Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Greek Meets Italian equals the Perfect Salad for a Summer Night

It's been real hot lately, causing me to have some fleeting moments of feeling totally uninspired to cook. I hate that! Especially when I just spent more than $100 on groceries!

But alas, last night was one of those nights.

So it's a good thing I happened to have all sorts of half-filled jars and containers of this and that in the fridge, plus a few staples like cucumbers and tomatoes, because before I knew it, I had a beautiful, refreshing, delicious salad that required very little effort to put together.

And here is how it came to be:

First, I chopped a few roma tomatoes and half an armenian cucumber into nice chunky bite-sized bits. Then, I emptied the contents of half a jar of kalamata olives and sliced them, sending them on their merry way to mingle with the cucumbers and tomatoes.

Next, I remembered that some time ago I'd made pickled red onions, which have a very long shelf life, because they're pickled, duh! Into the bowl they went.

I was just about to use the last of some crumbled feta that had been sitting around waiting for me to notice it, when a chunk of fresh mozarella obscured my vision and planted crazy ideas in my mind! So instead of the feta, I cut the mozarella into chunks, and added it to the salad along with slivers of fresh basil and mint...because fresh herbs make most everything better, especially salads!

Fortunately, I had a nice big jar of citrus vinaigrette that I'd just made the night before, so I tossed the salad with a little of that, plus a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. And now, 5 minutes after I began, my work was done. If only all of life were so simple, yielding such tantalizing results....

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