I love fresh food, I mean when you gather it from the garden then make your creation into something healthy and delicious. That is what eating should be all about making good delicious food and using fresh vegetables to do that is the best way to stay healthy. That is why I decided to make this great salad. It is healthy and easy to make I really think you will love the taste. I use this with my Greek gyros and it makes it taste amazing.
So let’s dig in and make this beautiful Mediterranean Greek Salad it really is to die for and goes well with so many other dishes it will be the go of your salad recipes. I will tell you all about what is in a greek salad and give you the recipe along the way here we go.
I know you are thinking okay I will just grab a tomatoe and there we go. There are differences in types of tomatoes depending on what you mean to do with them. For instance, a beefsteak tomato is wonderful on sandwiches, who doesn’t like a wonderful slice of tomato on a hamburger or a BLT, but for a salad, they have lots of juice and can make the salad sloppy and not as crisp and fresh tasting.
Cherry or grape tomatoes are really great and if used sparingly in a salad, can make a salad look great as well as add a depth of flavor, but are not recommended with a salad that the tomato is the feature element. They would have to be cut in half or quartered to work as the feature of the salad.
I recommend using Roma tomatoes, they are meatier with less juice and fewer seeds than other tomatoes. They are considered a plum tomato. They are originally from Italy and are known for being used in making pasta sauces and they hold up well in almost any dish. They are really good fresh or cooked and are my favorite tomatoes to work with. I really think this is the best tomato for tomato featured salads.
Like the tomatoes cucumbers also come in different varieties and are usually used in different ways. There are two different kinds of cucumbers one is for slicing and eating and one is for pickling. There are however many different varieties in each category and one, in particular, that is considered both.
I am only going to talk about the slicing and eating category as that is what we are wanting our cucumbers for today anyway maybe at a later date I will attempt to do some recipes on pickling.
When talking about the main cucumber used for slicing and eating fresh we normally think of the Hot House cucumber also known a the English cucumber, they are the ones found in stores that re normally have the skin of them waxed for preservation.
They are usually 6 to 9 inches long and are straight with a tapered end they have a fair amount of water in them with slightly bigger seeds than some of the other varieties.
These are year-round and have a long shelf life due to the wax, which isn’t necessarily good for you. I recommend that you peel them if this is the kind of cucumber you choose. They are our “normal” fresh eating and slicing cucumber and if you have no other options they will do nicely in any salad recipe.
There are others though that if you have the option to get you may want to try. One of these is the Armenian, also known as snake melon or snake cucumber. This cucumber is long and twisted when ripe it turns yellow and smells somewhat like a cantaloupe.
Another cucumber that is really tasty is the Japanese kyuri, they are dark green and bumpy they have small seeds and thin skins which make then perfect for eating the skin and all. They are crisp and sweet tasting. They are good in salads that need a bit of crunch but as a featured item I don’t think they would be what you would need.
Persian also know as Sfran cucumbers are more compact this short and squattier cucumber has a high water value that would not be very good in salad as it would make the salad soggy.
Lemon Cucumbers are really good and if you are just using them in a salad, not as the featured item they would be great to add another level of flavor to the salad.
However, this recipe features the cucumber and needs to have low water content and a good crunch factor as well as having a good flavor that is why I have chosen the Kirby cucumber which is both a pickling and a slicing and fresh eating cucumber.
They come unwaxed in the stores and have a crisp crunch and tiny seeds as well as a thin skin. These are the cucumbers most widely used as dill pickles but are sold fresh at times and they are great right out of the garden as well. They do not have the high water content as some of the others which makes them excellent cucumbers for this salad.
There are several types of onions but the three main types of onions that I think are wonderful in salads are the white onion especially an onion known as the Vidalia onion. It is particularly sweet and is also very flavorful it would be a good second to use in this salad. The taste is sweet and crunchy they don’t have a hard bite and they taste really good raw
Another good onion is the Scallion which doesn’t look like an onion at all it consists of a white and green part all of which can be used. These are mainly used for garnish or when you just need a little something extra in flavor. They also look beautiful with the right dish. I think for this salad though they would just get lost in the rest of the green.
The red onion is sweet and has a pop of color that is perfect for this salad it will have the flavor that will complement the salad as well. I would choose a medium-size one to either slice thinly or dice. If the onion is too harsh for you to eat raw you can soak it in cool distilled or purified water for 1 hour before preparing. Just quarter it and put it in the water then let it sit.
There are many wonderful tasting kinds of cheese out there but in salads, I have narrowed it down to three that are the best for salads. I know there are others but these will compliment any salad and they have a flavor profile that brings it all together and makes an incredible bite.
The first is parmesan, this cheese is a must-have to salads it is in almost all salad recipes except this one. I know it gives salads a good flavor but I choose something that goes with the profiles of flavor even more.
The second cheese is bleu cheese, this cheese has a wonderful tangy flavor and crumbles nicely but should also be fresh and creamy as well not too dried out
Then we have the star of this show Feta cheese it is salty and tangy made with sheep milk originally but can be made of goat milk as well. It is crumbly and creamy and goes well with vinegar and no greek salad would be a greek salad without it.
I would never have time to list all the wonderful herbs and how they complement food so I will just talk about the two we are using in this salad which is Cilantro and Mint.
Cilantro is a herb that is from the parsley family often known as Mexican parsley but is widely used in the Mediterranean. It has a slightly spicy flavor and gives this salad a pop it needs it also goes well with the other ingredients.
Mint gives the salad a fresh taste it goes so well with all the other ingredients and leaves a great taste in your mouth. I wouldn’t try the variations of mint such as peppermint or spearmint just stick with the regular mint for this one as the others will change the way it tastes and not go well with the other flavors.
This dressing is a wonderful greek dressing that has loads of flavor This dressing is made with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper minced garlic, olive oil, and yogurt. When mixed together it becomes an amazing flavor for the salad.
This can also be used as a marinade for any meat, or vegetables that you want to have that wonderful greek taste. It can also be made without the yogurt if you would rather have a less creamy vinaigrette.
Mediterranean Greek Salad
- 2 Romana Tomatoes (Diced)
- 1 Cucumber (Diced)
- 1 Red Onion (Sliced)
- 1 Cup Feta Cheese (Crumbled)
- 2 Tbs Fresh Cilantro (Chopped)
- 2 Tbs Fresh Mint (Chopped)
Creamy Greek Vinaigrette
- 2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic)
- 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Clove Fresh Garlic (Minced)
- ½ tsp Oregano (Dried)
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- ⅛ tsp Black Pepper (Ground)
- 3 Tbs Greek Yogurt (Plain)
- 1 Ounce Fetta Cheese (Crumbled (optional))
- Mix salad ingredients all together. Gently folding in the cheese.
- In a pint-sized jar mix the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and spices. Add yogurt and fetta cheese if desired to be creamy. Put the lid on the jar and shake for at least 30 seconds till all is incorporated and mixed well. It should be fairly thin. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve. Refrigerate any leftover dressing for one up to one week.
Adding and Taking Away
Now it is your turn try the recipe and make your own variations. That is the wonderful thing about food it is all in the person’s tastebuds you may like a little less lemon or a little more garlic maybe you would like the tomatoe to cucumber ratio to be a little more change it to suit your taste. Maybe you would like it just as I gave it. You never know just try it I really think you will love it.
Please let me know if you tried this recipe. Did you change it and make it your own if so let me know what variations you made and how it worked for you? Thanks ahead of time for all your comments.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. Proverbs 8:11 KJV200