Salads – from being a Bore to want some More
Salads aren’t my best friend, not after I was compelled to eat more of this raw medley to keep the calories at bay. With being in a salad straitjacket most of the time, I studiously avoid looking at the salad bar during banquets. I mean it’s not fair to restrict oneself to greens as the world feasts. At least that’s what I’d like to think, to absolve myself of temporary qualms of conscience.
Green salads, however, can be relished if well dressed with the right accompaniments. As we are now into Grecian fare, it would do well to include a green leafy vegetables salad and a traditional Greek salad to complete the Greek saga. It’s not unfair to pack in some salads it it’s accompanied with a spread of delicious soup, gyro and casserole (see other recipe articles on the Greek theme).
That this Greek boiled salad recipe flaunts olives, herbs and cheese is but natural, especially to Greeks. Note that iceberg lettuce is a common ingredient in most of my salads because of one primary reason. Did you know that lettuce has no nutritional value? Well that’s a relief; for it’s a great filler that keeps you chewing without a pang of conscience and with no risk of a calorie attack.
So do wedge in a few of these traditional Greek salads into your menu even if they aren’t as toothsome. Afterall, one or two healthy options won’t hurt. Here goes my Leafy Greek Green Salad recipe.
Boiled Leafy Green Greek Salad Recipe
- 3 bunches spinach (cut in strips, without stems)
- 1 tomato (chopped to medium-sized pieces)
- 1 medium-sized onion (finely chopped)
- 3-4 tbsp dark olives
- 8-9 iceberg lettuce leaves (chopped in strips)
- 2-3 cubes grated cheese (Amul cheese went into this)
- ¼-½ tsp black pepper powder
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp white vinegar (for a spicy & tangy taste)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
The Making of the Salad
- Heat olive oil as customary, adding onions and tomatoes and stirring for a couple of minutes. (When I refer to a couple, I mean literally two minutes - taking care to not overheat the olive oil).
- Next stir in some vinegar, pepper powder, salt and chilli flakes.
- Now plonk in the spinach leaves, and prop up the stove on high heat to not allow the leaves to emit water. Stir roughly and let cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Top with grated cheese, dark olives, and “cool”. (As indicated in my previous Grecian recipes, all items need to be “cooled” before proceeding with the next step).
- Top with lettuce strips, arranging them well for effect. Garnish with some more grated cheese just before serving.
Traditional Greek Salad Recipe
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4-5 cubes cheese (grated, Amul brand will do)
- 3-4 tbsp dark olives (drain the water in which they are soaked)
- 4 boiled egg whites (finely chopped)
- 400 gms potatoes (boiled, then finely chopped)
- 1 large tomato (chopped)
- ⅓ tsp pepper powder
- ⅓ tsp mixed herbs
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- a pinch of basil powder
- 2 tsp salt
- olive oil (as required)
Putting the Salad together
- Pour a modest amount of olive oil into a pan.
- Add chilli flakes and pepper soon after, taking care not to let the oil overheat for apparent reasons.
- Then drop in the chopped potatoes, turn the gas on high and fry for two to three minutes till a crunch.
- Add the chopped onions and saute a bit.
- Add salt, lime juice, tomatoes, stir again for say, a minute.
- Add the chopped egg whites, toss lightly.
- Follow this by adding mixed herbs, dark olives and sprinkle basil powder over it.
- You may dress up this traditional Greek salad with grated zucchini - an optional step.
Recommended Dishes to pair with Greek salads
Don’t eat the Greek salads in isolation; if you do – it is likely to taste bland as common to some of the best Greek salad recipes. Bland to the Indian palate, that is.
I suggest that you pair the Greek salads with the Greek mains, to make it a complemetary meal. A recipe of Greek mains in the form of Greek Casserole, snacks like the Greek Gyro, and hot broths like the Greek Cold Soup are fundamental to a Greek themed affair.