Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Lettuce salad (Μαρουλοσαλάτα)

The typical salad line-up in tourist areas of Greece is composed mainly of boring run-of-the-mill fare: tomato and cucumber, lettuce or cabbage or 'mixed' salad. It is presented in a boring way, and more often than not, contains sub-standard olive oil (or a substitute when the restaurateur is a cheapskate). Apart from the more unusual salad greens that are eaten in Greece (vlita, stifno, stamnagathi, and other horta), universally Western salad vegetables like lettuce and cabbage can be served in more appetising ways than we see on the typical Greek menu card. Here is one of my favorites; it goes with everything.

Tearing lettuce is supposedly more healthy than knifing it, but in this case, you must shred it with a knife, otherwise the remaining ingredients will not blend in with the lettuce. In Greece, we use mainly cos lettuce, rather than the frilly round variety (which I remember being more common in New Zealand). Cos lettuce is not as sweet or tender as the round variety. Add some grated carrot, sliced cucumber moons and some chopped vinegar-pickled small green peppers (our own crop - I pickle them myself). Season with salt, and dress with vinegar and olive oil. You could use mayonnaise instead of olive oil and vinegar, but that is not a Greek salad at all!

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Cabbage salad
Summer horta
Winter horta
Salad advice
Greek village salad
Cretan salad

Beetroot salad