When did “salad” become a bad word?
Synonymous with dieting and completely vilified, salads are getting a bad rap. So many people have come up to me stating that they hate salad and that salad is yucky, but why? What salads are these guys eating that make them feels like cows out to pasture?
“Salad” is such a general term and one of the thousands of varieties that fall under this blanket term is the Greek Salad or Horiatiki. As it usually goes with popular flavours, this delicious dish comes from humble beginnings as simple peasant food. Juicy, plump, bright red tomatoes, crisp and refreshing cucumbers, salty cubes of milky white feta cheese, inky black, pungent Kalamata olives, shards of tangy light purple onions and the deep vegetal flavour of green peppers are jewels, tossed in a bowl, slick with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and fresh herbs. This bright and whimsical salad is a hard one to beat.
One of my favourite lazy night meals is chicken souvlaki on a pita with loads of tzatziki and a huge Greek salad on the side. As I lift that last bite of vinaigrette soaked tomato to my lips, content with the bloating and garlic breath that could level an army, I ask why oh why did I eat so much!? Because it`s damn good.
1 cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced into 1 cm half moons
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 large beefsteak or heirlooms tomatoes, halved and cut into wedges
1 large green pepper, seeded and cut into medium cubes
1 cup Kalamata olives (seeded or whole)
2 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal into 1 cm slices
1 cup feta cheese, cubed
6 Pepperoncino pickled peppers (optional)
1 large clove of garlic
1 tsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dry oregano
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
In a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients for the dressing except the olive oil. Blend until smooth. While working, pour in the olive oil in one steady stream until all combined.
In a large bowl, mix together all the veggies excluding the olives, cheese and pepperoncino peppers.
Toss the dressing onto the salad.
Garnish the salad with olives, cheese and hot peppers. Finish with a sprinkle or oregano for a beautiful result.
Eat like a pig.