Greek Salad

Greek Salad 5

So I’ve been gone for a while.

You see, I’ve changed apartments, and currently my entire life is in boxes. It’s been three weeks since I last saw my socks. I haven’t cooked since – oh, I can’t even remember when. My kitchen appliances are scattered to the four winds, and it seems like I have at least three worm holes in my new apartment.

A salad is all I’ve managed to throw together. It’s a good salad, mind you, and the weather here does seem to warrant salads and ice cream. But making ice cream is quite out of the question. So salad it is. I’ve made this countless times, and it’s always a hit. I call it Greek salad, although any Greeks out there will probably scoff at my ignorance. Oh, well, so be it.

Call it what you like, but I’m tellin’ ya, this tastes of summer.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Goat Cheese and Leek Pasta

Other feta cheese recipes: Spanakopita, Feta Bites, Feta and Herb Sweet Potatoes, Walnut Feta Cookies

Other salads: Strawberry Almond Brie Salad, Provolone Salad, Pistacio Mozzarella Salad, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad

Greek Salad 6

Greek Salad

Servings: varies

Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • fresh mixed salad greens
  • cucumber, peeled and diced
  • black olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • feta cheese, cubed
  • pita bread, cut into quarters
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Greek Salad 1

This is quite straightforward. Heat up your grill and add a drizzle of olive oil. Lay out the pita quarters in a single layer on the grill, and sprinkle with oregano. Allow to brown until nice little lines appear, then flip them one at a time and sprinkle with oregano again. When the other side has browned as well, remove them from the grill and place on a paper-towel lined plate.

Greek Salad 8

Meanwhile, toss the greens, cucumber, olives and feta in a large bowl. Now, you can either arrange the pita quarters around the salad bowl, or you can dish up the salad and artistically place a few quarters on the side. Or just eat them like they’re chips. No, really, I betcha you can’t stop at one.

Greek Salad 2

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Voilà, summer holiday on a plate. And it’s very nearly healthy.

Enjoy 🙂

Clara

Greek Salad 7

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Date Bacon Parmesan Salad

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 8

I know what you’re thinking. Not Parmesan again. And salad, again? I know, I know. But you must understand, it’s Parmesan. The king of all cheeses. And this ain’t just any salad. It’s the best kind of salad. You know, the kind of salad loaded with cheese and bacon.

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 2

Also, Parmesan features in Boccaccio’s Decameron tale about an imaginary gourmet paradise. I’m talking XV century Italian literature here, guys. The passion for Parmesan has been around for longer than most modern countries. I mean, the man writes about mountains of Parmesan cheese. Like, mountains.

I’ve been looking for that place for a couple of years now. I’ll let you know if I get lucky. I won’t tell you were it is, though. I’ll just sent a postcard.

Anyway, this rich history is of course the main reason why I made this salad. Duh.

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 9

That, and I was so sleepy this morning it took about ten minutes for me to realize I was trying to fit both my legs into one leg of my pants. So this is all I could manage in the state I’m in.

But try it. You won’t regret it. The play of textures and the blend of sweet, salty and crispy ingredients is, in a word, heavenly. Did you hear angels sing? Because they did. And if you listen very closely, you’ll hear their silver voices chanting one word in a trance-like rhythm:

Parmesan…

And then of course there’s the celestial heavy metal band bellowing Bacooon!! at the top of their lungs in the background. They never miss a beat, those little rascals.

Let’s get the show on the road:

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 7

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad

Sevings: it’s completely up to you and how much cheese and bacon you can eat

Prep time: 30 minutes tops

You will need:

  • Baby greens
  • Arugula
  • Parmegiano Reggiano
  • Bacon, cut into cubes or strips
  • Pitted dates, cut into quarters
  • Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, to dress the salad

Note: This salad is super easy and super tasty, perfect for those sultry summer days, and good enough to impress your guests. If you need more salad recipes, check out our Strawberry Almond Brie Salad, Provolone Salad, and Pistachio Mozzarella Salad.

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 1

First off, wash your salad greens and arugula and place them in a large bowl. The amount of each depends on how much you like baby greens and arugula. In fact, you could just as well make this salad using only arugula, if you really like it. Plus, you will look like a goat whilst eating, which is always a perk.

Now cook your bacon in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil until nice and crispy, then place on a paper-towel-lined plate to catch any extra grease. Again, the amount is up to you, but don’t skimp. The bacon and date pairing is one of the best flavor combos ever.

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 5

Allow to cool.

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 3

Cut your Parmesan cheese into small, fine slices, until you feel you have enough to transport yourself or your guests to Parmesan Paradise, and add to the greens.

