As a typical Iowa summer goes, another day, another pile of fresh vegetables is sitting on the kitchen counter. What to do....what to do...... not quite enough to can, the dehydrator is full (10 packages of mushrooms for $10 !!!! Are you kidding me ??? The Chef and I will be in shroomie bliss all winter at this price....)......so we decided on a shortish road trip, hit the Hy Vee for the deal on mushrooms and a few other items we needed around the house and the usual "what should we have for dinner" convo ensued. Obviously, we are going to have SOMETHING veggie- how can we not ? But before we get to dinner, you are probably wondering what in the world this has to do with Greek ? So without further delay.... a little (like, mini) interview with the infamous Chef !
You have over 20 years of experience in a professional kichen, but how did you get your start ? One of my very first culinary experiences was a little Greek restaurant called Papou's.
What were some of your favorite dishes made there ? Flaming saganaki, souvlaki, tyropita, spanakopita, pastitsio and moussaka. Of course, gyros and some of the most mouth watering filet steaks ever. Steak and shrimp.....
What was the first dish you learned? The first day, the owner taught me to make "horiatiki salata" or Greek salad.
And that's where the interview stops and dinner begins.......
Joe's Greek Salad (makes enough for 2 big side salads)
1/2 fresh cucumber, cut in matchsticks
1 cup tomatoes (mix of cherries and cut up tomatoes)
small handful olives (use what you like, kalamata are traditional but Spanish are ok)
1 cup large diced green bell pepper
small handful pickled hot peppers such as banana or jalapeno
small handful chopped red onion
small handful crumbled feta cheese (approx 4 oz)
Combine all in medium bowl.
Dress with olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano to taste.
Let me tell ya, this German/Norwegian girl has never had Greek food of any kind other than a couple bites of someone else's gyro at the fair, and this salad was DELICIOUS ! Fresh and juicy, with a real "bitey" vinegar dressing, it was absolutely wonderful. And served alongside- what else, but a nice chunk of grilled kielbasa in a bakery egg bun with mustard, onions and more of those pickled peppers. Perfect summer dinner !!