Sometimes the classics are just what the doctor ordered. Especially when it’s Dr. SummerHasArrived who’s making the house calls.
Oh boy. Did I really just write that? I may have officially lost my mind. Hit writer’s block rock bottom. Scraped the lowest nadir. Really? Dr. SummerHasArrived? Heidi, you’re reaching, reaching, reaching. And you. just. didn’t. quite. make it.
Cést la vie.
Standard staple recipes in the kitchen are what I’m craving now. You know, the simple stuff. Recipes that let ingredients shine. And since I feel like I’ve been on a serious eating binge for the past few weekends, it’s now the season where it’s I clean up my act and binge on clean eating.
It’s all about balance. And tomatoes. And cucumber. And avocadddddoooo.
I brought this classic Greek Salad this past weekend at our friend’s Memorial Day BBQ. Balance. Yep, it did a fine job representin’. Along with my grilled hot dog—my FAVORITE thing to eat from the grill every single time.
What a surprise that I couldn’t leave well enough alone, by assembling a classic Greek Salad. I had to go ahead and add avocado. I know, I thought it was brilliant too.
About the recipe:
To add a little visual appeal, aka make those cucumbers shine like the gems they are, I peeled them in stripes, leaving part of the peel so their greenness shined through. After I chopped them all up my husband did his usual mad grab for cucumber bites and said I should have peeled the whole thing. He thought the peel tasted a little bit bitter. So, next time I’ll taste test the cucumbers before I chop them all up. Personally, I thought they tasted just fine.
I like to use smaller tomatoes in this salad because then I don’t end up with a lot of seeds. Cherry tomatoes would work great too, just cut them in halves instead of quarters.
When adding in the avocado, be sure to do this last. I try to use a pretty firm avocado so it doesn’t get all mushed up in the mix and coat the avocado with a bit of the dressing before adding to the rest of the ingredients. Fold gently, friends.
For the dressing, I encourage you to taste test and add a little more of this or that to suit your desires. I prefer a pretty vinegar-y dressing because I think it really accents the fresh veggies with a little puckery tart taste. Also, add about 3/4 of the dressing, and toss to coat. The salad’s veggies will release their juices as it sits in the dressing, so depending on how long this salad sits out (like at a BBQ) the more juice there will be. If you’re eating it right away, using all of the dressing works just fine.
This salad would make a great topper for crunchy romaine lettuce with a skewer of grilled chicken added to it for a completely balanced lunch or dinner. Balance. Balance. Balance.
- 2 English cucumbers, peeled in stripes and cut into ½ inch slices
- 1½ pounds small tomatoes, I use cocktail tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1½ cups kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- ¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 avocados, pitted and cut into chunks
- 1 cup feta cheese, broken into large chunks
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large serving bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives and parsley. Place the avocado in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a small canning jar, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, sugar and salt and pepper. Top with the lid and shake well until blended and emulsified. Season with more sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour 1 tablespoon or so of the dressing on the avocado and gently mix to coat. Pour the rest of the dressing on the cucumber mixture and toss to coat. Add the avocado to the salad and top with chunks of feta cheese, and serve.
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