Saturday, July 26, 2008
I think this is one of the easiest salad to prepare, (Look ma! No cooking required!) It is one of the most flavorful and one of the healthiest, too! Aside from the vegetables, it has olives and olive oil. Olives and olive oil are known to be high in monosaturated fat (good for you!), iron, vitamin E and dietary fiber.
This is also a no-recipe salad; meaning, there's no specific measurement for each specific ingredient. You can add in or lessen each type of vegetable, depending on what you have available or depending on what you prefer to eat. As long as the basic ingredients are there, of course, that identifies it as "Greek." Basic ingredients include feta cheese, the balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing, oregano.
Purists prefer this salad to have no lettuce of whatever kind. So, I made the original version first. (See the first photo above.) But I know my family. Salad is not a salad for them if they see no "greens" in their salad. So I had to add some romaine lettuce. (See photo below.)
For this version of Greek salad, I used:
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, cubed
4 large tomatoes, cubed
1 large onion, cubed
1 green bell pepper, seeded, cubed
several pitted black olives (or green olives, if preferred)
a handful of romaine lettuce, cut to bite sized-pieces
250 gms marinated feta cheese
several fresh oregano leaves
1. Wash all vegetables very well and cube or cut, according to desired serving size.
2. Arrange the romaine lettuce on the bottom of the salad plate. Add the rest of the vegetables on top of the lettuce. Top with the olives and feta cheese and oregano leaves.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve as is.
This is one of Hubby's favorite salad. It is colorful, tasty and heart-healthy.
However, I got a mild surprise when I learned from a friend that the balsamic vinegars commercially available are not the real balsamic vinegar. Even if they come labelled from Modena. Accordingly, the real balsamic vinegar, which are made from white grapes that are aged for many, many years, are labelled "Traditional." This long fermentation or aging process then produces the "musk" and concentrates the flavor. However, the commercial ones we have here are simply oridnary wine vinegars with added coloring and sugar! Gasp! So, unless I source my balsamic vinegar elsewhere, I will not be able to taste the real balsamic vinegar... :(