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 4

Now, you are absolutely entitled to eat this like this, and no one will judge you. At least I know I won’t, because, you know, been there, done that.

But bear with me if you can, the final result will definitely be worth your while.

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 6

Cut up your dates and add to the salad. Don’t be to heavy handed with these; a little goes a long way, and they’ll overpower the bacon and cheese, which we most certainly do not want happening. Ever.

Last, but not least, top the salad with the cooled bacon. Add a drizzle of good olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. That’s seriously all the dressing you’ll need.

Now, eat, drink and be merry. You’ll thank me later 🙂

Clara

Date Bacon Parmesan Salad 10

Pistachio Mozzarella Salad

Mozzarella Pistachio Salad 6

I will keep today’s post short and sweet. Summer is hurtling our way, temperatures are rising and no amount of open windows can coax a breeze into my apartment. To me, summer also signifies a natural aversion towards all things hot. Namely, hair dries, toasters, ovens, and stoves. Oh, and computers.

And since I figured that none of you harbors the wish to sit in front of a toasty PC when the sun is baking the pavement outside, I will cut my post short, and let you dive into this refreshing, no-heat-source-requiring salad which you come together in a flash. I guarantee even the most obstinate salad haters will fall to their knees before this little green gem. Honestly, who doesn’t like pesto? Who doesn’t like pistachios? Who doesn’t like mozzarella?

I know I do.

If you don’t, we have two more lovely salads that will make your summer a breeze:

Provolone Salad

Strawberry-Almond-Brie Salad

 

Mozzarella Pistachio Salad 7

Pistachio Mozzarella Salad

Serving: as many as you like/need/can eat on your own

Prep time: 10 minutes

You will need:

  • mixed baby greens
  • mozzarella balls, halved
  • pistachios, shelled
  • pesto

Mozzarella Pistachio Salad 1 Mozzarella Pistachio Salad 2 Mozzarella Pistachio Salad 3

Place your salad greens in a large bowl. Gently toss in the halved mozzarella balls and pistachios, making sure they don’t end up at the bottom of the bowl. You can mix in the pesto at this point, or serve it in a pretty bowl so everyone can add it to their own taste.

Mozzarella Pistachio Salad 8

And that’s it. No, seriously. That’s it.

Mozzarella Pistachio Salad 5

Provolone Salad

provolone salad prep 1

La recepta d’avui serà la segona entrega de “receptes que et fan sentir una mica menys culpable”. Us la presento: amanida tèbia de provolone. La conjunció perfecta de verd, que fa sa i fa operació bikini, molt de moda en aquesta època, i formatge. Però no formatge així com si res, no: provolone torrat per un cantó i fos per l’altre. La fusió de textures definitiva, allò que te’l poses a la boca quan encara és calent i les teves papil·les gustatives ballen reggaeton.

Perquè sí, ho confesso, sóc totalment addicta al formatge fos. I no em mireu malament, no és culpa meva. Sóc un dels molts nens i nenes catalans que van créixer amb els VHS de l’Astèrix i l’Obèlix de La Vanguardia, i el “quand l’appétit va, tout va” tard o d’hora passa facutra.

Però no patiu! Si us trobeu immersos en un atac de racionalitat i recompte de calories heu de saber que la millor part d’aquest plat és que sota el provolone hi podeu posar verd infinit. Que sí, que les calories del formatge seguiran sent les que eren, però almenys compensa, no?

Abans de passar al plat d’aquesta setmana deixeu que us digui que avui, per primer cop, a May the cheese be with you us presentem una recepta proposada per un lector del blog, el meu tiet, que me la va fer arribar l’altre dia perquè com que tenia formatge va pensar en nosaltres (i vas fer molt ben fet de pensar-hi, perquè és perfecta! Gràcies!). Ja ho sabeu, si teniu una recepta amb formatge que feu habitualment o que heu vist en algun lloc i us agradaria que provéssim, no dubteu en fer-nos-la arribar! Facebook, twitter, la pàgina de contacte… La qüestió és fer cada setmana una mica més gran la comunitat del formatge!

