Cooking is my love language to my daughters, friends, and family. However, I typically show this love with just a few favorite meals (boring). I recently decided that it was time to up my cooking game and dive into learning my way around the kitchen. So, when my friend (and incredible private chef, cookbook writer, and infused salt maker) Robin Goldstein asked if I could assist her in a Greek cooking class at The Lavender Inn in Ojai, CA I jumped at the chance!
Chef Robin spent time living in Greece and created a menu for this class based upon her experience with the local dishes. For this class, she demonstrated a Santorini Sunset Cocktail with fresh grapefruit, mint, thyme-infused honey, a Smoked Salmon Taramasalata with flatbread, a Great Greek Rice Salad with Chicken & Feta Vinaigrette, and a Honey Yogurt Parfait with Fresh Fruit for dessert. Everything tasted incredible!
Here, I am sharing with you the Great Greek Rice Salad Recipe for a few reasons. One, it tastes so delicious that I know anyone could make it for a lunch or dinner party and people would love it. Secondly, it is made with all fresh ingredients and is healthy. Finally, it looks beautiful (and everyone loves pretty food). Chef Robin made it a point to tell us that you can mix & match ingredients as you like. For example, you may use quinoa instead of rice, add chicken or shrimp, or keep it vegetarian. Basically, have fun with what you have at home and don't feel the need to get too stuck to the script. Below is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Great Greek Rice Salad
this makes a refreshing twist on a main course salad with authentic flavor and may just become one of your favored recipes." - Chef Robin Goldstein. serves 4
2 cups cooked basmati rice (or quinoa)
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup cucumber, diced
1⁄3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh mint, leaves torn
1⁄2 cup feta vinaigrette (see below)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
fresh salad greens
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Cooked chicken or shrimp
In a large bowl, gently combine the cooked rice, tomato, cucumber, olives, capers, fresh mint and half of the feta vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange fresh greens on a platter or individual plates. Place rice mixture on top of the greens. Top with sliced cooked chicken or shrimp, lemon wedges and extra feta dressing on the side.
makes 1⁄2 cup
2 tablespoon red onion, diced
1 clove fresh garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
pinch of sugar
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
Add all the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until creamy. For a more simple dressing, place all the ingredients chopped or minced into a mason jar and shake until
well blended. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.