After adventuring for so long in the flavours and exotic ingredients of the far East, really understanding and appreciating the methodical way of cooking required for such a cuisine. I have landed back on my Greek feet. And well, the truth is that I love Greek food. As long as I was living in Greece, I never had a shortage of great home-cooked Greek meals, really anywhere you go, everyone just makes amazing food. (It obviously helps that the places I went were: home, Yiayia M.’s home, and Yiayia Z.’s house!) However, now, I need to remember how to make it again!
For warm up round, I decided I would start with the most basic food of them all.
Xoriatiki (horiatiki) is the well known “Greek salad”; the one with no lettuce or ready made dressing(no, ABSOLUTELY NEVER). The key to success and true genius of this salad are found in 2 things. First, only use freshest, most fragrant, in-season, sunkissed vegetables. Second, the better the olive oil, the better your salad will taste. This salad is not a dainty salad, is it a rough cut, rustic type of salad, so no need to whip out your knife skills on this one. In fact, it only tastes right if it is roughly chopped, if you almost need a knife to cut the tomatoes into smaller, actual bite size, pieces.
Last week, when we had some friends for dinner, one of them asked me how I dealt with the quality(or lack thereof) of the vegetables available in Oxford. And my response was “I try to work around it”. So no, this post is not about xoriatiki, as you would have it in Greece, it is about how to eat xoriatiki outside of Greece (and out of season).
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 onion diced
- 500g (2 cups) Cherry Tomatoes* quartered
- 1/2 green bell pepper diced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 9 olives sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 100 gr feta (1/2 cup)
- Put a frying pan over medium heat. Once it is warmed up, pour in 1 tbsp olive oil and swirl around to coat the whole bottom of the pan.
- Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add peppers and cook until they start to become tender, 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, olives, vinegar and remaining olive oil, cook until heated through, 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place on a dish and garnish with thick chunky slice of feta and oregano, and ENJOY!
Cooking all of these ingredients, brings out their natural sweetness and help to make the tomatoes as sweet as they are during the summer months!
Hope you had a great weekend!!