Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Special: Greek Mama's Truly Greek Salad


Deb from San Francisco wrote in with the truest of true Greek salad recipes!  So delicious, I'm glad I now have an authentic recipe from a Greek Mama!


Deb writes:

So, my mom was really not much of a cook (that was all Nona territory...and my dad's, but only about once/year). But the one thing she made that was always in high demand for every soiree was a totally kick-ass truly Greek salad.



Greek Mama's Truly Greek Salad


Public Service Announcement: Greek salad DOES NOT contain lettuce. Any greek salad presented with lettuce is fakin' it for the good of the tourists and should be mentally rejected as not being truly Greek.








EQUIPMENT:
    • sharp knife
    • cutting board
    • big honkin' bowl
    • a jar with a good tight lid to shake dressing in
PREP TIME: 2 hours (it is a LOT of chopping)

SALAD INGREDIENTS:


    • 8 tomatoes
    • 3 cucumbers
    • 1/2 red onion
    • 1 bunch green onions (white and bright green parts only)
    • 4 bell peppers (2 green, 2 red -- or 1 red 1 yellow)
    • 1 bunch radishes (hella optional! I usually skip this, but my mom doesn't)
    • 1 jar Kalamata olives (lightly rinsed from their brine)
      • You must use Kalamata olives. Regular black olives do not have the same flavor.
      • You can buy them pitted or with pits intact. I prefer pits intact, because machine-pitted olives often have little bits o' pit left in them, which can hurt your guests' teeth. Just be sure to tell folks that the olives have pits in them!
    • 1 small block of real feta cheese (do not buy pre-crumbled, that stuff has weird anti-caking agents in it!)

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
    • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • Half a bunch of fresh parsley, leaves only!
    • Salt, black pepper, oregano, & thyme to taste

TO MAKE SALAD:
    • Chop everything except olives and feta into small bits. It's time consuming but it's what makes greek salad have the right texture. 
      • For the tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, you're aiming for bits between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. 
      • For the oniony things and radishes, go for rather finely chopped, but not all the way to minced/food-processor'd. 
    • Once everything is chopped and mixed in a big bowl, add the (rinsed and drained) olives and hand-crumble the feta cheese on top. 
    • Right before you serve the salad, add the dressing and toss toss toss!

TO MAKE THE DRESSING:
    • Chop up the parsley leaves very very finely. I use a Ninja (cheap Target knockoff of the Slap Chop) to do this part, because nothing is worse to me than a big pokey leaf o' parsley in my salad. 
    • Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shakeshakeshake! Sorry to say, I never measure the salt/pepper/thyme/oregano, I just put 'em in and shake until it tastes "right." 
    • Make sure you really shake it up right before you put it on the salad!
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Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!
Leticia

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