Like the swallows returning and the leaves turning brown there are events in my kitchen that Mark the changing turning of the seasons… The first stew, first quiche, and the first salad. This week I made the first salad of the year. In London spring has sprung.
This salad, from the trusty Cupboard Love book, has somehow jump-started a mini heatwave. You’re welcome. The recipe is pretty scale-able, it serves 4 but you can double the quantities and easily serve 10 (or more if it’s to go in a big bowl with a barbecue or something) ideal party food!
For four you will need: 8 tomatoes, 1 large cucumber, 2 tablespoons of capers, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 100ml extra virgin olive oil, 1 red onion, 200g pitted kalamata olives, 1 cos lettuce (if you can’t find cos don’t use alternative leaves), 200g feta cheese, a bunch of mint leaves, and some freshly ground black pepper.
Firstly, de-seed the tomatoes and cucumber, cut the tomatoes into eighths and slice up the cucumber halves. Put them in the bottom of quite a large bowl (you’ll need a large one so there’s room to toss). Rinse 2tbs of capers and chop them up until they are practically a paste. Measure out the oil and add the vinegar, dried oregano, and stir in the pulped capers. Toss half of the dressing over the cucumbers and tomatoes and leave to marinate for about half an hour.
Roughly chop up the Cos and toss them into the salad with the olives, feta and remaining dressing. Crack some black pepper over the top and serve. The book says to strewn it with roughly chopped mint, but I ignored that.
This is definitely the tastiest salad I have ever made! The only thing I would have done differently is get putted kalamata olives in a jar – I could only get them from the counter in Hammersmith and they weren’t pitted, so we had to be kings of class and spit the stones out. The salad was really filling, but not in a heavy way. I think I’m going to be making this for most sunny days until stew season!
Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)