It has been suggested that I write about the food I eat over here. As many of you know I’m not above taking “artsy” photos of my food, much to the chagrin of Greg, so I guess I could start writing about the food in those photos. The hardest part about living over here, if you’re not lucky enough to have access to the military base, is finding all of the ingredients to make certain things. (I just saw peanut butter for the first time the other day.) A lot of asian and South American food options are out of the question simply because you won’t find most of the stuff you need to make them. It’s not that you couldn’t make something more exotic, you’ll just have to work a little harder at it, and as previously stated I’m pretty lazy. Italy goes by the rule of only selling what is in season in their markets. Unlike the US where you can find most produce year round (usually of lower quality when it’s technically out of season) you’ll be hard pressed to find stuff like that here. When things become available people jump on them as was evident at the command picnic on Saturday when our tub of cherries was gone in mere seconds. The upside of this is that everything is amazingly fresh and incredibly delicious. While looking over the produce last week I bought a cucumber and some of the reddest cherry tomatoes I’ve ever seen in a grocery store with no real mind of how I was going to use them. On a second trip to the store we bought some arugula and on that super hot evening, when it was too hot to cook, I made a modified greek salad. It was plenty of food for the two of us, although we did supplement with some mozzarella di bufala because, why the hell not. I like to make balsamic vinaigrettes because they’re sweet and tangy so unlike a true greek salad this one had a dressing (and a leafy green). So here’s my first attempt and writing a recipe:
- 1 cucumber – peeled and chopped
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes – quartered
- 1/2 block feta cheese – crumbled
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
Process the cucumber, tomatoes, and arugula and place in a bowl. Crumble the feta on top. In a separate bowl, or dressing shaker bottle, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey. The honey will help to emulsify the dressing and sweeten it just a bit but is completely optional. Finally add salt and pepper to taste. You can of course add more or less of the oil and vinegar depending on how tangy you want it to be. Pour the dressing over the salad just as you are about to serve it. Enjoy!
It’s a pretty straightforward salad and it would be easy enough to add or substitute other things such as blue cheese for the feta, spinach for the arugula, and maybe include walnuts, pecans, red onions, peppers, or olives, whatever floats your boat. You could also sprinkle on some oregano for a more authentic greek salad taste. If you try it let me know what you thought of it.