The little germ of an idea was flitting around in my brain since the first eighty degree day we had this year… I wanted to do a Greek salsa. I knew I wanted it to have lemon juice, feta cheese and kalamata olives. Not just any kalamata olives, mind you, I wanted garlic stuffed kalamata olives.
I have a thing for garlic stuffed kalamata olives. And by a thing, I mean a full-fledged dependency. If these things weren’t $7.99 a pound, I’d slurp them up all day every day and have water retention so severe my ankles would be the same size as my hips which are NOT tiny. Phew.
There is added insurance against my overdosing on the olives in that the closest place to buy them is a forty five minute drive in either direction. I shop at the place about once every month and drive to the store with eager anticipation. I scoop as much into the little container as I can while still being able to fix the lid in place, ask the clerk to double bag it and tie the top because that luscious marinating oil has a tendency to leak. Okay. I also have her double bag it and tie the top because it keeps me from eating them all before I get home.
Once home, I cram the bagged container into the back of the fridge in a vain attempt to hide them from myself and everyone else because I am not the only one here obsessed with the little gems.
I then sit and plot the ways that I’m going to eek them out. The idea for the Greek salsa was near the top of the list for months, but kept getting pushed back when someone or another discovered my hiding spot and made the olives disappear in a feeding frenzy. Alright. It was me. I can’t help myself.
I told you I love those things.
The last time I went to the store, they had BIG containers. It was a happy, happy day. I was able to fill the big container with enough to snack on AND use in recipes.
We snacked, we put them on pizzas (our second favourite thing to do with them after snacking), we finally made this salsa. It was worth the wait.
This is happy food, friends. Fresh, crunchy, flavourful, and filling without being heavy, this Greek inspired salsa is full of cucumbers, fire roasted peppers, red onions, garlic stuffed kalamata olives, crumbled feta, lemon and chopped parsley. I dipped it up with pita chips and I served it as a salad alongside grilled fish. It made me want to yell Opa! and smash plates*. I made batch after batch of this salsa until the olives ran out. It was so good.
*At least it made me want to smash the plates I have that I don’t like. I’ve been gunning to get rid of that Correlle for years.
Here’s the beauty of the recipe, though. While it is most wonderfully suited to summer, it can be made year ’round. I imagine this will fill in some mid-winter cravings for fresh food for me. It’s just that kind of dish.
I know those garlic stuffed kalamatas can be hard to find, so if you can’t lay your hands on them, simply use pitted kalamatas and add a large clove of garlic, peeled and minced, to the recipe.
- 1 seedless cucumber, also known as an English cucumber, diced finely
- 1 jarred fire roasted red pepper (or a freshly roasted pepper, peeled and seeded), diced finely
- 1-inch thick slice from a red onion, minced finely
- ½ cup garlic stuffed kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup feta crumbles
- ¼ cup, packed, flat leaf or curly parsley leaves
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced or pressed
- the juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Finely mince the parsley leaves and add to a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate, tightly covered, or serve immediately with pita chips or alongside grilled chicken or fish.