What I’ve always loved about Mediterranean food is its diversity of flavors and colors. You can find so many dishes full of vegetables, meats and freshly made condiments on any menu. Plus, hummus, falafels, skewers, babaganoush, shakshouka, can you really go wrong?
The common Greek salad made of tomato, cucumber, Feta cheese, olives, and a lemon olive oil dressing is always a favorite of mine. It’s not like an iceberg lettuce salad that tastes so bland that you’d resort to eating your fork instead, but it has a lot of crunch, tang and sweetness, yet is so simple to make. I modified it slightly to my preference by taking out the olives and feta cheese, as well as adding some cilantro, avocado and white beans!
On the other hand, some people tell me that I shouldn’t be adding my own foods into certain dishes because it’s supposedly not the “right way” to eat it. I understand where they’re coming from, but I think that once you’ve nailed the basics and you already know what it tastes like, then there’s nothing stopping you from customizing it to your own liking. For example, is it wrong to add tomatoes to guacamole if it’s traditionally enjoyed without them? Or, is it wrong to add sweet potatoes to an Indian-style curry if most authentic Indian places have never even cooked with sweet potatoes?
I’ve secretly referred to these people as the food Nazis who are just so particular with having and preparing certain dishes in only one designated way. I’m like that for certain food items, but I obviously won’t judge others for their preferences. My only condition is that Sriracha goes on EVERYTHING except chocolate. And I may have accidentally eaten Sriracha and chocolate crossed together.
And not gonna lie…it actually wasn’t too bad.
- 7-8 medium-large Persian cucumbers (or you can use as much as you want)
- 1-2 large red tomatoes
- 1 medium red onion
- 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 can of white beans
- 1 avocado
- Juice of one lemon or lime
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Opt: parsley, feta cheese, olives (I don’t really like olives and I didn’t have feta or parsley, so I didn’t add any of these)
- Drain your can of white beans and set aside.
- Wash your vegetables thoroughly and dry.
- Chop your cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado into cubes.
- Slice your onion or chop finely.
- Assemble all except the last three of your ingredients in a bowl, .
- Squeeze lemon juice on top of the salad.
- Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and garnish with sea salt and pepper.
- Toss the salad until everything is slightly coated and the onion strips have wilted in the dressing.
Know any food Nazis out there? Do you like customizing your own ethnic recipes?