Friday, August 12, 2011

Greek Village Salad

Inspired by Taverna Nikos, a venerable Greek restaurant in Durham, NC. Recorded June 28, 2005.
1 head of tender lettuce (red leaf, bib, Boston, etc) torn in pieces
1 large ripe tomato, cut in wedges
1-1/2 lbs small new potatoes boiled, chilled, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into rectangles
1 green pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb feta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 pepperoncini (brine-cured) seeded, halved
6 oz ripe Greek olives
1/2 c red onion, thinly sliced
1 15 oz can garbanzos (chick peas), rinsed, drained, and chilled
4 artichoke hearts, marinated in oil, quartered
Arrange attractively on a large platter and dress with best olive oil, wine vinegar, fresh or dry oregano, coarse salt & freshly-ground black pepper. Serves a large group on a buffet table.

Gazpacho

Recorded August 5, 2001. Updated August 26, 2013. A great way to deal with all those tomatoes and other summer veggies. Blending the soup twice improves the textural range of the dish.
3 lbs (6 c, 1350 g) ripe tomatoes (about 4 large), trimmed and cut into large pieces
1 red sweet pepper and 1 green pepper or other mild chilies, trimmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces
1/2 c red onion, coarsely chopped
1 large cucumber peeled, seeded and cut into large pieces
2 t (or more, if preferred) minced garlic
1/4 c loosely-packed cilantro leaves, finely minced
2 T lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/4 t Louisiana pepper sauce
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
1 T salt, plus more to taste
tomato or V8 juice, as needed
In a food processor, on low power with pulsing, process the tomatoes until finely (but not too finely) chopped. Transfer to a large covered bowl. Process the other vegetables (cucumbers, peppers, and onions with the garlic) separately, and stir each into the bowl. Drizzle olive oil in with constant stirring, and stir in the lemon juice, cilantro, and pepper sauce. Return half the soup to the food processor and process until very smooth and add back to the coarser half in the bowl. Season with salt and vinegar, tasting after each addition. Thin with tomato juice if too thick. Chill and serve. Garnish with croutons, cilantro leaves, or thin lemon slices if desired. Serves 8.