My fellow cooks, good morning and Happy New Year to all. May 2012 brings us more happiness and more new flavors…
In my Google research I found the Jamie Oliver episode where he visited our Greek islands.
From this episode, I am focusing on his version of the famous “Greek Salad”.
Jamie adds 2 kinds of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and beef tomatoes. To my opinion, the Greek, summer tomatoes are so sweet that don’t need the sweetness from the cherry tomatoes. However, they add an extra flavor that elevates the salad. additionally, the mint leaves go very well turning the popular salad into a gourmet dish.
Last but not least, I would like to say a huge “Thanks” to Jamie for his idea of scratching the cucumber with a fork to let the olive come in, for cutting the onions very slightly so that they absorb the olive oil, for the use of oregano and of course for using Extra Virgin Olive Oil
because this is the only kind of olive oil that the salad allows to touch her!!!
Jamie, thanks for not ruining this recipe with “touristic” tricks and for respecting
the originality of my country’s most popular dish.
PS. Also thanks for the genius cook’s note.
“In Athens, Jamie goes spear fishing off a Mama Mia-style island, meets bee keepers who produce the most amazing honey and are full of even more amazing stories about bee sex. He makes goat cheese with a Greek Orthodox monk, and prepares a Greek salad, and pistachio and honey cake.”
Greek Salad – by Jamie Oliver
- 1 medium ripe tomato
- 7 ounces/200 g ripe cherry tomatoes
- 1 beef tomato (also known as beefsteak tomato)
- 1 medium red onion, peeled
- 1 cucumber
- 1 green pepper
- A handful fresh dill
- A handful fresh mint leaves
- A large handful black olives, pitted or stoned
- Sea salt
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons good-quality Greek extra-virgin olive oil
- 7 ounces/200 g block feta cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
This salad is known and loved around the world. Those of you who’ve been lucky enough to eat this salad in Greece will know that when it’s made well it’s absolute heaven. Hopefully this recipe will help you achieve the big bold authentic flavours that it’s known for. The trick is to pay attention to the small details that make it so wonderful: things like finding the ripest tomatoes, good Greek olive oil, beautiful olives, creamy feta, and lovely herbs.
I think it’s quite nice to have different shapes and sizes in a salad, so cut your medium tomato into wedges, halve the cherry tomatoes, and slice the beef tomato into large rounds. Put all the tomatoes into a large salad bowl.
Slice the onion very finely so it’s wafer thin and add to the tomatoes. Scratch a fork down the sides of the cucumber so it leaves deep grooves in the skin, then cut it into thick slices.
Deseed your pepper, slice it into rings and add them to the salad along with the cucumber.
Roughly chop the dill and most of the mint leaves, reserving the smaller ones for garnish. Add the chopped herbs to the bowl of salad, then squeeze your handful of olives over so they season the vegetables, then drop them in.
Add a pinch of salt, the vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Quickly toss everything together with your hands. The minute all those flavours start working with the vegetables is when the magic starts to happen. Have a taste, and adjust the flavours if need be.
To serve, pop the block of feta right on the top of the salad. Sprinkle the oregano over the top along with the reserved mint leaves, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and take it straight to the table. It’s confident and scruffy with a bit of attitude. Delicious.
Cook’s Note: I’ve been known to pop leftover Greek salad into a liquidizer with a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and a few ice cubes, then blitz it up to a smooth consistency so it’s basically a Greek gazpacho. It’s not a classic thing to do, but it is very delicious, not to mention a great way of using up leftovers!”