RetComLife: Greekish Salad

I don’t think there is a chef alive that doesn’t welcome a new recipe. In that vein, I want to share some of my personal favorites with our RetCom chef. I will be doing that over time. I don’t want to flood him with them all at once.

So, in the first post on this new subcategory “Making Things Better”, I give you and my RetCom chef my first recipe.

Greekish Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, partially peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 pt. of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 c. kalamata olives
  • 1 small bunch of green scallions, thinly sliced including green part
  • 1/2 c. Asiago cheese, cut into small ⅜ inch chunks
  • 1/2 c. red or white onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (optional)

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbl. dried oregano
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is a simple dish that can be prepared in about 15 minutes. I think it tastes better if prepared and left overnight in the refrigerator before serving. I call this Greekish because some of the ingredients are not in the Greek version of the dish. The original recipe called for feta cheese, but I think Asiago cheese works better because it doesn’t break down so much if left in the refrigerator for more than a day or two. I also used vegetable oil as olive oil tends to jell if refrigerated. The Greek version doesn’t have scallions or asparagus, but I think they add a nice flavor, texture, and visual appeal to the dish. For the asparagus, just use small diameter ones ( I used pickled the pickled version) I put a little extra vinegar because I like things tangy (reduce the amount if you must). One final suggestion is before serving flip the container over to let the dressing drench all of the salad.

Since I am cooking for one now, this recipe lasts for three or four days, after that, the acidic vinegar tends to start breaking down the ingredients.

Except for the kalamata olives the rest of the ingredients are available in most grocery stores. The olives are available at my local Sam’s Club and probably Walmart Super Centers. I strongly suggest you don’t substitute as they add an essential Greek flavor to the dish.

On a side note:

Perhaps the most annoying thing about the food in my RetCom is that, at least to me, it is mostly bland and therefore lacking flavor. I understand that many in the world war generation born in the between 1920 – 1940 like things plain. I wish the menu would include “spicy” and “not spicy” versions of most dishes. We Baby Boomer will likely insist on that when we sooner rather than later take over most RetComs.

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