Bill DwyerCooking Corner

Variations on Greek Salad

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By Bill Dwyer

Greek salad is one of the classics of the salad genre. The combination of fresh ingredients is perfect for the palate.

I provided a basic recipe for Greek salad in an earlier column; but I’m revisiting the subject in this month’s column because I’ve been experimenting with various ways of slightly altering the basic recipe using other ingredients frequently used in Greek cuisine. Greek salad proves to be amazingly adaptable and versatile, and just as delicious as ever.

I won’t be prescribing ingredient proportions or directions for assembling the salad in this column. You can decide for yourself what sizes or shapes to cut the veggies and feta cheese in your choice of proportions, and how to display the finished product. Cooking is more fun when you can be creative!

Greek SaladHere are the essential ingredients for a basic Greek salad:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Red onions
  • Kalamata olives, or other brined ripe olives
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh oregano, or basil or mint
  • One part lemon juice to three or four parts
  • olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Now, here are some additional ingredients to try:
  • Dried figs, chopped
  • Hard-boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
  • Fresh spinach
  • Fennel leaves (instead of oregano, basil, or mint)
  • Cooked calamari or baby octopus, chilled and sliced
  • Pistachio nuts, roasted and chopped
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • For a creamy version of Greek salad, add yogurt and a bit of honey.
  • For a pasta-type salad, add cooked and chilled orzo or couscous to finely chopped ingredients.

Experiment and enjoy! If you come up with other successful combinations, let me know.