Sunday, January 17, 2010

Exotic Destinations: Nigella's Ultimate Greek Salad

This is what I see when I look out the window.

This is what I wish I'd see when I look out the window.

This winter seems to have started earlier, been colder, produced more snow than any winter in the past several years. I am not a "winter" person to start with. I hate being cold. I hate slippery roads. I hate being all bundled up. And I hate the kids (and dog) being stuck inside.

Now summer is more like it. Warm weather. Fewer clothes. Swimming. Hiking in the woods. Biking. Running in shorts, not layers. Kayaking. Picnics. Camping.  Grilling out. Ahhhh ...

What I need is a trip to an exotic destination. And lucky me, I Heart Cooking Clubs gave me an opportunity to travel to one of my favorite destinations: Greece. Greece is beautiful. It's old. It's mysterious. It's sunny. It's definitely exotic. (And it's very far away from here!)

Unluckily, I don't *really* get to go there. I'm still in my own kitchen. But as I enjoy this  Ultimate Greek Salad from Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer cookbook and savor Rachael Ray's Sliced Steak Gyro, I can almost imagine that I can look out my window and see this:

This salad went together quickly and tasted great. It's definitely one I'll be making again and again. I can see this being a great summer lunch, made with freshly picked, home-grown Indiana tomatoes. Yum! Visit I Heart Cooking Clubs to see where everyone else went on their exotic getaways.

The Ultimate Greek Salad
Recipe from Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson
See it online here.

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 red onion, finely sliced
Black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
200ml extra virgin olive oil
5 tomatoes
1 teaspoon caster sugar (regular works fine)
Pinch of salt
1 very large head of romaine lettuce
1 bulb fennel
125g pitted black olives
400g Feta cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon

 Sprinkle the oregano over the red onion and grind over some pepper. Pour in the vinegar and oil and toss well, cover and leave to steep for a good 2 hours; longer’s fine. You’ll notice, once it’s had its time, that the blooded crimson of the onion is now a luminescent puce. It’s something to do with the acid in the vinegar: don’t ask. You don’t need to be fully conversant with the technicalities to take advantage of them.
But to return to the case in hand: cut the tomatoes into quarters, then cut each quarter into quarters (always lengthwise) again, so that you have a collection of fine segments. Sprinkle the sugar and a pinch of salt over them and set aside. Tear the lettuce into big pieces and put in a large bowl. Slice the fennel and add that, then the olives and Feta, crumbled into chunks, and toss well. Add the tomatoes, the onion in its marinade, and the lemon juice. Toss gently but thoroughly, so everything is well combined. This is addictive: you will find yourself making it all through summer - and beyond.


Donna-FFW said...

This variation of Greek Salad looks fantastic. One of my most favorite types of salad.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Love the Greek salad! Perfect with the gyro. Great get-away!

Mary said...

Wonderful post! Love the pictures. They really get you in the mood. I must try this recipe. Oopa!

Kim said...

I would love to go to Greece. The greek salad looks delicious. Great choice for exotic destinations.

loneilteaches said...

Greece is one of my dream vacation spots! The salad sounds great. I think it would be wonderful with some gyro meat grilled and cut up in it.

Kathleen said...

This sounds great! My hubby would love this!

Debinhawaii said...

I love a good Greek salad--this one looks delicious! Great pick.

victorian inn bed and breakfast said...

The winter nowadays is getting much chilled and cold. It is a lot of shivering due to intense and severe snow. It is better to be confined at home and have a delicious Greek salad which is really tempting.