All posts tagged: salad

Greek Bruschetta

Sunday dinners are my favorite. Sundays mean I have more time to carefully prepare a dinner for my family, rather than rushing after work to whip something up. I like to thoughtfully put a meal together. Sunday also means my yiayia is usually over at our house. One night, not even ten minutes before dinner was to be served, my yiayia asked me if we were having dakos (an appetizer with a rusk bread, tomatoes, and soft mizithra cheese). I shook my head no, and the playful smile left my yiayias face. That look of disappointment is something I never want to see again—I had to do something about it—and fast. Though dakos is easy to make, I didn’t have the ingredients for the dish on hand. As I frantically combed through my kitchen I found pita bread, tomatoes and feta cheese—basic staples in a Greek kitchen. Plus, out of luck, a coworker had sent me home with fresh basil that day. That was all I needed to make a Greek style bruschetta. Bruschetta is like …

Roka (Arugula Salad)

Roka (arugula) is one of the most underestimated leafy greens, despite packing lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s numerous health benefits are well known. Arugula is native to the Mediterranean and is definitely a green that should be added to more plates worldwide. The Greeks eat plenty of arugula as a “Roka Salata” and is traditionally served as just roka, topped with thin slices of local cheese and dressing. To add more essence to the salad, it is common to add walnuts, pine nuts and sundried or fresh tomatoes to the mixing bowl. This is a common salad throughout Greece. Because the strong peppery taste of arugula can be a turn off to some, simply add romaine lettuce to the salad to temper the arugula. I make mine solely with arugula, and just add extra toppings like walnuts for extra crunch, and tomatoes for a juicy bite. The best thing about the Roka Salad is that it takes no time at all to put together, and still stands out on a dinner table. The …

Greek Spaghetti

Twirling long strands of spaghetti around a fork is one of my guilty pleasures. Every time I eat a plate of spaghetti, no matter where or why, I get some sweet “guilt” satisfaction. It’s an added bonus when the spaghetti has been prepared with a guilt inducing creamy garlic butter sauce and covered with two of my favorite types of cheese, grated mizithra and crumbled feta. Freshly diced tomatoes—my super secret guilty pleasure—round out the flavor of this simple dish, and the twirling begins. It doesn’t take much to create your own GREEK SPAGHETTI, the only difficult part comes from trying to figure out the correct amount of spaghetti to boil. Do you boil eight ounces or maybe you count out 157 strands of spaghetti? Sometimes the best answer is to boil an entire package of your favorite pasta—fettuccine, linguine, angel hair, whatever—just boil it all. No matter your measuring method, there always seems to be too much as a result. But that’s what friends with appetites are for. Invite your buddies over and indulge …

Cabbage and Jalapeno Salad

Wanting to experiment with new combinations, I recently invited a few friends over for a salad tasting party. Surprisingly, the fan favorite turned out to be one with shredded cabbage as the base. Mid-meal, a friend who dislikes cabbage said, “I usually hate cabbage but this is the best salad here.” I agreed and we both quickly reached for second helpings. Ever since that gathering, I get requests to bring my cabbage salad to barbeques and dinner parties. This salad is equal parts juicy and refreshing. Using crunchy and finely shredded cabbage as a base, freshly diced jalapenos are added for a kick. Leeks and lime juice give it zest and tartness. The salad is finished with cilantro on top. Customize your level of heat with more or fewer jalapenos. Serve as a side salad with the grilled lime chicken or stuff it into tacos and wow any dinner guest. Save Print Cabbage and Jalapeno Salad Recipe type: Salad Serves: 6-8   Refreshing cabbage salad Ingredients 1 head of cabbage, finely shredded 3 medium leeks 2 jalapenos, …

Horiatiki Salata (Greek Village Salad)

Sharing a horiatiki salata (Greek village salad) recipe seems unnecessary because it’s a pretty straightforward dish. But as easy as it is to drizzle olive oil over chopped vegetables, there are still necessary steps and dos and don’ts of this salad that you may not be aware of. A proper horiatiki salata is a vibrant salad that calls for tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, kalamata olives, red onions, feta cheese, oregano, olive oil, and vinegar. You may come across recipes that add lettuce, parsley or capers, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it just wouldn’t be a true horiatiki salata. And when it comes to horiatiki salata, it’s all about keeping it traditional. Although it would be ideal to enjoy this classic Greek dish in the beautiful homeland itself (sighs and longs for Greece) to access all the fresh produce the salad relies on, you can still make a horiatiki salata at home. I make it almost daily, especially in the summer months when I can pick cucumbers and tomatoes from my dad’s garden. That way, …

Karpouzi Salata (Watermelon Salad)

If you’ve been looking for a quick, refreshing salad that is perfect on any summery day of the week, then look no further than KARPOUZI SALATA (watermelon salad). You may already have tried this popular summer dish at a picnic. Or maybe you’ve seen it on Instagram and felt dizzy just looking at the juicy karpouzi (kar-POU-zee) mixed with salty feta cheese only to notice that your phone is dripping in drool. My best guess is that if you haven’t heard of karpouzi salata you’re wondering how feta ever made it into the same bowl as watermelon. Talk about the odd couple. I wondered the same thing for many years. To be honest, I used to run faster from karpouzi and feta than I did from my yiayia’s koutala (her wooden spanking spoon). Feta was supposed to be eaten with olives, or topped on Greek salads, or stuffed in phyllo pies. Karpouzi was the mouth-watering fruit served to you after a picnic. The word is shouted along with peponia (melon) by local vendors in markets …

Three Green Salads

Once a month, I get together with three of my friends—Whitney, Anna, and Kathryn to cook a meal for our “girls night in.” We don’t throw pillows around or get into the latest gossip. Girl’s night always revolves around eating and includes lots of laughter. We either prepare the whole meal together, or each of us will take turns bringing different course dishes or simply supplying the wine. For our most recent dinner, I volunteered to take salad duty. Summer had just started and there’s nothing more appetizing than fresh salad greens. My first thought was to bring a Horiatiki Salata (Village Greek Salad) and call it good. The Horiatiki Salata is the most popular salad of Greece, consisting of only cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, oregano, feta, green peppers and olives, all lathered in Greek dressing. You can Google search “Horiatiki Salata” and find countless recipes and colorful varieties of the dish. It’s such a classic and tasty salad that soon My Big Fat Greek Fanny’s own recipe and artsy pictures will be among the many …

Horta (Greens)

We Greeks all know HORTA (χορτα). The Greek comedian Basile cracks me up with his stories of remembering his family road trips when his yiayia would suddenly break the silence with a shriek:  “Χορτα, χορτα!” The car screeched to a stop and the family followed yiayia into a nearby field to hack away at common roadside weeds. To her they were a treasure. Later that night, Basile and company ate endless amounts of horta at the laden dinner table. I don’t know what type of horta Basile’s yiayia saw but in springtime in Utah, Greeks still pull over for vrouves or seenapies (two members of the wild mustard family) springing up among other types of local greens. In Crete, over 300 types of horta grow in the wild, each with its own different flavor and each available during different seasons. Horta is still served with nearly every meal. When I first learned the word horta I immediately learned another Greek word at the same time—οχι (no). Thanks to horta, I hated nearly all vegetables. Macaroni and cheese is way cooler than horta, any school …