03/16/2012 12:20 EDT | Updated 05/16/2012 05:12 EDT

Tangy Greek salad is just the tonic for winter-weary appetites

There is no doubt that the best Greek salad is made with seasonal, local vegetables, but this classic Mediterranean starter also brightens up winter-weary appetites. It’s best, of course, teamed with a fine Greek extra virgin olive oil, good firm kalamata olives and tangy imported Greek feta.

Best Greek Salad

1/2 English cucumber

1 green bell pepper, cut into chunky bite-sized pieces

2 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunky bite-sized pieces

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

125 ml (1/2 cup) pitted and sliced kalamata olives

45 ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin Greek olive oil

10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano leaves, crumbled

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

15 ml (1 tbsp) red wine vinegar, or as needed

125 g (4 oz) feta cheese, broken into small chunks

Slice cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut cucumber into bite-size pieces.

In a large bowl, combine cucumber, green pepper, tomatoes, red onion and olives. Sprinkle with olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash of vinegar if salad needs a touch of acidity; it all depends on the flavour of the tomatoes. Fold in chunks of feta. Serve on a bed of fresh crisp greens, if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: “All The Best Recipes” by Jane Rodmell (Robert Rose Inc.).