Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hot Summer Nights.

July is almost here and it certainly feels so. 

Tonight we ate what I consider to be one of the most perfect of hot summer night meals.  A simple Greek salad is made largely from available garden produce, it's cool and refreshing (yet super satisfying), and it takes very little time or forethought to come together.  Honestly this works a little more like a dip... whatever.  It's delicious.  And between the hummus and Greek yogurt, it provides a great balance of good fats, some carbs, and protein.

I've made up a recipe of sorts to follow, but it's really just a great way to throw together whatever you've got on-hand. Here is my recipe for a simple, Greek-inspired summer dinner...

Garden Greek Salad

1. In a small bowl combine:

1-2 garlic cloves, minced
splash of lemon juice

Whisk together and add salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a large bowl, combine:

2-4 large cucumbers, diced or cut into small pieces
2 C tomatoes, halved or diced
2-3 sweet peppers, diced
1/4 C roughly chopped kalamata olives
1/4 C red onion, finely diced
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped

Drizzle the EVOO mixture over the veggies and toss to combine, and add salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to sit 5-10 minutes, tossing occaisionally.

This is delicious as a salad on it's own, but to kick it up a notch, apply a layer of hummus* to a large platter. Spoon the mixture over the top and add 1/2 C crumbled feta cheese.  Serve with warm pita bread or Stacy's Pita Chips, and Greek yogurt on the side.

*Hummus is amazing, but also super high in calories. I spread it out about 1/4" thick and this seems to be enough, but not too much.  It's a nice balance with all the cool and fresh veggies.  You could also apply a layer of Greek yogurt in place of the hummus, and could perhaps first fold some chives etc. into the yogurt to add some extra flavor.

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