Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mediterranean Salad

Weekend Herb Blogging travels to Southwest Virginia where Coffee and Cornbread is our gracious host.

This week I'm find myself featuring another find from the Farmers' Market - in this case a rather rustic looking bunch of dried oregano.

dried oregano© by haalo

These many fond memories of shopping with my mother in the local delis and being confronted by the plastic bags containing bunches of dried oregano hanging next to the various cured meats. It's most memorable feature was and is it's unmistakable aroma. Where fresh oregano is a somewhat subtle scent, dried oregano hits you in the face, though powerful, it's quite alluring and intoxicating.

To use, you would just use some of the loose leaves that had collected at the bottom of the bag and then just rub them between your fingers or your palms to break them up. It was then a matter of simply sprinkling it over your dish.

As basil brings thought of Italy, dried oregano creates pictures of the Aegean and the Mediterranean. So I thought I'd use oregano to help create a Mediterranean inspired salad - using a variety of summer vegetables and a little gourmet fetta - something that you could eat on it's own or as an accompaniment to grilled meats.

Mediterranean Salad© by haalo

Mediterranean Salad
[Serves 2 or more if served as side dish]

1 baby Cos/Romaine lettuce, leaves left whole, washed and dried
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced in half and then into thirds
1 small Lebanese cucumber, peeled and then sliced finely lengthways
2 red radish, sliced finely
8 olives, pitted
8 mint leaves, shredded
1 small red salad onion, sliced finely
1 quarter Moroccan preserved lemon, sliced very finely
1 disc Gourmet Fetta (or Marinated Fetta), broken into small pieces
olive oil
red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
dried oregano

Line your serving bowl with the baby Cos lettuce leaves.

In another bowl add the tomatoes, cucumber, radish, olives, mint leaves, onion, preserved lemon and half the fetta - toss well to get a good mix.

Make a dressing with the olive oil and red wine vinegar and season with a little salt, pepper and a just a pinch of dried oregano (you'll add more at the end). Pour this over the mixed vegetables and mix well before placing it over the prepared cos lettuce leaves.

Scatter over with the remaining fetta and give it a little drizzle of olive oil before finishing it off with another sprinkling of crushed dried oregano.

Mediterranean Salad© by haalo

There it is - simple and fresh and every bite offering another flavour combination.


  1. Haalo,

    simple fresh and a work of art!

    I got your WHB link and thanks.

  2. This salad has all the things I love! Just perfect.

    I've never been able to find preserved lemons here, and so far I'm too lazy to make them myself, but I need to do it!

  3. I love your photo of the dried oregano! So beautiful! And the salad is so refreshing for the warmer days we have now! :)

  4. In my town has quite a few Italian grocery stores selling this dried oregano, they're so beautiful!

  5. Thanks Sue - great work on the roundup!

    Thanks Kalyn - I did a quick look in Amazon and they have preserved lemons available, might be an easy way of getting them.

    Thanks Paz - if I could give you a taste (or a whole bowl) I surely would!

    Thanks Anh - we certainly are in the middle of salad weather might as make them as appetizing as possible

    Hi Gattina - it's probably one of the best places to find them.

  6. Haalo, this is a wonderful salad!

    I love the mix of colors, textures and flavors - not to mention how healthy the ingredients are.

    I love oregano.

  7. What a stunning looking salad. Gorgeous photo, delicious ingredients...who could ask for more!

  8. Your salad looks wonderful! To me, dried oregano is a must component of a salad. So refreshing!

  9. Thanks Patricia - it's really enjoyable on a hot day.

    Thank you so much Ruth!

    Thanks Burcu - such a small amount of oregano can impart so much flavour, it's just wonderful!

  10. That just screams summer!
    I recently learned that what I had planted as oregano in the U.S. was, more likely, marjoram. The oregano I have now (in France) looks totally different. Regardless, I love both/either1

  11. Thanks Katie - they do look so much alike it's only the smell that really sets them apart. Both are lovely herbs.

  12. Just stopping back to let you know I'm featuring your recipe and photo for my South Beach Friendly recipes of the week, with a photo credit for you and a link to your recipe of course. Truly a lovely recipe.

  13. Thanks Kalyn - that's so nice of you!


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