least once a week because I’m addicted to the baba ganoush and the greek salad. The dressing is the trick. It has to be light and not too sweet. I will try this. Thanks for posting.

  4. Mali Says:

    OK, that REALLY makes me wish summer was here. Argh!

  5. Mina Says:

    I love Greek salad!
    My family’s from Greece (well dad’s half of it) and I’ve never seen peppers in a greek salad in Greece. But they add a nice taste to the salad. And nobody ever bothers to seed the tomatoes or cucumbers. Also the Greeks often just put a big slice of feta cheese on top of the whole thing not bothering to crumble it.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      I’ve been making this salad for so long I forgot that the directions call for de-seeding the cucs and toms. No, I don’t do that either. Who has time?

      I visited Greece more than 20 years ago. We would take it in turns to get up and walk into town to bring back fresh produce for breakfast every day. I still have vivid sense memories of sitting on our balcony eating a fresh sun-warmed peach and a chunk of cool, salty feta. Bliss.


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