Greek salad with avocado
The Mediterranean is known to be abundant in fruit and vegetables all year round. Having just spent a good part of the summer in Cyprus, I got to sample the summer varieties from everyday tomatoes and cucumbers to juicy peaches, jammy figs and sweet-sour grapes picked off the vines. It’s hard not to miss how seasonal fruits and vegetables often feature as the main ingredient in a meal.
One of the most well known dishes in the Greek cuisine is the classic Greek salad. I have seen so many versions of this cult favourite back home but many get the base of the salad wrong. It’s more basic than most people think. Not to be negative, but let me start with what you should never, ever add to a Greek salad - bottled salad dressing. It’s just not necessary when you know how simple the dressing really is, and it ruins the flavour of the raw healthy ingredients you just chopped up.
The classic version of this salad is made from only a handful of whole food ingredients - juicy but firm tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and green peppers, salty olives, sliced onion, a block of feta, a splash of grape vinegar or lemon juice, a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (don’t be shy) and a sprinkle of home dried oregano. You can’t beat this flavour profile but you can add to it to make a more filling and healthy main dish.
In this version of Greek salad, I’ve added avocado to the classic base for added healthy fats. I’ve used Hass avocado’s for their creamy texture and Greek feta, of course. Feta cheese is fairly salty so the salad may not need any extra salt. If you do, season very lightly.
GREEK SALAD WITH AVOCADO
2 – 3 small cucumbers, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
8 – 10 Kalamata olives
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red grape vinegar
1 slice Greek feta cheese
1 medium avocado, peeled, cored and sliced
¼ tsp. dried oregano
Add all the cucumbers, tomato, pepper and onion to a medium sized bowl or platter. Drizzle over the oil and vinegar and toss lightly.
Arrange the avocado slices and crumbled feta on top (or leave the feta whole) and season with oregano. Serve immediately.