April 2, 2018
This is about...
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        It’s that time of winter when I’VE REACHED MY BREAKING POINT WITH GREEN LEAFY SALADS!. I need that CRUNCH of summer, AND I NEED IT NOW! Give me anything but microgreens, romaine, radicchio, arugula and spinach. I refuse to buy one more green leaf. My boycott has led me to more substantial composed salads, like this Greek salad. It’s a mix of chunky crisp veggies—cucumbers, peppers, red onion and tomatoes all tossed with briny Kalamata olives and chunks of salty, tangy feta cheese. To make the veggies pop, the dressing is infused with garlic, red wine vinegar and dried oregano. It’s bright, crunchy AND THERE’S NOT A GREEN LEAF IN SIGHT!
        If you’re not feeling any green leafy love yourself, along with this Greek salad, check out the Carrot Tabbouleh with mint and raisins as well as the Garden Café’s Asian inspired Kale Salad, with a burst of fresh ginger and toasted sesame oil. They’re all yummy and lettuce averse.

LESSONS Learned:
1. I know that any fresh veggie will always taste best in the summer, harvested close to home. But you can find really good veggies, even organic ones, in the winter months too.
2. I’m not a fan of our American cucumbers. They’re loaded with seeds, and usually coated in wax which, even though they say it’s edible, means you’re gonna have to peel them. I opt for English cucumbers which have a lot less seeds, are a little sweeter, and tend to be less watery. You’ll find them next to our American counterparts, longer and thinner, usually wrapped in cellophane and sometimes called seedless—although they’re not. No need to peel them either.
3. It’s best to prep this a few hours before you want to eat it, if you can, so the flavors can mingle.


2-3 cucumbers, seeded, sliced into ½-1 inch half moons (I prefer the thinner English ones)
1 large red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 plum tomatoes cut into half moons, or 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 medium size red onion, halved and thinly sliced
½-3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 medium size clove garlic, peeled
3/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4-6 ounces Feta cheese, cut in small cubes

Make the salad:
        In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the prepped vegetables and the olives.
        Drop the garlic clove through the feed tube of a food processor to mince. Alternatively, finely mince the clove and put in large canning jar with a screw cap. Add the vinegar, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper and process for a few seconds, or shake in the jar to dissolve the sugar. With the food processor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube to combine, or to the jar and shake.
        Pour the dressing over the vegetables and coat well. Add the feta and gently stir so as not to crumble it up too much.
        If time permits, chill for an hour to meld the flavors. Keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Makes 4-6 servings.      YUM!
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