Saturday, 18 July 2015


The flavors of Greece are fabulous. I've used the like of feta and halloumi in a couple of my recipes over the years but I've never attempted to give thee ultimate Greek dish a whirl. That my friends is the Greek salad. I'm jazzing my version up by baking a marinaded block of feta in the oven and then serving it on top of a fresh salad fulled of little treats all dressed in a sharp and zingy herby lemon and vinegar dressing.  It's so quick to prepare but will look an absolute delight when you bring it over to the table ready for everyone to dig in!

I call this my own Greek salad as there is probably one noticeable admission from the recipe. Olives! I can't stand the things which is a bit bad as they are traditionally served in a Greek salad. If your dirty and wrong you can add some in as well if you really must but don't ask me to advise you how you should adjust the recipe. In my eyes it's your own fault if you want to add them in so you can deal with that problem on your own.

Of course I jest! Food is about eating what you enjoy so you can add in anything to your salad that you wish or remove any of the things I've added if your not a fan. To make the salad interesting get creative with how you chop everything to make contrast shapes and textures such as halving the tomatoes, finely slicing the onion, ringing the peppers etc. the more variety you give your ingredients, the more exciting it will be to eat! Experiment!

The dressing I've made using mint, lemon, vinegar and oregano is so fresh it's to die for. When it comes to mint I think you should always use fresh. Dried mint just doesn't have the same impact although you can use it if you wish. The dressing should be tinkered to your taste though so after you add everything in and toss the salad leave it for a minute or so and then taste. See what you think and then adjust the flavor by adding extra whatever and toss again. Just try not to go overboard with the vinegar or lemon juice tho as you want the salad to stay crispy and not turn into a soggy mess. Add things in a little at a time and keep tasting until you have it just right.

So onto the feta. Baked, it goes a little bit gooey and creamy which when marinaded with garlic, chili and thyme is to die for and if you have time you could marinate the feta overnight or for a couple of hours or so to really let those flavor infuse into the cheese. If you fancy marinating it in different herbs and spices then feel free to experiment or if your really pressed for time you can always forget about baking the feta and just plonk it on drained and straight from the packet. If you are baking the feta only do this just before serving as once it cools it looses that slightly gooey edge.

Treacly though this recipe with have you with a beautiful Greek salad in less than 30 minutes so I advise you prepare before you plan to eat it anyway to obtain maximum crunchiness and freshness from your ingredients. 

Greek Salad


1 Chopped Red Chili
1 Tbsp Thyme Leaves
1 Grated Garlic Clove
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
200g Block Of Feta
2 Chopped Baby Gem Lettuce
Handful Of Halved Cherry Tomatoes
1 Sliced Red Onion
Sliced Quarter Of A Whole Cucumber
1 Large Red Pepper (Cut Into Rings)
Handful Chopped Gherkins
1 Handful Chopped Fresh Minted Leaves
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
Juice Of Half A Lemon
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano Leaves
Salt and Pepper to Season

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees (180 fan).
  2. Mix together the chili, thyme, garlic and 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a bowl before carefully rubbing it all over the feta block so that it is well coated. Place into an oven proof dish and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Whilst the feta bakes, prepare all the remaining ingredients (remember the other tbsp of olive oil!) and place them into a large bowl. Toss everything together (with hands is easiest) until the salad is all coated in the oil, vinegar and lemon dressing. Leave to sit for 5 minutes and then taste and adjust the taste as you see fit if needed.
  4. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl or platter (however you wish to serve it!) and place the baked feta on top.

It's as easy as that! Take your Greek salad over to the table and get everyone to help themselves. That soft baked feta infused with those herbs and spices is delicious and a great contrast to the sweet crunchy zing of the dressing coating all those fresh ingredients in the salad.

 Enjoy it with some other Greek favorites like falafel, hummus and pitta and get everyone to make some delicious DIY wraps. Its the perfect picnic tea to enjoy on a warm evening. "You don't make friends with salad?" Not true with this beauty! 

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