Greek Salad, Improvised!

Greek Salad - my take :)

Greek Salad – my take 🙂

While the world trips on quinoa and chia and gluten free and muesli and sunflower seeds and what not, I stare at my pantry and realise I am yet to go there and do that. So, whats stopping me?

The availability? Naah.. big huge supermarkets in one of the biggest cosmopolitan city of India, can’t make that excuse!

Recipes? I am a food blogger!! I have blogger friends dishing out super food made with super ingredients and fantastic recipes.. for God’s sake, I can’t run with that either!

Sigh.. so what is it. Friends, I am just lazy. Terribly lazy and the fact that I think I get enough nutrition from what we eat on a regular basis is a huge hindrance to my foray into this new health food world.

Walnuts for that extra crunch

Walnuts for that extra crunch

I plan to change all that. Buying a small pack is all that it’ll take to throw me into the bandwagon and then I know I will be hooked for a long time to come.
But for now that can wait, because with the most basic ingredients available in any kitchen I made a fairly popular though simple robust tasty salad. The recipe is so straight that I could have easily tweeted or instagrammed it, but no. This needs to be chronologized. It deserves a post. 🙂

Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette

Greek salad is a very rustic summer salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, a bit of feta and some kalamata olives. Dressing is of vinegar-olive oil seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano. Now this is a basic Greek salad formula. What I did, I improvised it, added some more weight to it.. 😉

The vinaigrette was spiced and flavoured with minced green chilies and coriander leaves. Feta was replaced by regular paneer or cottage cheese. Broken bits of walnut added the much required crunch and yes.. that’s pretty much it.

my instagram upload

my instagram upload

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, take firm red ripe ones
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • Few lettuce leaves
  • Whole pitted olives – as many as you like or skip it altogether
  • 1/4 cup crumbled paneer or cottage cheese or feta
  • 2 tbsp of broken walnut or pine nuts or almonds or peanuts

For the Spicy Vinaigrette –

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 green chill minced
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves minced

Method

To make the dressing – mix all the ingredients of the vinaigrette and whisk thoroughly. Keep aside. In a big salad bowl, take all your vegetables, except the nuts. Mix. Pour the dressing over it. Gently mix. Refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, top with toasted nuts.

Goodness in a bowl

Goodness in a bowl

Note: You can skip/avoid any ingredient you don’t like. I did that to olives. Yeh.. not a big olive fan!

Note: Feta is creamier and softer, but our very Indian Malai paneer proves to be a good match to it. Try it.

Note: Use green chilies according to its level of heat and your own discretion

Of forks, ladles and spoons...

Of forks, ladles and spoons…

The very lovely Angie has been hosting a virtual potluck bloggers party and in spite of being invited long back, I am attending the festivities now! This post is being linked to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #23.

I have been instagrammed!!
Very recently I signed up for an instagram account: namrata_mft. If you would like a peek into my daily life, add me!

-Namrata

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Cucumber Sesame Salad

Another weekend whizzes by.
And still no sign of peace, quiet, resignation, relaxation. In fact weekends are more challenging with never-ending social commitments, dining out and classes which cannot be taken during the week.
In times like these, I dream. I dream of mountains, of chilly soft breeze, of a great book and of some irresistible coffee.

What! Then why a SALAD recipe?!

Cold cucumber sesame salad

Cold cucumber sesame salad

When you have spent more time in the car than on your comfy bed.
When you have spent more time choosing gifts for brothers and nephews than lounging in front of your television.
When you have attended back to back Rakhshabandhan pre lunches and dinners, rather than eating khichdi.
For those times dear friends, when you pigged out more than you should have – This post is for those times 🙂

I am so not a salad person. All that raw-chewy-leafy is too much for me to chomp on. But weirdly, I felt like skipping dinner and munch on something light-cool and crunchy.

Dear husband’s jaw dropped open when he saw me tossin the greens. Salad huh? Since when?!
Since now.  And he beamed, thinking his naturopathy has rubbed off on me. Poor chap doesn’t realize, my salad fad is so temporary.

Sweet, salty, lemony dressing

Sweet, salty, lemony dressing

Picking my favorite raw veggie, cucumbers and decorating them with a bit of color(Read: carrots) and drowning the dish with a lemony sweet vinaigrette, topped with toasted sesame and peanuts is my very own mix mash of innumerable salad recipes that I have come across.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cucumbers, washed, sliced as you please
  • 2 tbsp thinly shaved carrots
  • 2 tbsp onion rings
  • 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1-2 tsp sugar or honey. I used sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes – optional.
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp roasted crushed peanuts

Method

In a bowl, add the vinegar, lime, sugar, salt and oil. Mix in the onion rings. Pour this vinaigrette on cold cut cucumbers and carrots. Mix well. Sprinkle sesame seeds, peanuts and red chili flakes. Toss.

I ate it fresh. But you could refrigerate for 30 minutes so that the cucumbers soak up the dressing.

There. Done. Serve.

Sesame seeds and peanuts add crunch

Sesame seeds and peanuts add crunch

Serving Suggestion: A calm quiet peaceful solitary setting. Enjoy every morsel. Stun with every flavor.

I did not have this privilege. My 6-year-old was tearing my back down. Grimacing at the bites that I so lovingly offered. Husband was panegyrizing the benefits of salads, in some massive effort to turn me into a hermit.

Soon, I shut the mad room out, bowl in one hand, my inseparable book in the other, and walk into the dreams that I so frequently dwell in.
Bliss.

Summer Salad

Summer Salad