January is the month where we return to a more “normal” course of dieting, look for ways to eat some more calorie-wise dishes. Afterall, December consisted of work parties, gatherings with family and friends, seconds (and thirds) are encouraged and a “devil may care” attitude is adopted with regards to food. Place some food under my nose, chances are it will be eaten.
The challenge with January is to eat well, eat light and counter the overindulgence of January. The other challenge is that many vegetables that are available in the winter are anywhere from bland to tasteless. Enter the tomato. There’s a whole other world of salads without tomatoes: cabbage makes for a good salad in the form of slaws or thinly-sliced and tossed in with carrots and red peppers. Napa cabbage can be used in place of greens to make a quick and delicious salad and our markets seem to be full of greenhouse-farmed mixed greens that are wonderful with a simple homemade dressing, some nuts, cheese and perhaps even some fruit.
Today, I’m offering this simple salad that features easy-to-find Romaine lettuce, English cucumbers, peppery radishes and the mildly anise-flavoured fennel bulb and the tender fronds (tops). The dressing has a citrus accent with some orange juice in the mix, the best extra-virgin olive oil in the land (Greek of course) and a topping of Greek Feta cheese, now available at Costco in Canada!
Radish and Cucumber Salad With Feta (Σαλατα με Ραπανακια, Αγγουρι & Φετα)
6 cups of Romaine lettuce, washed, dried and chopped
1 cup of thinly shaved fennel bulb
1/2 cup of thinly sliced scallions (green part)
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, washed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fennel fronds (tops), finely chopped
1/2 cup of scallions, thinly sliced (white part)
3 Tbsp. good red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 orange
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large salad bowl, add the wine vinegar and orange juice and quickly mix. Now add the scallions (amount noted in the dressing recipe) and allow them to steep for 5 minutes. In the meantime, wash, rinse and your salads greens (I like to use a salad spinner).
- Continue to make your dressing by adding the Dijon mustard, a good pinch of sea sat and some fresh ground pepper. Whisk the dressing while slowing pouring in your olive oil. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Chop or hand-tear your Romaine lettuce and slice your cucumbers, radishes and fennel bulb, remaining scallions and add to your bowl of greens. Add the bowl of salad ingredients into your dressing and gently toss until well coated. Adjust seasoning and to with crumbled Feta and the chopped fennel fronds.
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