Tag Archives: feta

Greek Tomato Cucumber Salad

Greek Salad 2

With tomato season in full swing here, this salad makes a frequent appearance at our dinner table. It is perfect for serving with just about any grilled meat or fish. It is also a great partner with soups, sandwiches, or quiche for a quick summer meal.

I love to use mini cucumbers in this salad, or the long seedless English cucumbers. The skins are thin and provide a great contrasting color and crunch to the salad. Regular cucumbers are often too seedy and have much tougher skins.

I usually serve the feta cheese on the side. It becomes mushy if left in the salad for too long.

Greek Salad 1

RECIPE:

Greek Tomato Cucumber Salad

Greek Salad 2

3-4 tomatoes, chopped
4-6 mini cucumbers or 1 English seedless cucumber, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh oregano, finely chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
½ tsp Greek seasoning
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

Combine chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper, and onion. Stir together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad. Stir in feta just before serving (or serve feta on the side).

Serve right away or refrigerate.

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Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

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This recipe comes from my good friend Alyce, whose tastes I have great respect for. I have made a few changes here and there to adapt it to my family’s size and preferences, but it is pretty close to Alyce’s version. It has been so long that I have been making it that I no longer even have her original recipe, so if I have gone too far astray Alyce, sorry!

A traditional tapenade has an olive and olive oil base, but usually includes capers and anchovies and not tomatoes. It is also more finely chopped, made into almost a paste with a mortar and pestle. I love the contrast that the slightly tart sun-dried tomatoes add, and I like the texture of a fine dice instead of a paste. You can also use a food processor to mix the ingredients, but add your tomatoes first (and chop separately) as they will take longer than the olives to chop (and you don’t want olive goo with big chunks of tomato). Kalamata olives provide a stronger taste to the olive mixture: you can adjust the ratio of regular black olives to kalamata as your family prefers. Over time we have gravitated to more Kalamata vs regular black olives, but I still have a couple of little ones who don’t appreciate too much of the stronger Kalamata flavor.

This is a great meal that takes very little time to put together (under 30 minutes if your chicken is thaw). If prepared “properly” it can also appeal to a wide variety of tastes (ie pickiness). Almost all of my family will now eat this as shown above, but that hasn’t always been the case. And I do still have one that won’t eat the cheese. The “proper” preparation/presentation for picky eaters: Serve the chicken, the olive tapenade and the feta separately. The pickiest eater should still eat the plain chicken breast. Those who object to the olive “mush” can just sprinkle cheese on theirs, and those who will never let cheese pass their lips can just add the olive mixture.

I like this served with couscous or brown rice. The olive tapenade is really great mixed into that as well! Or as a dip with toasted pita wedges. Or eaten straight with a spoon. Or . . .

RECIPE:

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Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade
——————(Adapted from my good friend Alyce)

10 sun-dried tomato halves (packed in oil or packaged dry)
½ cup boiling water (if using dry tomatoes)
1 cup black olives, finely chopped
15 Kalamata olives (use more for a stronger flavor or additional black olives for a milder flavor), finely chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2-3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup finely snipped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano (or ½ tsp dried)
1/8 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/8 – 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4-6 boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin (short on time? – cut into two thin halves instead of pounding)
2 Tbs olive oil
oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper

Snip sun dried tomatoes with scissors into small pieces. If you are using dry (not oil packed) sun dried tomatoes: combine chopped tomatoes and boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes. Drain. (Oil packed tomatoes do not need to be soaked) Combine drained tomatoes, chopped olives, 2 Tbs olive oil (reduce to 1 Tbs if using oil packed tomatoes), feta cheese**, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes and pepper. Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add thin chicken pieces in a single layer to the hot skillet (you may need to cook the chicken in batches: keep cooked chicken warm on a foil-covered plate while cooking remaining chicken breasts). Sprinkle lightly with oregano, garlic powder and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Serve chicken topped with tomato/olive mixture.

Side dish suggestion: couscous or steamed brown rice

**I do not mix the feta into the tomato olive tapenade. I serve it separately on the side, because I have some who object to the cheese.

 

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End of Summer Produce: Greek Tomato Salad

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We are still getting a few ripe tomatoes off of our garden tomato plants, but with nights getting cooler and days getting shorter, most of our tomatoes still look like this:

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So here is one last summer tomato salad. When we start getting frost warnings, which could be any time now, I will bring in all of my green tomatoes and make some Green Tomato Salsa.

RECIPE:

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Greek Tomato Salad

3-4 tomatoes, chopped
3 small pickling cucumbers or 1 English seedless cucumber,
——– chopped (peeled if skin is tough)
½ red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh oregano, finely chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
½ tsp Greek seasoning, optional
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper and onion. Stir together remaining ingredients, except feta. Pour over salad. Serve right away, or refrigerate. Stir in feta just before serving (or serve on the side to be sprinkled on).

 

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Mediterranean Frittata

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like eggs. I have a really hard time choking down a plate of plain scrambled or fried eggs. If you add a few slices of toast and a jar of salsa, I can get through them. Or I’m even happier if those raw eggs are mixed with some butter, sugar, flour and chocolate chips before baking: that is my kind of eggs!

But while I don’t like eggs, I do love quiche. Something to do with all of that cheese, cream and bacon hiding the egg flavor (and texture). So this frittata (crustless egg casserole) is right up my alley: it is chock-full of non-egg tasting ingredients. Artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese. Not a plain bite of egg to be found!

I made a large 9×13” casserole, so that I could eat it for breakfast all week (and maybe even share a square or two), but you could easily halve the recipe below and bake it in a square 8×8” pan.

This could also be prepared the night before, refrigerated, and then baked in the morning for an easy, delicious holiday breakfast. And Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.

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The extra Parmesan cheese on top is optional, but I always go for maximum cheese with my eggs.Jan2010 040-1

It bakes up nice and puffy, with delicious browned cheese bits on top.Jan2010 048-1

A fabulous, healthy, non-egg-tasting, high-protein start to your day!

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RECIPE:

Mediterranean Frittata
______
(Adapted from TwoPeasandTheirPod)

18 eggs
16 oz container cottage cheese
1 cup (about 4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp Greek seasoning**
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 (15 oz) cans/jars artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
3 oz pkg sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined. Stir in cottage cheese, feta cheese, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a medium pan. Sauté the onion until soft. Add garlic and spinach. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

Combine spinach mixture with chopped artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and parsley. Stir to combine (this will help cool the spinach before adding it to the egg mixture). Stir vegetables into eggs.

Spray a 9×13” casserole dish with non-stick baking spray. Pour egg mixture into pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.

Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until set in center. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.

**NOTE: I get my Greek Seasoning from Penzeys, but you could also substitute a combination of oregano and marjoram.

 

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