Mandolin’s Tips for the Perfect Summer Salad
With the mercury on the rise here in Miami, nothing is more refreshing than a crisp, bright salad full of flavor and the best produce the season has to offer.
At the Design District’s Mandolin Aegean Bistro, it serves a popular Village Salad filled with Mediterranean ingredients that is perfect meal to enjoy on a warm, sunny day.
“The Village Salad is a classic found at all tavernas throughout Greece and the Greek Islands,” says Mandolin’s co-owner Anastasia Koutsioukis. “I grew up eating it at every dinner meal.”
Koutsioukis shared a few tips and tricks to making the perfect Village Salad. Most importantly, once you cut up the tomatoes make sure to salt them before adding them to the salad. This helps draw the tomatoes juices out so it will mix with the other elements of the salad to create a light dressing.
Koutsioukis also stresses the importance of getting high quality ingredients since the salad is ingredient driven, but once you have the essentials down, you can adjust it to taste.
“The basic ingredients that you can't go without are good tomatoes, feta, extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar,” adds Koutsioukis. “But if you don't like capers and you do like parsley, go ahead and add and subtract as you wish to make the perfect Village Salad for you.”
Want to make the salad for yourself? Koutsioukis shared her classic recipe below, or just head over to Mandolin and enjoy it on its beautiful patio.
Mandolin's Village Salad Recipe:
- 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes coarsely cut (Use Campari tomatoes if you can’t find good tomatoes in season.)
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cubed
- 1/4 small onion (red onion can also be used), thinly sliced
- 1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/3 of a small jar of marinated Kalamata olives
- 1 slab of feta crumbled or cubed (Greek feta can be found in dairy section or cheese counter at most grocery stores. Try to find one in brine.)
- 2 pinches of dried oregano
- Salt to taste (Sea salt is preferred.)
- 1 pinch of cracked pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Most grocery and specialty store sell Greek olive oil. Mandolin also sells a Cretan Olive Oil.)
- Red Wine Vinegar to taste
- Cut all veggies and toss tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and peppers together in a large serving bowl and add 1 or 2 pinches of salt. Remember, you are adding feta cheese on top which is already very salty.
- Dress the salad with a generous amount of olive oil and a splash or two of red wine vinegar
- Arrange crumbled feta, and olives on top of the salad. Sprinkle with oregano and pepper.
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