It was roughly a schmamillion degrees in my kitchen last week, meaning I barely had the energy to open a box of cereal, never mind cook. The toaster gave me hot flashes. Flipping the oven on would have been an act of pure masochism.
Commence the hunt for no-cook recipes.
Generally speaking, most no-cook dishes are pretty healthy. Produce-friendly and meat-lite, they tend to employ fresh herbs and simple vinaigrettes. Beans and store-bought breads abound, as do nuts, dried fruits, and good cheeses. It's the ideal diet, in a lot of ways.
Fortunately, my search soon yielded Giada DeLaurentiis' Greek Salad Skewers. Best served as appetizers or a side dish, they aren't fall-down fancy or terribly complicated. They are fresh, flavorful, pretty, and require no heating implement whatsoever. Plus: It's food on a stick. Who doesn't love food on a stick?
Quite a few reviewers mentioned the feta tends to crumble before you can skewer it. An easy solution: pop the block in your freezer for 30 minutes before chopping it up. You still have to be careful when you stick the pieces, but the cheese should hold its shape much better.
Other changes to the initial recipe: I used reduced-fat feta to cut calories, and soaked the red onion for ten minutes to lessen its sharpness. Also, I didn't have six-inch skewers, but I had several dozen 12-inch doodads that were pretty easy to cut in half.
Hopefully, it'll cool off a little in the coming weeks. If not, Greek Salad Skewers are a tasty way to get by.
Greek Salad Skewers
Makes 12 skewers.
- 24 grape or small cherry tomatoes
- 3 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese
- 12 pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 red onion, cut into 12 (1/2-inch) pieces
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 (6-inch) bamboo or wood skewers, or 6 (12-inch) skewers cut in half
Place feta block in the freezer for 30 minutes. When time is up, just before the feta is skewered, carefully cut it into 12 (1/2 inch) cubes.
Place red onion in a small bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. Drain.
Assemble skewers as follows: tomato, feta blocks (be very careful with them), olive, onion, tomato. Place them on a platter.
To a small bowl, add lemon juice, red wine vinegar, chopped oregano leaves, and olive oil. Whisk to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over skewers and top with oregano leaves. Serve.