Greek Salad Dressing & Cypriot Breakfast

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Me in Athens, Greece

When I was in college, I was good friends with a Cypriot Greek. He used to make his salad dressing from scratch everyday and taught me how to do it. The thing is, his recipe was a “little of this” and a “pinch of that”, and that’s how I make it at home. So I had to actually measure the ingredients out for this recipe so that I could share it with you.

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This flag represents the Greek side of Cyprus. There is another flag for the Turkish side.

His breakfasts were very foreign to me (pun intended), as I was used to my standard breakfast of black coffee and nothing else. Growing up, my mother used to make me bacon, eggs, toast, and hash browns. So when my Cypriot made us breakfast and I had SALAD on the plate, I honestly thought it was strange. Delicious, but strange.

Not anymore! I see it as a healthy way to start the day with some veggie carbs and fiber. Ketosis is not necessarily about going zero carb (although some people do). My preference is to eat very low carb, but make sure that my carbs come from REAL FOOD, whole food, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, not processed grains or refined sugar. Salad for breakfast sounds absolutely delicious and normal to me now!

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My first love, Zeus.

CYPRIOT BREAKFAST:
* (2) Eggs fried in extra virgin olive oil (alternatively, you could use grassfed butter)
* (1-2) Slices of Halloumi cheese, fried or grilled
* Salad w/ homemade Greek salad dressing
* Grilled tomatoes, if you’re fancy

So where does one purchase Halloumi cheese? This is a good question, after all, I live in Northeastern Ohio near Akron and the nearest Whole Foods is 40 miles away in Woodmere (Cleveland). I believe Trader Joe’s may have it as well, but the nearest TJ’s to me is also in Woodmere. Sigh. I have a Giant Eagle Market District less than 4 miles from my house, but I’m not sure if they carry it. If not, I’ll request they order it, as they ordered French Comté cheese for me one time and now they regularly stock it. I could order it from Amazon, but they don’t offer Prime Shipping, and the costs are over $23.00 to ship it to me! Um… No. I’d rather drive to Cleveland, visit friends and go to WF, TJ’s, and Sur la Table. I have to go to Pittsburgh (Bridgeville) every other weekend, so I may check the WF & TJ’s around there too. I’m not sure of the locations, but I have Google Maps and GPS in my car! EDIT: My Giant Eagle Market District had it! Yay!

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It ain’t cheap!

HOW TO FRY OR GRILL HALLOUMI CHEESE:
If you are having a cookout, you could grill your Halloumi, as it has a very high melting point and will stay intact when cooked. Frying Halloumi is really simple, as it releases liquid/oil while cooking, so you don’t even need to grease your pan!

Frying Halloumi:
1. Slice your Halloumi into 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick slices. Place in dry frying pan and turn the flame up to a medium-high heat.

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2. Your cheese will release liquid/oil while frying up, so you want to keep it cooking on the same side until the liquid has been released and evaporated (this only takes a few minutes, so don’t burn your cheese!).

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3. Flip the Halloumi to the other side and cook for only a minute or two. Seeing as the liquid has already been released, you don’t need to cook it as long on the other side.

4. Squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge over top before serving.

Voilà! Perfect and delicious sheep’s milk cheese!

Grilling Halloumi:
1. Slice your Halloumi into 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick slices. Lightly brush with extra virgin olive oil.

2. Place directly on your hot grill (medium-high heat). Alternatively, you can poke skewers into the cheese to help you flip them and pick them up when they’ve finished cooking. Pro Tip: If you soak the skewers in water while the grill is heating, it makes them easier to remove from the cheese.

3. Grill cheese on each side for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until it turns a golden brown with grill marks.

4. Squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge over top before serving.

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HOMEMADE GREEK SALAD DRESSING:

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This recipe makes enough dressing for 2-3 salads. Do not refrigerate as it will solidify.

INGREDIENTS:
3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Red wine vinegar
1 fresh garlic clove, minced (or 1 tsp minced garlic in oil)
Pinch of sea salt (or kosher salt)
1/2 tsp Basil, dried
1/8 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Parsley, dried
Juice from half of a lemon (or 2 tsp concentrated lemon juice)
1/8 tsp Erythritol (my Cypriot’s original recipe calls for sugar)

METHOD:
1. Place all dry ingredients in a small bowl (except Erythritol). Add in minced garlic.

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2. Pour in olive oil and stir with a spoon. Pour in red wine vinegar and lemon juice, stir.

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3. Taste to see if you like the tartness. If you like it, you’re done. If not, add in the erythritol and stir.

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Make yourself a nice fresh salad of greens (romaine and fresh spinach are a favorite), onion, thinly sliced cucumber, tomato, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Pour dressing over top and enjoy!

Opa!

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My meal: Halloumi cheese, eggs fried in both olive oil and grassfed butter (and topped with the homemade Greek dressing), and spinach (also topped with the homemade Greek dressing).

XOXO,
Heather

Greek Salad Dressing & Cypriot Breakfast

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