Friday, 21 September 2012

Rainbow Greek Salad

The weekend is upon us! Which means boozing, partying, eating meat and no bloody work. Nice.

Mrs Ribeye and I have been pretty pretty good at keeping away from the flesh during schooltime, but as soon as Friday night approaches, our carnivorous instincts re-awaken and I break out the beef. That's not to say that we exactly suffer for the other 5 days a week, but man oh man, those vegetarians do not know what they're missing.

Still, if was a veggie I wouldn't exactly starve. As long as you've got a nice bit of feta cheese and some crunchy salad veg, you're going to eat well - as today's recipe testifies.

I love a Greek salad. But as always, I reckon I can improve on it. Go to any Greek restaurant and the salad arrives after the main course and just before the baklava. I'm a big fan, but why have the Greeks decided that a salad has to be so damn boring? I've been to tavernas in Corfu, Crete and London, and they all seem to agree that a salad should consist only of tomato, cucumber, sweet peppers, onion, olives and cheese. All very good, but not colourful enough. With our supermarket shelves heaving with fresh colourful produce from all over the world, why stick to the basics?

Nowadays, a Greek salad for me is a challenge to buy the most eclectic mix of colourful vegetables I can find. Hence, my 'Rainbow Greek Salad'. Try making yours with beetroot, radishes, baby corn or roasted aubergines. It's a chance to put the 'Wow' back into your meze!

Feta cheese tastes the same to me whether I buy the dearest artisan block or the cheapest value range - so I always buy the cheapest. I'm not sure why feta cheese is ever expensive. After all, it's only separated milk (which can be bought for 45p a pint). Be a skinflint like me and this dish comes in at a very pocket-friendly £1.50 per serving. Or buy the dearer stuff if you like. After all, it is the weekend...

A great lunch dish, starter, or pre-baklava meze staple. Just don't tell the Greeks...

Serves 2


Tomatoes, cucumber, yellow and red peppers, spring (salad) or red onions, peeled carrot - all cut into 2 cm dice
Handful of pitted black olives
1 x 200g block feta cheese, cut into 2cm dice
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Pinches of salt and pepper

Arrange the vegetables on a serving plate with the olives and top with the feta chunks. Sprinkle oregano over the cheese and dress with the oil and vinegar about a half hour before serving. Season to taste (remember that the cheese is naturally quite salty).

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