A green love story – salad with feta dressing

As a kid I was already adventurous when it came to food. I ate more or less anything. The only thing that I didn’t like for many years was salad. To me it tasted like grass and I found it incredibly boring to eat. My grandmother was the matron of our house and she cooked for the whole family. As a woman of her time who not only experienced the horror of the war but also the lack of food during and after it, she always worried about me starving out. The truth was that I was just a normal kid, skinny as many kids at that age, but actually nothing to worry about. My resistance against eating salad bothered her a lot. It was important for her that my body got as many vitamins as the bodies of the rest of the family.

On sundays my grandma took a day off from cooking and my grandpa invited us for lunch. We lived in a very small neighborhood close to the forest and the river Rhein. There were not many restaurants around and so we went to the same restaurant all the time. It was an Italian restaurant called “Casa Rustica”. The owner came from Southern Italy and had black, curly hair all over his head and body. I loved it there. They had one of those coin machines that spit out pistachios when you dropped in some cents (where are those machines today? Do you know a place where they still exist?). At “Casa Rustica” every person of the family had his or her favorite dish. My grandma went for the fish fillet, my grandpa took “Milanese”, a schnitzel with pasta and tomato sauce and I had a pasta with cream and mushrooms and – a salad. Their salad was a whole new experience for me because it had a white, creamy, rich sauce all over that I liked a lot. I didn’t even care about those grassy notes of the salad anymore.

Back home my grandma went into her kitchen, closed the door, and started rumbling. The air was vibrating. She was on something, this was clear to all of us.

The next day she placed a portion of salad in front of me. It had this white, creamy, rich sauce on it – I think there was some mayonnaise and yoghurt involved. She looked at me in satisfaction when I grabbed my fork and began eating. This was the beginning of a big love affair between me and my salad and it’s still going on.

Danke, Omi! I love you!

I wanna share the recipe of a salad sauce with you that is rich and creamy too, but we all don’t really want to use mayonnaise today, right? Let’s try it with feta cheese, some olive oil and a little bit of white wine, and honey. You will be reminded of a lighter caesar salad with a twist of southern french goat cheese salad with honey.

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side dish):

  • 1 romaine lettuce, washed and readily prepared
  • 1/3 cup white wine (replace with 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 5 tablespoons of water)
  • 5,25 OZ (150 Gramm) sheep milk feta cheese, chopped into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chive, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Bring a saucepan to medium heat and put in the white wine. Bring the wine to a slight boil, add the feta cheese, and stir until it melts. Add the honey, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Then remove it from the heat and stir in the chive. Mix with the salad. Enjoy.
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