Sort Of Greek Salad
“Feta: does yoga. Hopeless romantic. Wears pants in bed.”
-Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan, The Midult’s Guide to Shopping Baskets, The Telegraph, 25 March 2017
This completely UNauthentic version of a Greek salad is specifically intended to go with the sort-of Cypriot pasticcio described in the previous post. That dish has feta crumbled over it in the last five minutes of cooking, so you can use some of that feta in the salad – like the underpainting of an oil or watercolour, the feta brings the whole meal together.
The idea of this salad is that it is also transportable. Authentic pasticcio includes prunes (which mine does not) so I add raisins in this accompanying salad to replace the missing touch of sweetness. In an ideal world you would use Kalamata olives since they would be pretty much (there’s also the cucumber) the only authentically Greek ingredients in this not-Greek salad, and also because they really are good. Crespo pitted dry black olives are also quite good. Do NOT use the ones in brine – if you HAVE to do this, this is what to do.
Recipe for authentic Greek salad (Choriatiki Salata – χωριάτικη σαλάτα) (tomatoes, feta, oregano, cucumber, capers – and a dressing which is thoroughly contentious – vinegar? lemon juice? both? neither?) coming next year in the summer.
In the meantime, for this not-Greek salad, this what you need to take with you:
• salad ingredients minus the lettuce in a Tupperware container
• salad dressing in a glass, screw top, spill proof bottle
• the little gems (if possible still in their supermarket packaging)
Recipe for a not-Greek salad
Serves about 4
- 2 little gem lettuces (NB – these are optional – in fact I think it is is better without, and it’s another unauthentic ingredient…. but it does bulk it out…. it looks a bit mean otherwise)
- 1 cucumber
- 30 or so pitted black olives NB either dry or in oil
- 4 spring onions (if you can’t get these you can use red onions)
- 1 tbsp raisins (authentic pasticcio is made with prunes, so the sweetness of the raisins goes rather well in the accompanying salad)
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 5 tbsp olive oil (or use some of the oil from the olives)
- zest and juice of the other half of the lemon that you have used to make the pasticcio
- 1 tsp redcurrent jelly
- salt and pepper
- feta left over from the Sort-of Greek Pasticcio
- Make the dressing by mixing the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, redcurrant jelly, salt and pepper.
- Dice the cucumber into 1cm/½” cubes, slice the spring onions (you can use an inch or so of the green section). Add the olives, raisins and pinenuts.
- This is the stage at which to stop if you are planning to travel with this dish. When you reach your destination you need to:
- Shred the lettuce and put it in a salad bowl.
- Add the salad ingredients.
- Dress the salad.
To make it all a bit more authentic, listen to Eleftheria Arvanitaki while you prepare it all…. Mirame is her best album.