Recipe: Santorini Salad

Classic Santorini salad: a great way to use up the late summer garden bounty of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers!

It’s harvest time in the garden, of course, and now the question is what to do with all that glorious, fresh produce. Well, one fast and delicious way to use up a lot of cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers is to make a classic Santorini salad the way they do in the islands of Greece.  It’s the perfect end-of-summer meal, fresh from the garden. Savor it on one of the many fine September evenings that are left to us, paired with a bold white wine of your choice.

Santorini Salad with Grilled Shrimp

 Ingredients:

1 package of couscous, enough to make 2 cups when cooked

½ cup chopped cilantro

3 oz pine nuts, toasted

 

1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and cleaned

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. fresh chopped oregano

1 Tbsp. minced shallots

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

3 doz. Kalamata olives (checked for pits)

1 lb. feta cheese, crumbled

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

1/3 cup olive oil, for finishing

 NEXT: INSTRUCTIONS

 Instructions:

— Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions.  You can use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water, for more flavor.  When it is finished, stir in the cilantro and pine nuts and put aside to cool.

— Put all the ingredients in the second group into a bowl and toss; allow to stand for at least 10 minutes.

— Put all the ingredients in the third group into a bowl and toss; put in fridge to chill.  For the feta, use the real thing from Greece if you can get it, especially if it is barrel aged.  Because the dressing is basically just the lemon zest and the olive oil you drizzle on last, use the best olive oil you have on hand.

— Thread the shrimp onto bamboo skewers and grill, preferably outdoors and over charcoal.  Refrigerate.

— Serve Santorini salad very cold, on chilled plates if you can.  The classic version of this recipe does not include couscous, but we like it and so compromise by serving it to the side.  Heap the plate with the salad, drizzle with the olive oil (more if you want), serve the couscous and shrimp on the side.  Serves 6.  Enjoy!

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David Jensen writes the popular American blog “The Garden Interior,” which chronicles his garden in southern New Jersey. Please visit at www.TheGardenInterior.com. You can follow David Jensen on Twitter at @GardenInterior.