Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spencer's Greek Feta Salad

This recipe didn't actually come from Spencer's kitchen. I've had it in my recipe box for awhile. But as the word Greek was running through my head I thought of Spencer, a distant hero, someone who took the time to create something beautiful in honor of my Uncle Chris. Spencer lives in Chicago; Uncle Chris in Peoria, 150 miles apart. I have never met Spencer but ended up spending some time on the phone with him when my Uncle Chris passed away suddenly last Spring from a massive heart attack at age 56.

(I am on the left, with Eva, Chris and Edie on the right.)

Spencer and Chris called each other every Friday for the last 20 years. Throughout the years, Spencer, an English Professor, tried to get Uncle Chris to publish his many short stories and poems. Chris didn't have the confidence in his own writing to do this. So out of love for his best friend, Spencer asked if he could have Chris' writings after he passed. I gathered up what I could from the garage in Peoria, dragged them back to Chicago and passed them along to Spencer. Eight months later, he published the book,

A Time In The Country And Other Stories.

So in honor of Spencer's selflessness, I name this salad after him.

Spencer's Greek Feta Salad

1 Head of Fresh Broccoli
1 Small container of Grape Tomatoes (approximate 1 cup but you can be generous)
8 oz of Feta Cheese crumbled
1/2 Red Onion sliced thin
2 Tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp wine vinegar (I used rice vinegar, its what was in the pantry)
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Cut broccoli into florets, Peel and cut broccoli stems into 1/4 inch thick slices. Steam broccoli about 2 minutes or until bright green. More if you like it more tender. Drain broccoli and plunge in ice water to stop cooking and capture the bright green color. Drain and set aside. Slice tomatoes in half and slice onion thin.

In large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Add brocolli, feta, tomatoes and onions; toss to coat. Serve.

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