Last month Diane Mayes wrote in with a request for a good Greek salad recipe. Thanks to Florence Bouchard, Heida Bottrell, Faye Serofin and Renée Lavitt. Faye's traditional version uses only chopped vegetables, while Renée's recipe offers the addition of romaine lettuce, which has become the most popular form of the Greek salad in North America. Other recipes add basil, and Florence's version uses a little mint, which would be a great addition, especially in the summer.
This week, we have the first holiday request of the year: Judy Romanow from Lac Du Bonnet wonders if anyone has a recipe for turkey stuffing made with oatmeal. (I grew up with oatmeal stuffing from my Scottish family, but nowadays most stuffing recipes I see involve bread crumbs or bread cubes.) Yvonne Josephson is hoping someone might have a recipe for mushroom soup like the one served at Cranberry's in Brandon -- it's a dairy-free version. And another reader is looking for two favourite recipes, now lost, one for burnt sugar pudding and one for cloverleaf rolls. The original recipes were found in one of the flour company cookbooks, probably around the 1930s.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Greek salad (from Faye Serofin)
2-3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
2-3 medium English cucumbers, cut into chunks
1 medium red or white onion, cut into wedges
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
1 red or yellow pepper, cut into chunks (optional)
125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
60 ml (1/4 cup) white wine vinegar or regular vinegar
2 ml dried oregano
2 ml black pepper
10 ml (2 tsp) finely chopped fresh parsley or 5 ml (1 tsp) dried parsley
Place vegetables in a bowl. In a blender or shaker, mix oil, vinegar and herbs. Pour over vegetables and let stand to marinate for a few hours. Place feta cheese and olives in dishes and pass separately.
Tester's notes: The fresh, crisp vegetables make a good contrast with the strong flavours of feta and olives. (For the best Greek salad, get the best brine-cured kalamata olives you can find.) Faye prefers her salads at room temperature, so lets the vegetable and dressing marinate out of the fridge. She passes the olives and feta separately so people can add them to suit their tastes. She also points out that the portions aren't strict and can easily be adjusted to the number of people you're serving.
Greek salad (from Renée Lavitt)
1/2 head of romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cucumber, cut into chunks
250 g (8 oz) feta cheese, cut into chunks
150 g (5 oz) kalamata olives
45 ml (3 tbsp) white wine vinegar
60 ml (4 tbsp) virgin olive oil
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
1 ml (1/4 tsp) black pepper
2 ml (1/2 tsp) sugar
2 ml (1/2 tsp) dried oregano
1 ml (1/4 tsp) dried chervil
1 ml (1/4 tsp) dried marjoram
1 ml (1/4 tsp) dried basil
Combine vinegar, oil and seasonings in a jar with a tight lid. Shake well. Make dressing one day ahead and refrigerate. Combine salad items and pour dressing over. Toss gently.
Tester's notes: I like the complex notes in the dressing. Renée points out that flavours will be fuller if the dressing is made the day before, but she has also made it at the last minute and it's still tasty.