Recipe: A salad bursting with flavour - great for lunch or dinner

Looking for some salad inspiration? Di Curtin shares her recipe for a delicious Summer Greek Salad
Recipe: A salad bursting with flavour - great for lunch or dinner
Summer Greek Salad by Di Curtin.

IF ever you’ve watched The Durrells on TV or Netflix, it’s not difficult to understand why people choose Corfu as a holiday destination year on year.

This stunningly beautiful Greek island, part of the Ionian isles, is as gorgeous as it looks on the telly. And if you move away from the party resorts which have sprung up over the years, you can still find tranquil places where the loudest noise is the humming of crickets.

Corfu is where I was first introduced to a real Greek Salad, made with the crumbliest Feta cheese, big, ripe juicy tomatoes picked from the vine, crisp cucumber and pungent black olives, harvested from the groves of the family who owned the cafe where I enjoyed my lunch.

This week, I’m recreating the flavours of that salad with the same ingredients, and the addition of chickpeas to bulk it out and make a sustaining bowlful. All this needs is some crusty bread to accompany if you’re having it for lunch.

For dinner, you could serve some chicken or lamb skewers from the barbecue alongside — in total Greek style.

The simplicity of this salad relies on fresh ingredients. The tomatoes must be large vine tomatoes, at room temperature. Choose proper Feta cheese made from a mix of sheep and goat’s milk, not the cheaper version made with cow’s milk.

Black olives are a must, as is a cucumber, again at room temperature so its fragrance develops. If you’re lucky enough to be near a farmer’s market, you might find local tomatoes and cucumber on sale now.

SUMMER GREEK SALAD

Ingredients (Serves 4)

 4 large ripe vine tomatoes

1 cucumber, cut into small chunks 

400g can chickpeas

4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced 

12 pitted black olives, halved

400g can chickpeas 

75g Feta cheese 

Few basil leaves 

4 tbsp olive oil

Good squeeze lemon juice

Few drops green Tabasco sauce (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Place tomatoes in a bowl with cucumber, spring onions and olives.
  • Drain can juice from chickpeas and rinse them. Drain again. Add to veggies.
  • Crumble the cheese over.
  • Add basil leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, green Tabasco if using and seasoning.
  • Toss gently to mix all together.
  • Check seasoning and serve at room temperature with crusty bread for lunch, or with barbecued meat or fish skewers for a main course.

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