Greek Salad

I’m always puzzled by anybody using a bottled jar of dressing …. it is so easy to make your own and nail the taste down just the way you like it! Greek salads are so amazing at this time of year … full of fresh vegetables out of the garden mixed with tangy, salty olives and feta cheese.

Greek Salad

SALAD

cubed cucumbers, tomatoes, colored sweet peppers and sliced red onion
crumbled feta and black olives
torn fresh basil and oregano leaves

DRESSING

I like to make my dressing right onto the salad … gives me an excuse to keep tasting the salad in the event I need to make adjustments …

Over salad squeeze:
juice of 1 lemon
1 crushed garlic clove
drizzle of your best olive oil
sprinkle of salt and pepper

Now taste it …. enough balance? If not, and you aren’t eating it all immediately while you taste, just keep adding bits at a time until it is perfect.

Tabouli Salad

This tabouli salad is made with quinoa, so a complete meal for a vegetarian option, or serve alongside a grilled chicken breast …. or tonight’s choice – chicken wings with a Pomegranate Molasses Barbecue Sauce …. yumminess.

Tabouli Salad

1 cup quinoa – rinse well
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn in rustic pieces
1 small bunch kale, very finely chopped (remove stem)
1/2 English cucumber, cut into fine quarters
1 cup finely chopped assorted colored sweet peppers
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (pickling instructions below)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp orange zest and 2 tbsp fresh orange juice

Pickling red onions: Thinly slice red onions and pour boiling water over for 10 seconds – drain off, and cover with fresh squeezed lime juice and a sprinkle of kosher salt. They turn such a great color.

Tabouli
Place the rinsed quinoa in a medium sauce pain, ccover with 1 3/4 cup cold water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and cook until water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 18-20 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork and let it cool.

In a large bowl toss all prepared vegetables and the cooled quinoa.

Dressing
Combine zest and fruit juices, drizzle oil slowly in to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss with prepared Tabouli Salad and taste …season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Tonight tabouli salad was also made with some grilled zucchini and served on a fresh bed of spinach

Tonight tabouli salad was also made with some grilled zucchini and served on a fresh bed of spinach

Roasted Vegetables

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This works really well all year long in a hot oven, and even better on a grilling basket on your barbecue.

Preheat oven to 400. Use any assortment you like of vegetables, I usually try to go for color and cut the items so they cook at about the same rate – i.e., onions, broccoli and cauliflower take a little longer to cook so either cut them smaller or put them in the oven first, adding the peppers, zucchini and tomato after the first 15 min of cooking time.

Once you have all your vegetables prepped, toss in a generous amount of really good quality extra virgin olive oil, a couple cloves of crushed garlic and a good handful of fresh herbs.  Season with salt and pepper.

Turn vegetables out of oil seasoning onto roasting surface.  Reserve bowl that the oil and seasonings are in.

Roast until just tender and little brown carmelized bits appear.  Anywhere from 30-45 minutes.Toss again into the olive oil, seasoning mix just to brighten up the flavours a bit – taste for seasonings and dust with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. 

Corn Salad with Mint, Parsley and Cilantro

In a word – Yummy!!!  I have tried this with leftover steamed corn on the cob or grilled corn – either way it is so fresh and delicious you will love it.  Serve as a side dish/salad/grilled meat or fish topping or even try it served over greens for a change to your green salad.

4 cobs of corn – grilled or steamed

Remove corn from cob, and if you want a warm dish, mix everything together and serve.  If you are looking for a cold or room temperature side, just allow corn to cool first.

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Combine the onion and lime juice – let stand for at least 10 minutes – this will mellow out the flavour of the onions

1 tsp maple syrup

1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced

3 tbsp each of minced or torn mint, parsley and cilantro leaves

Combine all of the ingredients – and taste.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.