Greek Salad Superb

 

traditional greek salad

traditional greek salad

I’ve enjoyed Greek salads for years and thought I knew what they consisted of- a generous bed of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, green peppers, Kalamata olives, some feta cheese sprinkled on top, with lemon and olive oil dressing. Sounds good (and it is) but what’s wrong with this recipe? Nothing, but it’s not exactly the traditional way.

I recently had the good fortune to visit Greece and was even more fortunate to eat traditional Greek salads in lots of tavernas. Guess what? No or very little (a few leaves) of lettuce. Yes, lots of fresh, delicious tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and green peppers, sweet red or white onion and both green and black Kalamata olives with big flat slabs of feta cheese on top, usually sprinkled with dried oregano. No lemon, but good first press Greek olive oil and sometimes red wine vinegar. Fresh, tasty and of course, healthy- no carbs to speak of. In one (my only) high end restaurant the feta was soaked in olive oil and covered in toasted sesame seeds plus plump capers were added – a delicious variation.

This salad is best with fresh tomatoes and the other vegetables from your garden or farmer’s market. And please use only best quality extra virgin Greek olive oil!

Traditional Greek Salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 1-2 ripe fresh tomatoes (depending on size), chopped into 1/2 ” pieces
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 peeled cucumber, sliced into thin rings or chunks
  • 1/2 red or sweet white onion slices
  • 1/2 cup green Greek or black Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 Lb. feta cheese in a flat slab
  • Oregano to sprinkle on top of the Feta
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Capers (optional)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Greek olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

TO DO:

1. In a large bowl, put cucumbers on the bottom.

2. Add tomatoes, green pepper, onion.

3. Add olives (and capers if you like).

4. If you like, soak feta in olive oil and roll in toasted sesame seeds.

5. Put feta slab on top; pour olive oil and vinegar over the salad; sprinkle feta with oregano.

6. Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Greek Chicken a la Crete

chicken with olives artichokes mushrooms

chicken with olives artichokes mushrooms

 

Chicken is such a versatile meat; we enjoy it in many of its iterations from simple roast to this delicious Greek- inspired version chock full of flavor (and healthy veggies).

You can buy pre-cut chicken pieces or buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself. I like doing it that way as it’s fresher and less expensive. Plus I skin my chickens before cooking as well.

Something I learned is not to rinse chicken in advance of cooking- it just spreads any bacteria. Cooking itself kills whatever is on the poultry. Do clean your knives  (or kitchen scissors, cleavers, etc.) and boards thoroughly with hot water and detergent.

Greek Chicken

INGREDIENTS (for 2-4; 2 with leftovers)

  • 1 chicken, cut into pieces (I like organic “smart” chicken)
  • 1/3 cup olives – green and Kalamata mixed
  • 1 package frozen or 1 large (13 oz.) can artichoke hearts
  • 3/4 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1tsp dried or 2 Tbsp. fresh minced Oregano or Thyme
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO: preheat oven to 375 degrees

1. Spread olive oil over chicken pieces in 9×13 baking dish (I use glass, but Corning Ware, ceramic or metal are all good- your choice)

2. Mix  garlic, artichokes, mushrooms and add to chicken.

3. Pour wine and lemon juice over chicken and vegetables.

4. Place olives around chicken/veggies. (artistically of course !  (<*

5. Sprinkle herbs, spices and seasonings on top to taste.

6. Cover with aluminum foil- bake for 25 minutes.

7. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes longer (stick a knife in joint of a chicken leg- if juice runs clear you’re done)

Serve with whole grains or brown rice and a Greek salad; (recipe to come soon–please follow!)

Oopa! Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Best Shrimp Asparagus and Egg Salad

 

shrimp asparagus egg salad

shrimp asparagus egg salad

This salad is a major treat especially on a warm spring day when asparagus are in peak season!

At this time of year, it’s one of our favorite main dinner dishes. Of course, this also makes a delish special luncheon for your very best ladies who lunch. (<*

The ingredients are simple and the preparation pretty easy. The key ingredient is use the freshest you can find!

(If shellfish are a problem you can substitute tuna.)

Best Shrimp Asparagus and Egg Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 cups lettuce (your choice, but I suggest at least some Romaine for crunch. Also as you might know, best to tear off leaves and tear up with your hands rather than a knife, especially if not using a whole head. Somehow the knife use makes the remaining lettuce turn brown faster- not sure why–if someone knows the details please let me know.)
  • 1 avocado, chopped or sliced
  • 1/3 red onion, chopped ( not too fine)
  • 1/2 lb. Bay shrimp cooked, rinsed and cooled the little guys)- put in fridge at least 1 hr. Ahead of serving ( I buy them cooked and cooled, but still rinse as they can be salty)
  • 4-6 med Prawns, cooked, peeled and cooled
  • 1 egg, hard boiled and sliced
  • 1/2 lb. Green asparagus, cooked but still crisp, and cooled ( blanched is best– cook until crisp, then dunk right away in ice water to keep the color and crispness). Chop into 1″ pieces, leaving 4-6 spears whole for garnish.
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of I lemon ( you can use 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime if you like)
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Tarragon, savory and/or Herbs de Provence; salt free seasonings and pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. At least one hour in advance of serving time, boil the egg, let cool or place in fridge ( can be done a day in advance ), when prep time, slice or chop and set aside. ( leave 3-4 round pieces for garnish)

2. Wash, spin and tear lettuce into bite sized pieces, put into serving bowl.

3.  Prepare dressing; add garlic to oil, whisk in juice, mustard, spices and seasonings. ( can be made ahead and re-wisked)

4. Right before serving add Bay shrimp, chopped asparagus, chopped egg and chopped onion to lettuce.

At this point, dress and toss ( this is a trick I learned from a catering assistant, Maggie, my partner Rick’s daughter; dress the basic salad first, then add the toppings/garnishes, so they don’t all sink to the bottom.)

5. Add avocado pieces, whole Prawns, egg slices and asparagus spears for garnish- make it pretty! (see photo or use your own creativity!)

6. Serve with whole grain toast or crackers and cheese and a crisp, white wine if you like–we do!

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com