Sunday, September 08, 2013

Greek Salad (+ raw vegan Feta Cheese)

reading time: ca. 3 min




Preparation time: 15 mins (+ overnight prep time for the "cheese")
Main ingredients: cucumber, tomatoes, olives
difficulty level: easy - moderate
serves: 3-4
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, paleo, raw food, and delicious "even so"

As part of my Day Zero Project i have challenged myself to "Cook 5 meals from 5 different cultures", and today shall be the day that i conquer the first of five steps to success. *drum roll* may i present to you: Nr 01 Greek Salad (Greece. duh.)




Ingredients

Salad
½ cucumber, cut into bite-size thick half-moons
3 big tomatoes, chopped into wedges
½ cup olives (preferably black), pitted
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, large diced (i skipped those)
½ red onion, sliced into rings
1 cup feta cheese or raw feta cheese (see below)

Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced or pressed
½ cup sliced basil, preferably fresh
½ teaspoon dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Raw Feta Cheese
1 cup almonds, blanched and soaked overnight if possible
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp seesalt or less
herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil or oregano (optional) i used all of the mentioned

a few sundried tomatoes (optional) i used three slices
a handful olives (optional)


Instructions 


#step 0: Prepare the raw vegan Feta Cheese if needed. This should to be done the day before serving. (jump to #Step 4 to see the method)


#step 1: Although the amount of ingredients might be a little intimidating, the recipe itself is real easy. For the salad, just throw all the salad ingredients together in a big bowl and mix them well.

#step 2: The vinaigrette is also quick to make. Put all vinaigrette ingredients except salt and pepper into a small jar with a screw-top lid and shake thoroughly. Pour it over the salad, add the salt, and gently toss to combine just before serving. Ideally, let the flavors marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

#step 3: Garnish the Greek salad with a little freshly ground black pepper and some fresh herb leaves.

 
#step 4: Now for the fake Feta cheese, you need a cup of already soaked, preferably blanched almonds (i let them soak in warm water the day before, and then went on to prepare the "cheese" pulp at night, so it could rest all night through).
Place the soaked almonds into your blending machine or food processor along with the remaining Feta ingredients (by the way, i also threw in a small handful of pumpkin seeds because i didn't have enough almonds, and also traded part of the olive oil for a dash of walnut oil for a more tender taste).
Blend it into a thick crumbly cream. This is where it gets a little tricky because the pulp tends to stick to the bottom of the blender. you might need to scrape it off of the bottom a few times in order to get a half-decent cottage-cheese-texture.
Place a cloth in a strainer and spoon your "cheese" pulp onto the cloth. Bring the sides together, twist and knot together it firmly. For good measure, place the strainer onto a place or bowl and let it chill in the fridge overnight.




Next day take out your "cheeseball" and cut it into small chunks, it should be firm and smell of delicious mediterranean herbs. mmmhhh! Now you can toss your fake Feta Cheese into your Greek Salad or even spread it on crackers or crusty bread. Enjoy :)

Or as they say in Greece: Καλή όρεξη!





 


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein


5 meals from 5 different cultures:

1] Greek Salad (+ raw vegan Feta cheese)
2] French Ratatouille
3] Japanese Sushi (+ raw vegan Carrot hummus) 
4] Swedish Honey Buns
5] Russian Beet Soup (+ raw vegan Sour cream) 





Maisy



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