A Little Taste of Greece – Rocket & Spinach Salad
A little less than a month ago I returned from an amazing trip to Turkey and Greece. Istanbul, Mykonos, Delos, and Santorini, to be exact, with over five hundred pictures to show for it. Much to the chagrin of my traveling buddy Lisa, many of them were food shots (NO EATING until I take the picture!). While I still haven’t printed any of them, I’ve gone over most of the food ones and am saving the rest for a rainy day. It’s just too nice out right now to spend time indoors poring over pictures.
I have so much to say about this trip I don’t know where to start. It’s hard to put into words every sight, sound, and feeling I experienced. I don’t feel I can do it justice. Let’s just start with the easiest. Food!
During my travels I enjoyed some amazing food. From croissants slathered with Nutella and fresh fruit on the side (from the local produce market) for breakfast to Lamb Kleftikos and Rocket salads for dinner, I was spoiled for choice.
Produce Market in Mykonos
Everywhere I went the sight and smell of food was in the air. Food is a major part of these cultures and I was able to see that in the most unexpected places. In Istanbul, many of the cafes display their food in glass deli cases right on the sidewalk! What better way to entice a hungry tourist like me than to show off your delicious lamb kebabs as I’m walking by. Who could resist? In Mykonos and Santorini, delicious crepes (sweet and savory, crepe cafes are plentiful) and sweet shops are on every corner. In Santorini, the hot and humid weather was all the excuse I needed to indulge in a large scoop of gelato. The flavor? Profiterole (creamy vanilla with nutella swirled in). It was my daily dose of heaven in a waffle cone. Profiterole, I miss you!
In Santorini, Lisa and I discovered Lamb Kleftikos (more on this in a future post) and a very special salad at very special restaurant called the Roof Garden. We enjoyed the food and hospitality of the staff so much we ate there again on our very last night on the island. We ordered the same dinner and I memorized the ingredients in this salad so I could reproduce it at home. The simple name, Rocket Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette doesn’t really inspire much awe. It is a simple salad that requires the freshest, best ingredients you can find. The tartness of the pomegranite seeds and the sweetnees of the kiwi contrasting with the crunchy saltiness of the shaved parmesan is an amazing flavor burst in your mouth. Trust me, you will enjoy this one.
Rocket & Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing
Oh, and one more thing! Rocket is just Arugula to us Americanos…
For the dressing (from Epicurious.com)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Salad
- 3 cups rocket/arugula
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/4 cup pomegranite seeds
- 1 cup chopped kiwi
- 1/4 cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
For the dressing – combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and using a whisk, pour in the olive oil. Whisk rapidly as you pour in the oil in a slow stream to emulsify the mixture. Cover and set aside.
For the Salad – Wash and dry the rocket and spinach. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl except for the shaved parmesan. Pour a small amount of dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Just before serving sprinkle the salad with more pomegranite seeds if you like and top with the shaved parmesan. Serve dressing on the side.
Note: You can adjust any of the salad ingredients according to your taste. I personally prefer more honey in my dressing and more pomegranite seeds in the salad….