In the summertime, I eat a lot of salads during hot weather and I have a lot of different salads that I make, but wanted something a little new and different. I also had someone coming over and decided to make Greek food for dinner, so the perfect accompaniment would be a Greek Salad. I've had lots of them in Greek restaurants, but wasn't that excited by them and not too long ago, a friend of mine - who is half Greek - told me that traditional Greek Salads don't have lettuce in them. I've always had them served with Lettuce - usually Iceberg so I was intrigued. I got her recipe and when I made it, I loved it and so did my guest.
A traditional Greek Salad incorporates Cucumber, Sweet Red, Orange or Yellow Peppers, ripe Cherry Tomatoes, thinly sliced Red Onion, Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olives. The dressing is made with Red Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt and dried Oregano. It's very important to cut the Feta into cubes instead of using it crumbled and it's actually much better to use dried Oregano than fresh. My friend told me to make the Salad dressing ahead of time to let the flavors meld and also to dress the salad at least 30 minutes before you serve it. This is such a great salad that it is joining the summer salad rotation!
1 large hothouse Cucumber or 4 Persian Cucumbers, ends trimmed (leave peel on)
1 small Orange Pepper
1 small Yellow Pepper
2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup thinly sliced Red Onion cut in quarters
4 ounces Feta Cheese (Sheep's Milk if possible to find), cut into small cubes
1/2 - 3/4 cup Kalamata Olives
Cut the Cucumber in half and take a small spoon and scrape out the Cucumber seeds and then cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons. Then cut a think slice off the top and bottom of the Peppers. Then, cut in half and then cut into 1 inch squares - you should have about 1 cup of each. Put the Cucumbers, Peppers, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Feta Cheese and Olives in a large salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over and toss to coat everything. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
2 Garlic Cloves minced
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon fresh Ground Black Pepper
Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Let sit for at least 15 minutes up until overnight before dressing the salad.
Five Element Analysis
There are so many colors in this salad that you can be pretty sure that most Elements are covered. To start, the Cucumbers belong to the Earth Element. The Yellow and Orange Peppers have both Earth (because of the color) and Fire because Peppers belong to that Element. The Tomatoes and Black Pepper add even more Fire. The Red Onion and Feta along with the Garlic and Oregano make sure that the Metal Element is present. The Vinegar and Olive Oil contribute the Wood Element and the Calamata Olives bring in a bit of Wood but also some Water o because they are black. The little bit of Salt in the dressing and in the Feta bring in a touch more Water. The Water Element needs a little support, so this would be a perfect salad to go with some grilled Fish, or an Eggplant dish or some Greek soup.