|“I can’t believe it’s not feta!”|
This is proper Greek salad. It looks and tastes like Greek salad should, with chunky veggies and fresh green leaves topped by cubes of salty, tangy, protein-rich yumminess, finished off with a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of dried oregano. How so without feta? You ask- read on and you’ll see what the secret is:
When I worked in Crete I ate Greek salad pretty much every day, and when I decided to become vegan part way through my time there, I just had it without the feta. But that was okay, because the locally produced olives, lemon wedges and oil were so good mopped up with the crusty, home made bread I didn’t even miss it. But back home in England, with decidedly inferior olives and oil it just wasn’t the same. Tofu just didn’t cut it as a feta substitute either. So I said goodbye to Greek salad for a very long time, until I discovered that almonds make a brilliant feta analogue; and they are used a lot in Greece so they have the right ambience. Today I’m sharing this recipe so that you too can enjoy chasing crumbs of salty vegan feta round pools of lemon and olive oil with a chunk of your favourite bread…
1 1/2 tsps Himalayan pink salt
2 1/2 tabs lemon juice
tomatoes, Cos lettuce and/ or baby spinach, cucumber, green pepper rings, Kalamata/ black olives
extra virgin olive oil
- Soak the almonds in about 200ml water, just or enough to cover them. Leave them in the fridge overnight.
- When the almonds have absorbed the water and are looking plump, rub off and discard the skins.(This shouldn’t be too difficult- if it is, then run boiling water over them.)
- Use a high speed blender or grinder to get the almonds to as smooth a paste as possible. If you use a grinder, you will probably have to do this in small batches to avoid the paste getting stuck round the blades. It will have a dough-like consistency.
- Knead in the salt and the lemon juice and shape into a block. Cut into cubes.
- Arrange the cucumber, tomatoes, pepper rings and olives on a bed of lettuce and/ or baby spinach.
- Top with cubes of almond feta and lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and oregano. Serve with your favourite bread.