SPAGHETTINI with BROWNED BUTTER & MIZITHRA CHEESE
CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

OUR GREEK SALAD

Chop! Chop!  Greekness-goodness-veggie-freshness in a bowl, riddled and crowned with dreamy, creamy, tangy feta.  Feta rules!

Greek2

sta-ple ˈ/stāpəl/
noun

1.
a main or important element of something, especially of a diet.

Seldom a week passes without me making a good-size batch of Greek salad.  It's pretty much a staple at our house.  And Forest Grump devours it.  Everytime.  He loves it.  He makes those happy eating noises whilst munching.  Everytime

Because I do make it so often and because Forest Grump has some very particular tastes, our version of Greek salad has developed to meet and greet his tastes.  But in doing so, I daresay Our Greek Salad could well make many other partakers happy munchers too.

I've come to prefer those, now more readily available, mini cucumbers and always use red onion and cherry or grape tomatoes and plump Kalamata olives.  Instead of green pepper, I chop up a fresh poblano pepper, to kick things up a bit, and a tad of orzo is a must.  Then lemon juice, red wine vinegar and the best damn extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on.

And then there's the feta.  [Cue clouds parting, streams of sunlight, angels singing.]  Promise me you'll always use superb feta.  No really....promise me!  It'll make all the difference in the world.

Of course there is great Greek feta, some fine French feta, and some locally available artisan fetas, that are exceptional.  Seek, find, taste and purchase quality feta for your Greek salads and you'll elevate the deliciousness quotient up, up and up. 

I'm quite tickled with myself that I have found the source for consistently praiseworthy feta.  The been-there-so-long-its-almost-an-institution, bustling little Mediterranean Market, in Kelowna brings in this dreamy, creamy, tangy sheep feta, from Bulgaria, that kicks ass! 

So, I'm thinking, maybe if you can find some Bulgarian sheep feta somewhere close to where you live, it'll be worth a try, too.  Fingers crossed.

That's about it, a bit of chopping, a bit of shopping ahead for 'the right stuff' and you too might become Greek Salad junkies.

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Greekclose

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 OUR GREEK SALAD - 6 Servings

1/2 cup dry orzo, cooked al dente, drained, rinsed with cold water
2 cups chopped mini cucumbers (quarter cukes lengthwise, then chop in smallish chunks)
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 pint fresh plump cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
1 medium poblano pepper, chopped into about 1/2-inch chunks
2/3 cup whole Kalamata olives (not pitted)
1 cup roughly crumbled, bizarrely good feta cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons splendid extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and a good schwack of freshly ground black pepper
Extra crumbled feta, to top servings

Add cooked orzo, cucumber chunks, red onion slices, tomatoes, chopped poblano, olives and feta to a large bowl. 

Add lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Gently mix and turn using a big spoon, spatula, or your hands, to evenly distribute all veggies, dressing and feta.  You want some of the feta crumbles to break down a bit and become part of the dressing, but you also want some of the feta crumbles to stay 'whole', to stay put, as delicious little flavour bursts.

Transfer to serving bowl, crown with some extra feta crumbles, just 'cuz you can, and either serve up, or refrigerate from 2 to 24 hours.

That all said, you can't go wrong, adding a little more of this, or a little less of that.  Make this baby you own!  Opa!

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