I think I may have to start a section of this journal for recipes that aren’t proper recipes but which people ask me for. You know, for recipes like pasta bolognese or fruit crumble, which are a handful of this, and one of those, and a sprinkle of that, and a whole tin of the other, and actually, maybe we need another handful of this after all. These kind of recipes are only ever going to be recordable by weighing all the ingredients you might possible want to use before you start cooking, and then weighing the packets again after you finish and calculating the difference. Which is something I never think of until it’s too late.
Inevitably, recipes like this are also the ones people ask for. And this is very sad, because I have so many recipes I can describe, but when it comes to these ones, all I can do is wail “I don’t know what I put in there!”. Because it changes every time.
Anyway, my mother in law asked for this recipe, so here it is. Sort of. I’m totally guessing at the quantities, especially for the dressing, so use your best judgment. On the bright side, it’s a salad, so it’s pretty hard to go wrong on. And sometime soon I really will figure out what I put in my fruit crumbles, too. Promise.
Your shopping list100g persian feta (the soft creamy kind that usually comes marinated) 100g marinated green olives (inauthentic, but I like them more than the black ones), stoned and halved half a small red onion, sliced 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil infused with blood orange, or plain extra virgin olive oil and a little blood orange juice or lemon juice 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar salt, black pepper 250g of good cherry or mini Roma tomatoes, or whatever little tomatoes you have in your garden that have not been eaten by the very hungry caterpillar, cut in half one largeish lebanese cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthways, and chopped into thick chunks one red or yellow or orange capsicum, cut into thick slices and the slices halved leaves from about half a small lettuce (I like butter lettuce for this), gently torn a handful each of fresh mint and fresh oregano or marjoram leaves, gently shredded, and if you have some nasturtium petals or other herb flowers, why not add them too?
Now what will you do with it?
Put the olives and cheese in a seive to drain off the marinade while you prepare everything else.
Put the red onion into a little bowl with the salad dressing ingredients and leave for at least ten minutes – this will help make the onion less bitey.
Put your salad vegetables into a prettily coloured bowl, and toss gently. Cut the feta into 1.5cm dice (it won’t chop very well, because it’s quite soft and smooth) and add to the salad with the herbs and flower petals.
Pour the dressing over the top, and toss again, gently.