Here’s an oxymoron for you…there’s nothing like fresh dried oregano. Oregano is one herb that is better dried than fresh. The other day, after snipping lemon balm for my water jug, I harvested some oregano. It was getting ready to flower, the peak flavor time. I hate to deprive the herbs of their flowers. Some of them are so pretty and the bees really like them. However, the oregano tends to get very long and then it flops over and gets tangled with other things (like lemon balm!) So I cut a bunch, rinsed it, lay it out on paper towels beneath the ceiling fan to dry off before hanging in my pantry. It hasn’t made it to the pantry yet! But it’s nice and crispy and ready to use anyway.
Today I made a salad to take to a luncheon at Lemon Balm Linda’s. (Except that I didn’t make it to the luncheon because I’m really not recovered from the wedding, the Europe Trip, two doses of antibiotics, and all the other stuff that keeps happening around here!) Making the salad wore me out, even though it is a very simple salad and mostly a spontaneous creation except for the ideas that I stole from daughter Kristin.
Kristin brought a great little appetizer to the family Fourth of July picnic. Grape tomatoes stuffed with cubes of marinated feta. So cute and so delicious. Stealing her idea for Linda’s luncheon, I bought the tomatoes and feta, but when push came to shove, I really did not feel like stuffing each individual tomato half with a cube of feta. Can’t I just dump it all in a bowl? Yes, I can. And I did. And now, since I did not make it to Linda’s, I have dinner half ready!
The Salad that Didn’t Make it to Linda’s
Cut 1 hunk of feta into bite sized cubes. Sprinkle with olive oil, red pepper flakes and fresh dried oregano. Add a bunch of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved. Add some Greek olives and a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Toss lightly–try not to mash the feta cubes.
(I was going to add chunks of cucumber but the one in my fridge had, um, outlived its usefulness and the ones on the vine are still attached to flowers. I may add some thinly sliced red onion come dinner time.)