 Provolone Salad

Servings: varies, depending on how much salad you eat

Prep time: 20 min

You will need:

  • Assorted salad greens (lettuce, arugula, spinach… whatever you want or you happen to have)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Pine nuts
  • Provolone, cut into 0,5-0,8 cm slices (1 slice/pers)
  • Olive oil, salt, vinegar, pepper, oregano… dress it to your taste

Start by heating a pan with a little olive oil and sauté the cherry tomatoes with the pine nuts. We don’t want a tomato sauce, so just heat them until they are soft and warm and they have lost some of their water. If you want your pine nuts to be really toasted, you might start with them first and add the tomatoes later. There’s no rule for that, feel free to combine tomatoes and pine nuts the way you want! The thing is to have warm soft tomatoes and more or less browned pine nuts.

provolone salad prep 2

Now wash, drain and cut the green stuff. Be really careful when using some eco-bio-old style-ultracool salad, mine was delicious but had an entire civilization of slugs on it. They are quite cute and we don’t want them to end their days being  unfairly chewed up, so watch every leave closely when you wash it.

provolone salad prep 3

Put the desired amount of green on your plate and top with your favourite dressing (I go crazy with my mustard-vinaigrette. Like, really crazy. I overdress my salads and end with a bread-dip-sauce on the bottom of my plate. Oh, I love it.)  Add your warm tomatoes and pine nuts on top, and prepare yourself for the melting-provolone-moment you’re about to have.

provolone salad prep 4 provolone salad prep 5

Heat a pan on high. When it’s as hot as it gets, place one provolone slice in it. It will sound and smell like crunchy-melty-cheesy heaven. When the bottom side of the cheese is well fried and toasted and the upper side is begining to melt, grab a big flat spatula and quickly transfer the provolone onto the salad, ideally with the toasted side on top and the melty side melting into the salad.

 provolone salad prep 6

Beautiful.

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Enjoy!

Strawberry-Almond-Brie Salad

Strawberry-Almond-Brie-Salad 2

I got yelled after on the street again today. It happens from time to time, due to the fact that I am the limit of pale approaching infinity, and have a light-bulb-blonde head, and happen to live in a country full of gorgeous, olive-skinned, jet-black-haired people. Beautiful though they be, the yelling is usually quite crude, and, being the delicate English rose that I am, I would never respond to such demeaning behavior. I am a lady, not a dog. Also, never underestimate the seductive power of a decent vocabulary.

So, today, I managed to stop a white van full of men mid-catcall by shoving a big powdery donut into my mouth, then smiling with my mouth full. I admit my level of weirdness is above the national average, but I’m comfortable with that. The look on their faces was gold, I’m telling ya. I laughed all the way home. Well, technically, I laughed for about 5 minutes, then choked on my mouthful of donut, then coughed all the way home, having turned a most graceful shade of puce. Delicate English rose, indeed.

Anyway, the reason I was walking down the street where I met the ill-fated white van in the first place, is because the sun was shining, and there was a slight scent on the morning breeze – I could swear it hailed the advent of spring. Ah, the mystique! Yes, well, that, and I had eaten half a dozen donuts for breakfast and kind of felt like I needed to walk it off.

So thank your lucky stars for my donut overdose, and the fact that, after the aforementioned catcall/choking incident, I had this nagging feeling that I really ought to regain my lady-like demeanor: they led to the creation of this salad. Plus I had a bowl-ful of strawberries in my fridge. Because, guess what? Spring is around the corner, and strawberries are spring’s most exhuberant shout of joy. Let us therefore stuff our faces with them while they last.

Strawberry Almond Brie Salad 3

Strawberry-Almond-Brie Salad

Servings: varies, depending on how much salad you eat

Prep time: 15 minutes tops

  • Dark leafy salad greens, such as baby greens and/or arugula
  • Strawberries, quartered lengthwise (see pic)
  • Brie, cut into cubes
  • Almonds, roasted and salted
  • Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, to taste

This recipe is really quite straightforward. Basically, toss all ingredients together. Eat. Repeat. The green-to-yummy-stuff-ratio is entirely up to you. If you love your greens, go heavy on the leaves and light on the rest. Then say baaah. If you are nuts about the nuts (pardon the pun), go ahead and throw in the whole bag. If you are a true cheese lover, then welcome to our community. The initiation ritual is this Sunday. Don’t be late.

A few hints before you start:

Make sure you Brie is nice and cool until right before you cut it up, or it’ll come apart when you cut.

Also, you definitely want to use salted almonds, our you’ll end up with a salad that tastes like dessert. Not a problem, I know, but still. It’s a salad. If you’re no fan of big chunks in your salad, feel free to chop up the almonds and sprinkle them on top before you serve.

And last but not least, I believe this tastes best with just a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. That way the different textures can really shine. But feel free to mix in any vinaigrette you like. I would steer clear of cream- or yogurt-based dressings, though, as the Brie is already very creamy.

And that’s all, folks. Simple, easy, delicious. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did 🙂

Strawberry-Almond-Brie-Salad