Garden-ripened tomatoes and fresh cucumbers are among the quintessential flavors of summer. Thank goodness the time to harvest them is approaching.
When I was 23, I went to Germany to study for a year. First, though, I was sent to Bavaria for two months at Goethe Institute, an immersion language school. Having tasted almost no international food until then, sampling the food prepared by my fellow students was a delightful new experience.
I reciprocated with apple pie.
My first-ever taste of feta cheese was when my Greek classmate made this salad. After that experience I determined that one of the tastiest ways to enjoy fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, still warm from the summer sun, is in a quick, simple Greek salad. I can make a meal of the salad and happily call it supper.
Keep a jar of olives in the pantry and a container of feta (which keeps for several weeks) in the fridge so that when the ’maters and cukes are ripe, you’re ready to go.
2 large tomatoes, cut into bite -size pieces
2 medium cucumbers (peeled if desired), sliced
2 ounces feta cheese crumbles
About 15 kalamata olives
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
Optional additions to the dressing:
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of garlic powder
¼ to 1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Arrange tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives in a bowl.
Place the dressing ingredients in a jar, cover tightly and shake to mix.
Pour the dressing on the salad and toss gently.
Sprinkle the cheese crumbles over and serve immediately.
If you grow herbs such as basil, use that as a garnish.
Notes: You do not have to measure the ingredients precisely, the above measurements are guidelines. For the dressing, you cannot go wrong if you remember that the rule of thumb is two parts oil to one part vinegar. Be sure to use only mild olive oil and a quality vinegar. If you have some fresh crusty white bread, dip it in the dressing left in the bowl after serving the salad.
Serves 2-3. Double the recipe for a larger group or for a family who enjoys a lot of salad.