Cucumber & Radish Salad with Feta Dressing

In another life, or at least long enough ago that it feels like another life, I was vegetarian.  I kind of wish I still was but what with young children and a heavily carnivore partner its easier to just eat the occasional bit of meat (not usually red meat but meat nonetheless).  Prior to falling off the wagon (who knew that saying “No carne” in appalling French to a Tunisian wouldn’t rule out Tuna?) I was a good little non-meat eating gourmet.  As a result I have quite a lot of vegetarian cook books, and not all of them have “healthy” or “whole” in the title.  Incidentally, why is it that Op shop selves are littered with Wholefood cookbooks?  Actually you probably don’t need to answer that question – the question should probably be why do Op Shops still accept copies of Wholefood cookbooks (or Julie Stafford’s Taste of Life for that matter – I challenge anyone to enter a Melbourne Op Shop and not find a cookbook by Julie Stafford – its remarkably difficult)?

“Wholefood” cookbooks aside (and I do admit that even they have their place – I am particularly partial to the occasional lentil and nut loaf with piquant dressing) there are some absolutely fabulous vegetarian cookbooks out there.  One of these is a paperback I own called Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookery by David Scott.  Its a really nice little book – no pictures but lots of nice recipes using the sort of produce I usually eat & grow.  One of these recipes I adapted for lunch today – Cucumber with a feta cheese dressing which in my house became Cucumber & Radish salad with feta cheese dressing as I had some lovely radishes ready for harvest.

This recipe should really serve more than one person (particularly if served with a selection of salads) but I’d been swimming and was hungry so I scoffed the lot.

Cucumber & Radish Salad with a Feta Dressing

  •  1 cucumber – finely sliced
  • 3 smallish radishes – finely sliced
  • 1/2 onion – finely sliced
  • a handful of lettuce leaves
  • 100g feta (I usually use a mild Tasmanian or Danish style feta for this dressing)
  • 2 tblspns extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of a lemon (I used a Meyer lemon today with great results)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp dried oregano – crushed*
  • Pepper

Arrange the cucumber, radish and onion on top of the lettuce leaves. Mash the remaining ingredients together with a fork to make the dressing.  I do find the dressing does split a bit but that this doesn’t detract from the flavour.  Serve.

* I find store bought oregano stronger than the stuff I dry myself.  I’m not sure whether this is because its a different variety or that mine is growing in the shade and needs a bit more sun to really develop its flavour.  With store bought oregano I would use 1/2 tsp but with my oregano I usually add a bit more.  If you don’t have oregano, mint – either dried or fresh would make a lovely alternative.

This entry was posted in Cucurbits, Recipes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Cucumber & Radish Salad with Feta Dressing

  1. Mark Willis says:

    Sounds a nice combination, and I adore Feta. I agree with what you say about shop-bought dried Oregano. I have tried drying home-grown Oregano, but it never tastes as good. If only I lived on a sun-drenched Mediterranean hillside I’m sure the flavour would be more intense.

    • Liz says:

      Ah yes and then you could have a spin off blog: Mark’s Veg Plot goes Med, or The Relocation of Mark’s Veg Plot or indeed any number of reality TV versions of Mark’s Veg Plot – the possibilities are endless….

  2. Robin says:

    What a great recipe! I just love feta! Your photos make me feel like I could reach out and eat that salad!

    I haven’t used store bought dried oregano in so long that I can’t remember if it is stronger or not.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Robin, I love feta too – any recipe that uses feta (or goats cheese – which I don’t like much but substitute feta for) I am really drawn to.

  3. Andrea says:

    In my other life i actually brought a copy of Taste of Life and it ended up being donated to a Op-shop and yes i see them all the time! Love this salad , well i enjoy anything with a bit of a tangy feta dressing .
    I grow the golden oregano and harvest when the seeds have all dried, i hang in my shed and then rub between my hands when i need some. The flavour is quite strong.

    • Liz says:

      Thats fabulous that you were responsible for one of those Taste of Life books littering Op shops everywhere. Love it! Interesting about the golden oregano – perhaps I will plant up a pot with it and see if there is a difference.

  4. L says:

    Oh, I can’t wait for cucumbers and lemons! Your salad looks delicious – feta is just so incredibly lovely.

    • Liz says:

      I have to admit I love this salad – just my kind of food. Mum & Dad have heaps of lemons at the moment (I have one on my tree – I should really have removed it as the tree is young but I couldn’t resist growing one on so I can say I have grown my first lemon). Is the lemon season later in Sydney?

  5. veggiegobbler says:

    I would definitely have scoffed the lot – even if I hadn’t been swimming or exercising.

  6. Leanne says:

    That looks great. How did it taste? I should pass it on to my husband, he loves all that except cucumber, he can do something else there. He is a vegetarian.

    • Liz says:

      I really really enjoyed it and would be happy eating it every other day ideally alternating with some sort of curry. My partner doesn’t like cucumber either – perhaps its a boy thing….

  7. I’m always disappointed when I read recipes for cooking vegetables as they all seem to have strange ingredients in them. I search for interesting ways of cooking vegetables but the ones I find often assume I want to cook vegetarian meals although I could easily become as vegetarian if I thought long enough about what I eat!

    • Liz says:

      I had a think about the books I own and there’s a book by Elisabeth Luard called European Peasant Cookery that you might find interesting – being about peasant food the recipes certainly use a lot of vegetables but also a lot of meat for flavouring as well. I really must get it out and cook more from it. Incidently I would love to know what a ‘strange ingredient’ is.

  8. Wilderness says:

    That looks so good but I just don’t like feta cheese. Love Greek recipes but please leave off the feta.

    • Liz says:

      Ah but would it be Greek without it? Actually I think this recipe has Egyptian origins, but then there’s a lot of similarities in the cuisines of the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

  9. leduesorelle says:

    I’m looking forward to making this gorgeous salad when our cucumbers return next season!

  10. 1st Man says:

    Looks wonderful. Just discovered your blog by linking from another blog. You’ve got some wonderful looking stuff. I can’t wait to peruse through it all! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Johanna GGG says:

    sounds delicious – I have always avoided radishes but had a lovely radish cucumber and orange salad on the weekend that pleasantly surprised me – I also used to hate cucumber – but I am glad to say that I think I am over my aversions and ready for this salad!

    I know what you mean about wholefoods cookbooks in op shops and in second hand book shops too – sorry to hear you found being vegetarian a challenge – I am grateful that my carnivore husband loves veg meals (even before I met him) and that my vegetarian child loves tofu and beans – but I found it a challenge to travel as a vegetarian – sometimes even avoiding lots of foods because I was unsure what was vegetarian.

    • Liz says:

      Its funny it wasn’t being vegetarian that I found a challenge particularly, except when travelling – its more starting again that is the issue…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *