Can’t Take the Heat?Posted: July 23, 2011
… get out of the kitchen! In short order, anyhow;) With the massive heat wave currently covering most of the country, it seems like the right time to blog my favorite Greek salad recipe. Temperatures across America are topping 100 degrees and folks might not even want to grill now; grills throw some wicked heat.
There’s a Greek restaurant in my hometown called Aladdin’s Natural Eatery and I love their Greek salad! 😀 Their trio sampler rocks too! A few summers ago I found myself eating a lot of it; until I decided I needed to crack the code on their dressing, because that’s what I really love about the salad. So I played around in the kitchen and here’s what I came up with … it can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes.
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice (wash lemon/run it under hot water to get the most juice out of it)
1 very large clove fresh minced garlic (or 2 smaller cloves)
7 – 10 shakes of dried mint
7 – 10 shakes of dried Italian seasoning
3 – 4 shakes of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
Mix together in a medium-sized serving bowl; it will look very green from the spices.
Add the following on top:
1 washed/dried/chopped medium tomato
1/2 of a large peeled, chopped cucumber
2 trimmed, washed, sliced scallions
1 handful of matchstick carrots
1/3 can drained chick peas
2 – 3 Tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
Ample sprinkling of plain or herbed feta cheese
1/2 – 3/4 bag of Romaine or Italian pre-washed salad
Mix all together, grind some pepper on top and garnish with pepperoncini
This can either be a hearty meal for one, served as the main side to grilled meat or fish for two, or used as a nice appetizer salad to complement a meal for four. Of course you can use a larger bowl and double the recipe if you want to serve as a meal for people. If served alone, pita bread is a nice complement, but truth be told, I love it by itself with a nice glass of white wine. Bon Appetit!
P.S. Classic Greek salad simply consists of Romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, scallion, feta cheese and dressing. I’ve added other things that I like; you can too. The feta and chick peas together provide the meal’s protein. Sometimes I add these rockin’ roasted red peppers I found at Costco, cut up into bite sized pieces. It’s all a matter of taste; so if there’s something in the recipe above you don’t like, just skip it! 🙂 Feel free to add your favorites as well; have added sliced mushrooms before too.
Two mainstays to my cooking are Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic. Do not be afraid of EVOO; it is very good for you and so is fresh minced garlic. As far as garlic goes, as long as everybody’s eating it, it’s all good! And I have a saying, “You can never have too much garlic!”
My natural tastes follow a Mediterranean diet, which studies have shown to promote longevity.