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Food

Three Tasty Salads to Add Freshness to Any Meal

As the temperatures rise, refreshing salads are a great option for any meal whether they’re served as a side dish or main course. The following salads include some classic Greek flavors, including the licorice-taste of fresh fennel, the brightness of fresh lemon, and the slightly salty bite of purslane. Perhaps better known in the community by its Greek name, glistrida or purslane, a nutrient-rich leafy green with fleshy succulent leaves and stems, is also high in Omega-3s.

Fennel and Orange Salad with Walnuts

1 medium-large fennel bulb

1 medium-large orange

1/4 cup walnuts, halves or coarsely chopped, if preferred

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Remove any discolored outer portion of the fennel bulb and rinse under cool water. Reserve any young fronds for garnish. Pat dry with a paper towel. Using a mandolin slicer, shave the fennel as thinly as possible and place in a salad bowl. A sharp knife can also be used to thinly slice the fennel. Peel and section the orange, slice sections into bite-sized pieces, if preferred, and add to the sliced fennel. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the Greek extra virgin olive oil and the vinegar, toss to combine. Garnish with any reserved fennel fronds, if desired, top with walnuts, and serve immediately. Fennel will brown a bit if left out too long. The discoloration has no effect on the taste, but be aware if you plan on leaving the fennel salad out on a buffet for more than an hour or two.

Shaved Asparagus Salad

1 pound asparagus, tough bottom of stems trimmed

1 fresh lemon, zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons)

4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons parsley, chopped

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

1 bunch purslane (glistrida), coarsely chopped

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus stalks lengthwise from base to tip creating thin strands, set aside. In a salad bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, the olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, and purslane. Add the asparagus and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

This salad can also be made with 1 pound zucchini in place of the asparagus. Trim the ends and cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then use a peeler or mandolin to slice into strips and continue as above.

Romaine Salad with Feta

1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 cup Feta, Dodonis

Rinse the lettuce and pat dry with a paper towel or spin dry in a salad spinner. In a large salad bowl, toss together the sliced romaine lettuce, red onion, and the oregano. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the red wine vinegar, drizzle with Greek extra virgin olive oil, and toss the salad. Add feta crumbled into small, bite-sized chunks or in one large piece on top of the salad. Drizzle with additional Greek extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of dried oregano, if preferred, and serve.

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