Sunday, September 11, 2011

going greek in melaque

I am accustomed to doing without some foods I could once buy up north.

For the most part.

But not entirely.

The serpent tends to come upon me when I spy what I think is a northern treasure.  On Friday I was in Soriana (a large Mexican grocery chain) to pick up a few items.  They have several small displays with foods from other countries.  Imported delicacies.  Such as, Chex Mix.  You get the idea.  I was not expecting much.

On the Italian display I caught a glimpse of something black and oblong in a jar.  My hope meter pegged.  Could it be?  Kalamata olives?

And it was.  A small jar for a small fortune.  But I wanted them to make one of my favorite summer meals -- Greek salad.

Knowing that I was being a bit addled merely to look, I wandered over to the cheese case to see if any feta was available.  If not, I was willing to settle for fresh goat cheese.

But like some loaves and fishes tale, there it was.  Feta.  Packed in brine.  Real feta.  The fact that it was made in Denmark did not deflate my hopes.

With some local tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers -- and a jar of green Spanish olives (you know the type: stuffed with a bit of pimento) to augment the Kalamatas, I was on my way home.  And I knew it was a good day when I found a real lemon at my local grocer for the mint dressing.

The result is at the top of the post.  Now, I will admit without heirloom tomatoes, English cucumbers, Walla Walla sweet onions, and my favorite South African peppers, it is not quite the same salad I enjoyed in Salem.

But, that is the point, isn’t it?  It isn’t the same salad. 

It is a good salad.  And quite refreshing on these hot, humid summer afternoons.  A nice glass of water.  A few crackers.  A bowl of new Greek salad.  What more could I ask?


Mcotton said...

It looks delicious.

Kim G said...

I seem to recall this salad from your Salem days. Or was that recalling Salem from your salad days?  Wait, no. These are you salad days.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we just enjoyed some homemade beet soup.

Steve Cotton said...

Salad days?  Where I am chopped into bits and served cold with a chianti-fava dressing?

Marc Olson said...

Very, very interesting, because I spend a lot of time last night thinking about Greek salad, and how much I miss having a really good, authentic one. Many restaurants seem to think that dumping a little white cheese, a few canned olives, and some chunks of cucumber and tomato on a bunch of lettuce makes a Greek salad. This looks much better. I need to hit the market tomorrow, and go on a search for real feta. Hmmmmm.

Steve Cotton said...

It will not be what you get NOB.  But it will be a good salad.  And far better than what I have been served in the local eateries.

Cheryl said...

It has been my experience that Kalamata olives cost a small fortune up here too.  But then maybe that is a rare commodity here in Tennessee as well.  there is a little hole in the wall Greek cafe in Nashville that is our favorite. If they can't make it, it ain't Greek.

Be sure to parcel out the kalamatas, make then last.  Enjoy.


Steve Cotton said...

It was good.  Just different.

Steve Cotton said...

My Safeway in Salem has a great olive bar.  Not too expensive.  About $10 a pound.

Francisco said...

Geez...where's the lettuce?  I'm kidding, I put about the same amount of feta and olives etc.  I guess I'm fortunate here in Mich. we pay $7.00 lb. at our local olive bar.

Babsofsanmiguel said...

What could be better?  Possibly eating it here in San Miguel where it got down to 37 Thursday morning and it is only supposed to get up to 70 today........You would be so happy in this weather - me, not so much.
We have all the ingredients that you are looking for at Mega, Soriana, LaCava and Bonanza here..........come on back

Teresa Freeburn said...

ahhh, that looks so good.  how about sharing your mint dressing recipe? 


Steve Cotton said...

It is simple.  The juice of three lemons, an equal part of high-quality olive oil, a bit of diced garlic, and fresh or dried mint.  Simple and refreshing.

Steve Cotton said...

I could never find heirloom tomatoes up there.  Maybe I was looking in the wrong places.

Steve Cotton said...

It would be nice to have an olive bar with choices.  Olives just never caught on in Mexico.  Due in part to the mercantilistic protectionism of Spain.

Babsofsanmiguel said...

They are here but you have to get them from individuals that grow them for a precious few friends~  YOU could bring seeds back and have a container garden in Melaque.............

Kim G said...

Given some of your off-the-beaten-track adventures, don't tempt fate.  LOL

Besides, I'm not so sure the narcotraficantes favor chianti-fava dressing much either.

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we think you should look up "salad days."

Steve Cotton said...

I am well into my dessert days.