Coleslaw and Greek Salad – Together at last

  • Recipe(s): My favourite coleslaw (page 38), Greek Salad (page 40)& Lemon oil dressing (page 24)
  • Prep: Intensive, Easy & Easy
  • Taste: Good, across the board

So, we were heading to a 70th birthday party in Maple Ridge, on Mother’s day, in the sun. What to bring…..salads of course. I mean, salads are easy to prep right? Also, this way we could bang off three recipes in short order. Boy, were we wrong.

Thinking that the prep would go smoothly and would not require two people for each of these dishes I took off for a bike ride with a few of my buddies around Steveston and south Vancouver. When I came home, around 1:00 PM, I found my partner in the kitchen, with a bowl of finely sliced; cabbage, apple, onion and carrot in front her. It was nicely dressed with mayonnaise, english mustard, salt and pepper and looked delicious. The first words out of her mouth were, “we need a mandolin.” So….this was not an easy recipe to prep. She had sliced, diced and chopped for the better part of an hour and half to get to where she was at. Everything had to be sliced incredibly finely (into matchstick-sized pieces, according to the book), so it was very time consuming. It tasted lovely (more on that later) but the prep was INTENSE!

Thankfully, the greek salad was super easy to prep. Aside from ripping a few lettuce leaves and chopping tomato and a shallot, everything goes together pretty quickly. The lemon and oil dressing, which is exactly what the name says, LEMON and OIL, was super easy.

Both of the salads were quite nice. I have always been a fan of coleslaw. When I was young my family would frequently purchase it for bbqs, however, I never had the homemade version until this occasion. I can honestly say that I liked it more than the store-bought stuff I had grown up on. It was nice and creamy, without being sloppy, like what you are served at restaurants. We used just the right amount of mayonnaise. The only thing missing to me was a bit more acid. We only used one lemon, when it could have probably used two. Or instead of using more lemon, we could have added a bit more of the english mustard, which has a nice heat to it. All in all, it was a solid salad.

The greek salad was a nice surprise. Again this is a salad that I grew up with but normally in the homemade version. My Mom would make it with; green pepper, feta cheese, red onion, olives, oregano, oil, lemon and a few other spices and it was always delicious. So, when I saw that this version had lettuce and avocado and omitted green pepper, I was kind of taken aback. Is this really a greek salad? Let me say, the avocado was a super interesting addition. It added a creaminess that you never really get out of most greek salads, which helped to balance out the zing of the lemon oil dressing. Switching out the pepper and adding lettuce was also a welcome change. It made the whole salad a lot softer. Normally you would have all crunch, aside from the feta cheese. In this version you have crunch, in the shallot, and bottom portions of the romaine leaves, but a nice amount of softer bites, in the feta, avocado and tomato. It was a nice balance. The only thing we would change here is the amount of lettuce used. The recipe actually asked for 1 whole head of romaine. We used almost the whole head, which was too much. We could have cut back. It would have benefitted from less feta as well and a few more olives. That aside, it was a strong, easy dish that we would make again.

The coleslaw ranks low on the flavour to effort scale. It had a nice taste but took too long to make. The Greek salad is definitely higher. These were two oldies that were change-up and could be tweaked even further to make them even better.

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