In collaboration with Villa Plus.
I do believe spring is officially upon us, here in Shetland. The days are growing longer, and my eldest and I noticed that the sky was still bright to the west come 10:30 pm recently as we were driving back from our sea kayaking lessons in the local pool (we’re one lesson closer to kayaking into a sea cave – #24 on my 40 Things I Want to Do Before I Turn 40 list!). A single star was visible. Soon enough it will be the Simmer Dim, midsummer, where it doesn’t get dark and the stars disappear for the season.
Salad greens have made a reappearance in our vegetable box – gorgeous salads made from fresh herbs and vibrant, peppery leaves. Our vegetable box providers here in Shetland blend the perfect mix of salad – you can almost just sit there and eat it straight from the bag with no dressing, it’s that packed full of flavour.
There’s something magical about salad greens which have been grown with love under the warmth of the sun. This summer salad recipe with goats cheese and figs was inspired by this recipe from the island of Crete and their abundance of fresh salad greens, herbs and vegetables (and my love of goat’s cheese!). It takes no time to throw together, and I used my OXO Good Grips simple mandoline slicer to make short work of cutting the carrot and white cabbage julienne style.
A tasty salad starts with quality ingredients – buy or grow the best that you can; vine-ripened organic tomatoes, a good quality olive oil with a peppery bite to it (I use Pomora, grown by Antonio and his family in Italy), fresh lemons, fresh herbs and, of course, a mixture of freshly picked salad greens.
Crete was originally part of Minoan civilization, and it derives its culinary influence from the cuisine of neighboring Greece as well as the major occupiers of Crete throughout history. Salad is served at nearly every meal, and edible greens are the main ingredient of most dishes. Aromatic wild herbs are commonly included in many dishes, making the best of what grows on the island.
You can just imagine sitting under the warm Cretan sun with a helping of this salad and some freshly baked bread! In fact, I ate the food in the photographs above for my lunch before a shift at work, and then I ate the rest of the salad for my dinner along with some mozzarella loaded bruschetta as it was that delicious! This recipe will be making a regular appearance at my kitchen table from now on.
Perhaps you can help me with a dilemma: is it goats cheese, goat’s cheese or goats’ cheese!
Cretan Summer Salad with Figs & Goats Cheese
- 50 grams mixed salad greens chopped
- 60 grams carrot finely grated
- 40 grams white cabbage finely grated
- 1 large vine-ripened tomato finely chopped
- 170 grams cucumber finely chopped
- 3 figs fresh or dried, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 large handful fresh parsley chopped
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil I use Pomora
- 1/2 lemon juice only
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- s sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 120 grams soft goats cheese crumbled
- Combine the chopped salad greens, carrot, cabbage, tomato, cucumber, dill and parsley in a medium sized bowl.
- Drizzle over the olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Season well with salt and pepper and gently toss.
- Arrange the salad onto a serving dish and sprinkle with the crumbled goats cheese.
- Serve immediately.
OTHER MEDITERRANEAN SALADS YOU MIGHT LIKE
Greek Pasta Salad by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
Mediterranean Roasted Broccoli and Olive Quinoa Salad by Kellie’s Food to Glow
Tuscan White Bean Salad by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
Linking up with Ren Behan’s Simple & In Season, guest hosted this month by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours. I’m also sharing this with my own Shop Local Challenge, as the fresh herbs in this recipe came from my vegetable box.
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Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary received financial remuneration for this post for Villa Plus as part of their Cost of Eating Out campaign. All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own. With thanks to OXO for the simple mandoline slicer. This post contains an affiliate link which means if you purchase olive oil through it we will receive a commission, and you will be helping to support our family.