Monday, June 29, 2009

Chop Chop!

It's officially warm and summery in NYC and that means my apartment is hot and muggy. The oven is now off limits (except for a few dire brownie emergencies) and stove top use is limited. I've been thinking about making a Greek Salad ever since I read the latest solution to the perfect chopped salad in Cook's Illustrated and also now that friends Martha and Ted (s'up?!) are enjoying daily Greek Greece...I want my own!

Gathering the ingredients is no big deal, unless you're like me and bring your own bag to the grocery store and ultimately bag your own groceries. What's up with that anyway? Now that you bring your own bag, you're the bagger? Or is it just me? It's no biggie unless you're trying to bag and pay at the same time, and end up leaving items on the counter. (Oh. Just me? That's embarrassing.) I had to buy more ingredients today because I discovered that I was missing a few items from yesterday's run to the store. Oh well. By the way, I suggest the little compact bags that fit easily in your handbag (since I always seem to forget to bring a bag with me) so that you always have something on hand to use. Check mine out!

OK back to the Greek Salad. I'm not going to give a real recipe since it's basically up to you how much of each ingredient you want to include. But I will impart a few tips:

  • After peeling the cucumber, halve it lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (see photo above). It helps keep your salad from getting too watered down. Cook's suggests salting the cucumber and tomato and allowing them to sit for 15 minutes in order to drain the excess liquid, but I never want to wait. And it creates another dish to wash.
  • When making the vinaigrette, leave out the garlic if you dislike like it raw, or, just cut it in half and let it soak in the oil and vinegar until you are ready to use. Then discard it.
  • If you're like me and you don't like raw onions, even red onions, just slice a few and let them soak in the vinaigrette while you are chopping the rest of the ingredients. It mellows the flavor.
  • I like my salad chopped so that everything is about the same size. But that's me. Don't do it if you don't want to.
  • Wait to toss all of the ingredients together until you are ready to eat!
  • Pine nuts aren't really traditional, but I like the crunch.

Tina's Chopped Greek Salad

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 garlic clove, minced (optional)
Half a small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped into small pieces
A handful of pitted kalamata olives
A handful of grape tomatoes, cut in half
Feta cheese, to taste
Fresh oregano, to taste
Pine nuts, toasted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinigar and garlic. Add the red onion and stir to coat.

2. Prepare the cucumber, olives, tomatoes, feta, and oregano and then add to the red onion and vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Plate the salad and top with the pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


thecatskillkiwi said...

you are so right, I noticed too, that now that I have my own bag, I am now expected to pack it, what's up with that?
ps love the look of the salad.

WendyB said...

I'm having a brownie emergency right now!

karen said...

Can you just be my personal cook? I love greek salads. It looks so refreshing after a day in the sun.

Jill said...

Greek salad...everything that I love. This looks fabulous!

Susan Kokot said...

Perfect timing! Was just craving a Greek salad, and am so excited about your garlic and onion tip! and yes, we are now the baggers - I have dropped the contents of my wallet too many times of late because of this...

Tina said...

I think it's officially salad week. Stayed tuned for more!