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Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Cool Greek Salad for Hot Weather

With the hot days of summer upon us I wanted to share my hubby's quick and easy, DIY, Greek salad recipe with you. He makes it all the time and eats the entire bowl for dinner all by himself! It's ok though because I'm not a fan of the feta cheese.

Hubby's Oliveless, Easy, DIY Greek Salad

The most notable missing ingredient from a classic Greek Salad is that he leaves out the olives because he doesn't like them.

Greek Oregano

The other night was the first time ever that he made it with fresh oregano. It's organic, fresh oregano grown in our own garden!

Minced Oregano Chiffonade

As I cut the oregano into a chiffonade for him, he chopped the veggies. I wanted to cut the oregano pretty fine since fresh herbs are much more flavorful than dried and I didn't want the flavor to be too strong. So after washing, stacking, rolling and finely cutting the leaves into the chiffonade, I then minced the tiny slices making them even smaller.

Veggies include cucumber, tomato, green bell pepper and onion.

Add the feta cheese and mix. Next add in the vinegar and oil and toss. Finish by adding the oregano, salt and pepper and tossing one more time.

A Cool and Refreshing Dinner Salad

Because hubby makes it for himself there isn't a formal recipe. He's one of those "splash" of this and "pinch" of that kind of cooks. But here are the basic details you can use to create your own version of this cool and refreshing salad:

Greek Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 Slicing Cucumber (peeled)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 of One Small Onion (thinly sliced and chopped)
  • 1 Six oz container of feta cheese (plain or herbed)
  • Oregano (dried or fresh)
  • Basil (optional)
  • Add vinegar and oil to taste (He uses white vinegar and vegetable oil. I would use red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

Greek Salad Preparation:
  • Chop vegetables
  • Mix vegetables
  • Add cheese
  • Add vinegar and oil
  • Add herbs, salt and pepper
  • Mix
  • Chill and allow the flavors to marinate at least 30 minutes before serving

When hubby made his salad the other night I made myself a big bowl of Macaroni Salad for dinner. It looked like this:

Like hubby, I don't have a written recipe for this salad. I modeled it after the one my mom made when I was a kid and use what I have in the fridge which sometimes may be a little more of one ingredient and less of another. Unlike hubby's, my batch of salad will last me several servings over 2-3 days.

To make it healthier I try to use more veggies than pasta.

Macaroni Salad Ingredients
  • 2 cups of dry macaroni 
  • Celery (3-4 stalks leaves included)
  • Green Bell Pepper (1/2 a pepper)
  • Bread and Butter Pickles (1 cup)
  • 3 Hard Boiled Eggs (I try to purchase free-range, organic eggs whenever possible)
  • Minced Onion (just a small amount of a sweet yellow onion)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Just enough Best Foods Low Fat Mayo to get it all to stick together.

Macaroni Salad Preparation
  • Make the hard boiled eggs (cold from the fridge I place them in a pan of water and bring to a boil for ten minutes. Cool with cold water then chill in fridge at least an hour before preparing the rest of the salad
  • Boil the pasta ten minutes, rinse in cold water and drain
  • Chop veggies and egg into same size pieces as the macaroni
  • Combine chopped veggies and macaroni in bowl and mix
  • Add just enough mayo to stick together
  • Add salt and pepper and mix again

The best part is you can make it the night before or in the morning before it gets hot out and refrigerate it. By lunch or dinner time the consistency and chilled temperature are perfect.

Currently I am addicted to this salad and have made it three times in the past week. In fact, I think I'll have a bowl for breakfast right now!

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