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Step up your salsa game with Greek salad ingredients – InForum

FARGO — I am a sucker for salsa in any form, and I have featured a variety of salsa recipes in this column over the years, including my Corn and Fresh Cherries Salsa , Cucumber and Green Apple Salsa , Avocado, Corn and Cucumber Salsa , Kiwi ‘Cado Salsa, Pineapple Salsa and Strawberry Salsa. I love them all and am happy to add this Greek Salad Salsa to the list.

This is a quick and easy dish to make, featuring traditional Greek salad ingredients like cucumber, tomato, red onion, Kalamata olives and feta cheese. On occasion I include some bell pepper if I have one kicking around, but we really enjoy this salsa without it.

Sarah’s salsa recipe features traditional Greek salad ingredients: cucumbers, red onion, Kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, oregano and lemon.

Sarah Nasello / The Forum

When making a salsa, it is important that the ingredients be small enough to scoop up on a chip or elegantly grace a piece of grilled fish or chicken. I prefer mini cucumbers for this recipe, which are firm and crispier than other varieties, with seeds that are barely noticeable. I use two mini cukes and cut them into pieces about a quarter inch in size.

Grape tomatoes are ideal for this recipe, as their firm quality allows them to hold their shape in the sauce better than cherry tomatoes would. I cut the tomatoes in half and then into quarters to make them the perfect size for scooping.

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The salsa ingredients are chopped into small pieces so that they are easy to scoop up with a hearty chip or elegantly grace a fillet of fish or chicken.

Sarah Nasello / The Forum

I chop the red onions and Kalamata olives much finer than the tomatoes and cukes, as these are accent ingredients with strong flavors, and I want them to enhance the salsa without overpowering it. For the feta cheese — the crumblier, the better. I buy a package of crumbled feta and then chop it into even smaller crumbs.

For the dressing, I use a simple combination of extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, dried oregano, granulated garlic, salt and pepper. I put all the ingredients in a small jar and shake it vigorously until they are well-combined.

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A light and tangy Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette is the binder for this salsa, and Sarah recommends using a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for maximum flavor.

Sarah Nasello / The Forum

The olive oil is a main flavor-builder for the salsa, so this is the perfect time to break out your best bottle (for me, that is always Mistra Estates Greek extra-virgin).

To extract the maximum amount of juice from a lemon, or any citrus, pop it in the microwave for about 20 seconds on high before juicing it. I learned this trick many years ago and always regret whenever I skip this step.

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Heating a lemon, or any citrus fruit, in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds will help extract the maximum amount of juice.

Sarah Nasello / The Forum

This salsa is terrific as a party dip with hearty pita chips, and we recently enjoyed it as a condiment with a new chicken burger recipe I am developing. It would also pair well with grilled fish and chicken and would even be a good filler for pasta salad.

My Greek Salad Salsa is a great snack when you are craving big, savory flavors without the big calories. Refreshing, quick and easy to make, this salsa is a summertime staple in our house, and I hope you love it, too.

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This summertime salsa is a quick and easy dip that is perfect for entertaining.

Sarah Nasello / The Forum

FYI: If you are interested in signing up for this year’s Mistra Estates olive oil order, you can register for the mailing list at peterschultzimporter.com to receive updates on the order season, which will open on July 15 this year.

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Sauce ingredients:
1 cup cucumber, seeded and small-diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
½ cup Kalamata olives, finely chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled (the crumblier, the better)
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette (see recipe)

Vinaigrette ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of garlic powder (about 1/8 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Place the chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions and feta cheese in a medium mixing bowl and toss until well-combined. Add the vinaigrette, using all of it, and toss again until it is evenly distributed.

Best when served within 2 hours of making; leftovers may be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

This week in…

Recipes can be found with the article at InForum.com.
“Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello@gmail.com.

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