Recipe: Greek Salad

So you don’t really need a recipe for a Greek salad. The ingredients, if the recipe remains true to it’s heritage, should always be the same. That is tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion and feta cheese, along with a dressing rich in olive oil. In my opinion it’s best served at room temperature or just under rather than straight from the fridge and makes a wonderful side dish to grilled or roast lamb. This is the way I make mine.

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 350g good tomatoes, chopped into chunky pieces
  • A chunk of cucumber about 6 inches long, halved lengthways and cut into strips
  • 1/2 a red onion, finely sliced
  • a handful of pitted black olives
  • 200g feta cheese, broken into chunks
  • a sprinkling of dried oregano
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

What you do:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of your prepared vegetables.
  2. Add in the feta cheese and sprinkle over the oregano.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, the vinegar and the salt and pepper until combined. When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad, give it a good toss and take it proudly to the table.

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Perfect for an alfresco summer lunch!

A Spring in my Step

Yes people, Spring is nearly here! My third favourite season after Autumn and Summer. When the days start to become longer and theĀ grass gets greener I know that the worst is over for another year and I can look forward to long, hot days in the sun, picnics in the park, ice cream at the beach and of course, Christmas. But before then, we get to enjoy Spring in all its glory, full of daffodils blossoming, lambs being born and some clean, fresh air that’s at least a couple of degrees warmer than it was during the winter. Or so we hope.

I’ve certainly got a spring in my step and am looking forward to a nice new start. The winter spiced candles are being replaced with fresh, citrus fragrances, my blue and white snowy themed sofa cushions are going into storage and I’m bringing out the florals. I’ve already got a few bunches of vibrant daffs brightening up my home, their gorgeous sunny hue making me smile every time I enter the room. I’m lucky to live in a wonderfully bright and airy house and I can’t wait for some more sunshine to stream through the windows, illuminating the dust on the windowsills that really needs tending to. Maybe that will be my inspiration to do so, everyone loves a good Spring clean!

Food gets a little lighter as we move into Spring, I start to enjoy salads and lightly cooked vegetables more than before and don’t feel the need to comfort eat quite so much. Here’s a few things that are in season from March that I’m looking forward to eating:

  1. Rhubarb! Oh how I love their vivid pink stems. I recently had a rhubarb royale cocktail in a restaurant, made with a rhubarb syrup and prosecco. It was so good and tasted like an old school rhubarb and custard sweet. I need this in my life.
  2. Spring Lamb. I don’t always eat seasonally but there’s definitely something about Spring lamb that feels just so perfect to eat at this time of year, when the meat is sweet and tender. I’m planning a nice Sunday roast with all the trimmings and plenty of mint sauce. Yum!
  3. Spring Greens. As above, I don’t just eat these during spring as they are my favourite type of green and so good for you too, but they are my favourite vegetable to have with lamb alongside some glazed carrots so expect to see more of these.
  4. Chocolate. OK, not exactly seasonal but with Easter coming up, it’s only natural to include chocolate in my list. Now I don’t need much of an excuse to munch through a chocolate bar or four, but Easter, like Christmas, is when it is wholly acceptable to have chocolate for breakfast. I like to break my Easter eggs up into shards and store them in the fridge ready to snack on when the moment takes me. OK, I lied, I usually eat the whole thing in one sitting then pass out on the sofa.
  5. Hot Cross Buns. Same as the chocolate thing really, an essential part of the Easter celebrations and perfectly OK to eat a whole packet for dinner, smothered in butter.
  6. Purple Sprouting Broccoli. If you’ve never tried this then you are missing out my friend. It’s wonderfully tender and has an amazing vivid colour once cooked. I really like it in salads for lunch or served as a side dish with butter, lemon juice and some black pepper.
  7. New Potatoes. These aren’t technically in season until the end of April but you can usually find them in the supermarkets a little earlier. Jersey Royals are my favourite so I will wait for them to appear to have warm with so much butter on them it should be illegal. I can’t wait to sit in the garden with a spread of roast chicken, buttered new potatoes and salad with a glass of something cold and refreshing.

Spring does have it’s downsides too. As the weather gets warmer I have to ditch the tights meaning my poor work colleagues are exposed to my pasty legs. And I have to shave them which is a chore I manage to avoid for most of the colder months. Other than that I am raring to go!

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What’s your favourite thing about Spring?