Whether you're planning a grand lunch or a simple family get-together, a salad should be a must on your menu. It's sure to make your lunch far more impressive when you offer a healthy and colourful Greek salad. This is one dish that's famous throughout the world though it has its own variations in different cuisines. The original Greek salad is a simple fare with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and onions as the base; this is flavoured with oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil. Also called the country salad or peasant salad, this nutritious salad was normally served at the beginning of a meal in Greece.
The first known Greek salads were made entirely of fresh ingredients. The salad is a fusion of locally grown fresh vegetables, carefully selected after analysing their effects on health. This is why lettuce is not normally a part of the original Greek salad; the Greek consider this vegetable an anti-aphrodisiac. However, American versions of the Greek salad include lettuce and a lot of other ingredients such as sardines, anchovies and capers. Now, feta cheese and Kalamata olives are a part of the Greek salad.
This is an ideal salad to have in summer; cucumbers and tomatoes are effective thirst quenchers. The specialty of this dish is, it not only adds colour to your table; it's also full of nutrition. Its main ingredient, tomato, is full of Vitamin C and is known to be a good anti-oxidant. Cucumber's healthy for the skin while onions are beneficial to the heart and bones and help lower blood sugar.
Here's a recipe for a quick and healthy Greek salad for your lunch or dinner table -
You'll need -Tomatoes - 3 (slivered) Red onions, cut into rings - 1/4 Cucumber - 1/2 Capsicum (julienned) - 1/2 Cubed feta cheese - 4 ounces Dried oregano - 1/2 tsp Crushed garlic - 1 clove Lemon juice - 1 1/2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil - 3 tbsp Coarse salt - 1/4 tsp Fresh powdered black pepper -a little more than 1/4 tsp Kalamata olives -16
Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, pepper, salt and oregano in a jar with a tight lid and shake well. Mix the salad vegetables in a bowl. Now, empty the contents of the jar over the vegetables and mix just before serving. For garnishing, use a little freshly powdered black pepper.
This colourful salad could be a side dish in a lunch buffet or served as a light meal to weight watchers. Serve this with pita bread to make it a complete meal. It'll also be a great accompaniment to roasted chicken and other meat dishes.