Thursday, 20 September 2012

Vegan Greek Salad

This salad has a satisfying combo of textures and flavours and is a complete meal in itself
Another idea from our recent Greek holiday, for a light lunch that is a complete meal in itself. I always loved Greek salad, but have found a straight swap of tofu for feta rather disappointing; much as I love tofu, it just doesn't seem very at home in this dish - maybe because a more salty, gutsy flavour is called for to contrast with the moistness of the salad vegetables? Not having access to tofu where we were staying anyway, we were looking for a protein substitute for the feta/ tofu and we happened to find a mix in the local shop called "Cocktail nuts". The mix involved mini rice crackers, peanuts, crunchy dried beans and corn. I think its saltiness and slight spiciness is what made it work so well with the local olives and extra-virgin olive oil. Any nut and/ or seed-based salty mix would do. The rest of the salad consisted of locally-grown sun-ripened vine tomatoes and crispy cucumber, with perhaps a little sliced capsicum. We didn't find lettuce so omitted it, but you could always add it back in (Cos lettuce, of course!) or perhaps a few baby spinach leaves. In some parts of Greece, they even use young dandelion leaves, which are bitter but good for you. To finish it off, we bought some wonderful unbleached rustic-style bread from the village bakery, as there's nothing quite like mopping your plate with it, to soak up the olive oil and tomato juice....

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