Saturday, July 9, 2016

Greek Salad with Tzatziki

     A Classic Greek Salad With Tzatziki!
     Nearly everybody knows what a Greek Salad is.  Just about every Greek diner seems to have this item on the menu.  The ingredients of are very basic.  The better the quality of the ingredients, the better the Greek Salad will be!
     Imported Greek olives and peppers are the best choice.   Bite size pieces of good quality feta cheese are better than crumbled feta.  Only a small amount of feta cheese is needed or feta will be the only flavor that can be tasted in the salad.  A nice mixture of spinach and baby lettuce is better than iceberg lettuce.
     A regular Greek Salad dressing is usually a mixture of lemon, garlic and virgin olive oil.  Salt, pepper and oregano flavors the dressing, but some people get tired of this flavor.  Tzatziki is a traditional Greek sauce that works well as an alternative dressing for Greek Salad.  Cool refreshing yogurt, mint and cucumber adds a nice touch in the summertime.  

     Tzatziki Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 1 3/4 cups.  (3 or 4 portions) 
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of finely minced peeled and seeded cucumber in a mixing bowl.
     Add 3 tablespoons of finely minced mint leaves.
     Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt.  (goat's milk yogurt)
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 2:  Add 1 1/2 ounces of virgin olive oil, while stirring with a whisk.
     *The tzatziki will be very thick at this point! 
     Step 3:  Thin the tzatziki by adding 1 tablespoon of warm water at a time, while whisking, till the sauce is a medium thin consistency that easily coats a spoon.
     Step 4:  Chill the tzatziki in a refrigerator for 1 hour, so the flavors meld.

     Greek Salad with Tzatziki:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     A Greek Salad can be tossed, but most restaurants serve a composed Greek Salad that presents the garnishes on top of the lettuce. 
     Step 1:  Place 3 1/2 cups of mixed baby lettuce greens and baby spinach leaves in a chilled salad bowl.
     Step 2:  Evenly space 4 tomato wedges on the lettuce.
     Place 4 cucumber slices on the lettuce between the tomatoes.
     Place 4 Greek peppers on top of the cucumber slices.
     Place a few thin slices onion on the center of the salad.
     Step 3:  Garnish with:
     - 4 Kalamata Olives
     - 4 Greek Green Olives
     Step 4:  Cut 5 large cube shape pieces of Feta Cheese.  (1/2"x1/2"x1/2")
     Place the cheese on top of the salad.
     Step 5:  Spoon a generous portion of Tzatziki Sauce on the salad.  (about 1/3 cup)
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     This is a nice Greek style summer salad!

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