By now I had prepared Tabbouleh and Fattoush atleast a dozen times that I wanted to try something new. I surveyed the salad stall for inspiration. My eyes fell upon a plethora of salads like Caesar, Mediterranean, Greek, Russian, Jarjir, Arabic, stuffed grape leaves, so on and so forth. I instantaneously decided to go on a trial of the Greek Salad in my kitchen. The reason for the quick decision was partly because the ingredients were so easy to decipher and partly because, of late I had been hearing so much about all things Greek – like Greek yoghurt, Kalamata olives and had watched both the old and new versions of the movie, “Clash of The Titans”, based on Greek mythology. My mind was full of Greek characters – Zeus, Perseus, Andromeda, awful Medusa…
I perceived that the dressing contained zaatar (Arabic herb mix with sesame seeds and salt). But, just to ensure what other items went into the dressing, I sought the rescue of my usual saviour, Google. I found so many variations of the dressing used for this salad. As I skimmed through the comments section of the recipe blogs as I always do, one feedback caught my attention. It read, “I could literally drink this salad dressing, it is so good.” If it was so good, then I thought I should definitely try it.
What remained now was to embark on the actual process of preparation. The recipe is as follows:
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 1 head Iceberg Lettuce
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Green Capsicum (This can also be substituted with small quantities of different coloured bell peppers)
- 1 Tomato-Deseeded
- 1 Onion
- 10-15 Greek Olives pitted and cut into rings
- Few cubes Feta Cheese
For the dressing:
- 1 clove Garlic, grated
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano, crushed
- 1 ½ tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 ½ tbsp Lime Juice or to taste
- 6 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or just enough to coat the main ingredients
Whisk all the ingredients thoroughly well in a bowl. Since brined olives and feta cheese are used in the salad, add salt sparingly or skip it.
A salad is more about texture – so cut the cleaned vegetables according to the textural effect you desire. I prefer to shred the lettuce, baton the cucumber, julienne the capsicum, tomato and slice the onion thinly. Soak the onion slices in a bowl of cold water for about 10-15 min to reduce its pungency. Drain the water, pat dry the onion slices with paper tissues or use salad spinner, if you have one. Mix all the vegetables together in a large salad bowl, add feta cubes and drizzle over the dressing. Serve and relish Greek salad.
By the way, this is just a version of Greek salad that has evolved over time. I tried emulating whatever I saw in the salad stall. The original and authentic Greek Salad (Horiatiki Salata), however is much simpler – it does not contain lettuce as one of the main ingredients or garlic in the dressing. The red wine vinegar is also optional. The feta should be genuine, made from sheep or/and goat milk.
Have you tried this salad? Are there any salads that are irresistible to your palate? I am eager to know.