Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Warm Greek Salad

Salads have a hard time in winter. Like bikinis, sunscreen and sandals they get reserved for the summer months and called horrible names like ‘rabbit food’. Okay, so maybe I’m the one who calls them that but still, they deserve a little better than to be kept for diets and silly cleanses.

I have two words for you: warm & salads. Why has no one thought of this earlier? It’s simply genius! The delicious, crunchy goodness of salads but served in a warm, cozy, snuggle-up-with-a-bowl-and-a-blanket kind of way. Once you’ve opened your mind to the possibility of warm salads, the possibilities are just endless. Think lentils tossed with wedges of roasted pumpkin and butternut scattered with a warm crispy sage dressing and toasted walnuts or how about a warm potato salad with caramelized garlic, dill and crème fraiche. Add roast chicken, grilled lamb or smoked salmon and you have a salad meal. I could go on and on.

To test my new-found warm salad epiphany, I took one of the most summery recipes I could think of and gave it the snuggly treatment. Greek salad is all about the ripest summery tomatoes, the plumpest olives the creamiest feta, peppery olive oil and the tang of proper balsamic. It’s greatness lies in its simplicity. But roast those ripe tomatoes until they blister and burst with flavour, and warm the plump olives to release their bitter oils, crumb the creamy feta and then fry it so it gets all gooey inside then pile it all on the plate and drizzle with the peppery olive oil and the splashy tang of the balsamic and you have a salad worthy of the name.

Warm Greek salad
Serves 4

200g baby tomatoes
½ red onion, finely sliced
½ cup Mediterranean Delicacies Calamata-style olives, drained and pitted
4 x 25g slabs Mediterranean Delicacies feta, drained well
Olive oil
1 cup dried breadcrumbs, seasoned
½ cucumber, sliced
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the baby tomatoes, red onion and olives on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast lightly until blistered but not completely soft. They should still keep their shape. Dip the feta slabs in a little olive oil then in breadcrumbs. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and saute the feta over high heat until golden and just soft. Remove from the pan and arrange on a plate. Top with the tomatoes, olives, onion and cucumber slices. Dress with the balsamic vinegar and oil. Serve with grilled lamb chops, chicken breasts or as is. 

*This post has been sponsored by Mediterranean Delicacies who make a fabulous range of yummy pesto, dips, phyllo pastry, olives and other delicious Med-style goodies. 

{GIVEAWAY} Mediterranean Delicacies are giving away TWO Morphy Richards Induction Cookers! Follow this link to enter their latest competition.

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