My wife is a good woman. Great wife. Wonderful soul. She would be destined for big things in a different era, one not made like the fabric of today. Rushed and thoroughly ruined. These days are hectic, troubling and, at times, unkind. No, she was meant for an era when things slowed down, people shared in their community and shared their good fortune with others. A time when hard work and honesty were rewarded. A far cry from these days when people tell tales, slide the truth and offer up illusions in place. She’s kind, generous and real. She is always looking out for others. But mostly looking out for me.
She is my all. Of all everything.
Although I cook she offers up advice and suggestions. Always making sure we have our share of healthy options on the plate. And always, yes always, making sure I make a salad. And enjoy it. Yet, I haven’t. We eat well, but could definitely eat better. Make better choices and soak up all the goodness offered to us. And knowing all the wonderful things I know about my wife, you’d think I would have listened a whole lot sooner. For my own good.
We’ve made a decision. Starting now. Not a diet, nor a fad. A lifestyle change. Enjoy whole foods, wonderful foods. Eat off the land a little more and celebrate it. Snack better, eat wholesome foods and always enjoy a salad. To start the meal or end it. This isn’t saying we’ll never indulge. We like our occasional baked goods, stiff drink and plate of comfort food. But we’ll be more alert to the choices we make. The food we consume and share with others. And change has to start somewhere.
This salad is everything I wrongly assumed salads couldn’t be. Incredibly vibrant and loaded with great flavours. And the options today are endless. In this case crisp, sautéed feta, fresh garden tomatoes, onions, arugula, cukes, olives and capers. All of that topped with a wonderful vinaigrette that really pulled it all together. One of the best tasting salads I’ve come to eat. And certainly one that I’ve made.
My wife. My dearest wife. I owe a lot to her. Become better because of her. She always leads the way, tries to be better and do better. Care for and watch out for me. She helps us enjoy the journey together. And does her best to make it last a bit longer. Better. One memorable event. Starting with one wonderful dish.
From my kitchen to yours,
Crisp Feta, Tomato & Arugula Salad
- 2 thick feta slices, plus 2 tbsp. feta
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 thin slices of cucumbers
- handful of arugula
- 12 cherry tomatoes (or any variety you prefer)
- 6 pitted green olives
- 2 tbsp. capers
- 6 basil leaves
- 2 fresh oregano sprigs
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of sugar
- fresh cracked pepper
- Using a large fry pan over medium-high heat, add in a small splash of oil and, when hot, place the two thick slices of feta in the pan. Fry for 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until golden brown on each side.
- Place a good handful of arugula leaves across the centre of the plate. Place the golden brown feta over top. Spread out half the onion, 3 slices of cucumbers and a tomato slice over top. Sprinkle the remaining cucumber slice, tomatoes, olives and capers around the plate. Garnish the dish with some basil leaves and an oregano sprig.
- Take the minced garlic, coarse salt, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and sugar and put everything in a mason jar. Tightly cover and shake vigorously. Add in the fresh pepper and refrigerate.
- Pour some of the vinaigrette over top of the salad and serve.
- Serves 2.