Classic Greek salad
1/2 cucumber cut thick for texture
200g tomatoes I used cherry cut in half this time but I normally prefer a bull's heart or noire de crimi
1/2 red onion sliced fine
1/2 each red and yellow pepper sliced 1/2 cm thick
200g black and green olives chopped or left whole depending on the size
150g courgettes sliced 1cm thick
1 tsp smoked garlic paste
6-10 mint leaves sliced fine
15-20 basil leaves torn or left whole
1-2 tsp lilliput capers not traditional but I love the salty acidic kick they give
80g cider vinegar
150g extra virgin olive oil
sea salt or flur de sel
250g good quality feta diced or crumbled
Such a simple salad huh? Everyone knows a version, here's a few tips on how to get it right.
Room temperature vegetables - I leave them all out the fridge for about an hour before preparation except the cucumber I like that one cold and fresh.
My first job is to slice the onions season with salt, pour over the vinegar and mix well. This breaks them down and slightly pickles them. For me the biggest mistake and off put with Greek salad is thick cut raw red onion.
I place my courgette slices into a bowl and season with salt and rub in the smoked garlic paste. Warm a frying pan add all my oil and heat to 30 c max add the courgettes and turn off the heat. I don't want to heat the oil too much as it will ruin the taste, but just enough to soften the courgettes.
Olive oil - This all depends on your personal taste as there are many different types, regions at a whole range of costs. I'm not a fan of over peppery tasting oils. I tend to go for Olio Verde a great oil with a mild flavor and less bitter notes. It’s a single-origin Sicilian oil made with Nocellara del Belice olives. (“Noce” in Italian means walnut, so look out for a nutty flavor.) Yes, I use Sicilian olive oil on a Greek salad, because it's delicious, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
Now I mix all the veg in a bowl adding all the vinegar from the onions and all the oil from the courgettes, season with salt. Really important this bit TASTE add more salt, vinegar or oil depending on your preference. Most Greek salads I've come across don't taste of much, and are usually under seasoned.
Turn the salad out onto your serving plate/s, season the feta with black pepper and crumble onto the salad, sprinkle on your herbs. I usually add a good glug of olive oil on top.
I've eaten this salad on countless different occasions but only a handful have been truly delicious. The main thing that makes the difference, like in so many dishes is freshness and quality of ingredients.
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