Recipe: Leafy Greens tossed in a Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Dressing

Hello lovely readers!

I’d like to begin by thanking you all for the kind and encouraging words you write to me as feedback or as comments on my posts. I hope to continue bringing a smile to your faces always 🙂 As a way of saying thank you I’ve decided to post a recipe to a salad that I threw together very recently.

I hosted an extremely intimate dinner for my friends very recently and could only make do with the items in my fridge (owing to the crazy Mumbai city monsoons that did not allow me to step out of the house). Luckily, Mum and I had stocked up on vegetables in the fridge so that was a saviour. A bunch of leafy greens, some olives, roasted vegetables and a balsamic-honey dressing tossed together and voila! You’ve got yourself a heathy side dish with absolutely no compromise on taste. A salad was also on the menu because of a fitness enthusiast friend, so really, I owe this to him!

Ingredients:

1 packet rocket leaves (washed and dried)

1 packet baby spinach (washed and dried)

1/2 yellow zucchini, sliced

1/4th eggplant, sliced

2-3 tbsp sunflower seeds

Handful of black olives

For the dressing:

1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tbsp olive oil

3/4 tbsp honey

1 tsp sesame seeds

Method:

1. Place the zucchini and eggplant slices in a baking tray. Pour olive oil on top, mix well and put into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 20-25 minutes. Allow them to cool once done.

2. In a bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil and sesame seeds. Mix well and set aside in the fridge.

3. Place the rocket leaves and baby spinach on a serving dish. Toss in the roasted zucchini, eggplant slices, olives and sunflower seeds and leave in the fridge until serving time.

4. Drizzle the dressing over only before serving. You do not want to serve wilted greens.

5. You’ve got yourself a happy audience 🙂

Quick Tips:

You can also consider add caramelised onions, toasted walnuts or pine nuts.

Do give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out! Write to me at chaicakekitsch@gmail.com.

P.S. My apologies that there isn’t an actual photograph, it was devoured before I could take one!

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This image has been used only for representational purposes. It has borrowed from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-butternut-squash-salad-with-warm-cider-vinaigrette-recipe.html

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Traditional Greek Salad Recipe

Greek salad is extremely famous within Greece, internationally as well and it’s no wonder why. Filled with fresh ingredients, it’s healthy, extremely light on your stomach and is a great alternative to eating an entire meal. It is also known as ‘horiatiki’ meaning ‘village’ in Greek, because of its traditional, rustic nature. Originally, the salad only contains cucumber, tomato, onion, olives, olive oil, fresh herbs and feta. It does however, vary slightly, depending on where you are eating it. For example, in Santorini, capers are used instead of olives. In Crete, it is served with dakos, i.e. tomato and feta piled onto a barley rusk, previously soaked in water and oil. In some other places, local cheese or soft white cheese is substituted for feta.

Even though the salad is prepared differently in different countries, it does NOT contain any leafy greens and/or red bell peppers. Feta is served as a whole block, not crumbled and is served in a shallow dish, not a deep one. Only fresh, ripe ingredients are used.

This recipe makes 1 medium bowl, serving 1 person.

Ingredients:
1 cucumber
2 large tomatoes or 8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 small onion
7-8 kalamata olives**
1 slab of feta (around 100 gm)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Fresh herbs*
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
You may also add thinly sliced green bell peppers.

*I picked up traditional herbs from a local supermarket in Santorini for the salad but you may use oregano.
**I love olives so my recipe calls for these many. You may change this depending on your preferences. Regular black olives can also be used.

Method:
1. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano in a bowl and set aside***.
2. Cut the cucumber in slightly thick rounds. Do not peel it.
3. Cut the tomatoes in wedges, not in cubes. If you are using cherry tomatoes, cut them in half.
4. Cut the onions in wedges.
5. Combine the cucumber, tomatoes and onions in a shallow dish. Add the olives.
6. Drizzle the olive oil mix over the ingredients and top it up with the slab of feta. You can garnish the feta with some herbs.

***You may add a dash of red wine vinegar to this mix.
I do not usually measure the oil; I pour just enough to coat the salad.
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The feta is served as a whole which you can then crumble.
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Do write in and let me know your thoughts. Enjoy!

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