Firstly, I have to apologize for the half eaten photos of this salad. It was that good that I basically forgot to take a picture at the beginning and started eating it. I love this salad for two reasons. Well, three. It’s super delicious. It’s super easy to make. AND the main ingredient – the tomatoes – are tomatoes that I purchased from the FIRST ORGANIC FARMERS’ MARKET IN CYPRUS that I have visited. For those of you who read the newsletter, you will already know about this place as I have gushed about it already. But for those who don’t, I just have to say that I am beyond thrilled that there is an ORGANIC farmers’ market in Cyprus. I am not a fan of pesticides on my food or ingredients without flavour or GMO foods for that matter. Speaking of GMO foods you may wish to check out this mockumentary coming to a theatre near you called Salvador about a time when gardening becomes illegal. It has a really funny premise, but a really serious point as it really makes you think about what’s happening in the world with respect to our food supply. Bringing this back to Cyprus, I have to say that it is hard in Cyprus if you want to eat organic food nowadays. (In the past, I am sure a lot of food was organic and free of pesticides simply because those types of products just weren’t used by people like my grandparents. But that has changed for various reasons today.) If you want to buy organic food in Cyprus, only a few shops exist, the food is so expensive that it often prices out those who want to buy organic and you have to literally go on the day that those items are delivered to the shop in order to ensure that they are not old and wilted. I can’t say that this is my experience in every organic shop, but it is the experience in a lot of organic shops I have visited. So when I heard about Chrystalla’s market in Ayia Fyla, Limassol, I was beyond excited. I went with a friend of mine and fell in love on sight. Not only is the produce incredible, but Chrystalla is so warm and inviting, and a fantastic cook. She always has on offer a homemade tart of some sort, which is delicious. In addition, the tart is made from all organic ingredients that she makes herself – save for usually one ingredient or so! It is so wonderful to literally have the food you buy cut from a garden literally moments before you purchase it and to taste food grown in Cyprus that is so full of flavour and free of pesticides. Because of the beautiful flavours, cooking with these ingredients is basically fool proof. Like this salad. You don’t have to do much, because the ingredients do all the work for you. Cut them up, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top, season it with salt and pepper and you are ready to go. I made this salad a little while ago, so tomato season is now nearing its end. But corn season is underway, beet season is soon to begin and this Saturday I picked some lovely Jerusalem Artichokes. I have actually really wanted to create a section where I inform readers what produce is in season in Cyprus and what to look out for when visiting farmers’ markets. If there is any interest to know what Chrystalla has in her organic market, for example, please let me know by dropping me an email or leaving a comment and I will see what I can do. In any event, I plan on adding some information about this on a monthly basis in my newsletter, which you can sign up for on the left if you are interested! That’s about it for today. Later this week I hope to share some pictures with you from my photoshoots last week – at the newly renovated Drousia Heights Hotel and Natura Hotel. xxx
A Cypriot Organic Farmers’ Market: WHERE: Just off Lisimahou Street, Ayia Fyla, Limassol (TEL: + (357) 99 332 581). Take the Ayia Fyla round about north towards the mountains. When you get to the second grocery store, you will see a small road on your right. Take it, Then take your first left, and second right. You should see the house and field. WHEN: Every Saturday morning until 1pm.
about 6-8 gorgeous sweet organic tomatoes
1/2 finely diced red onion
200g crumbled feta
excellent quality balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
anchovies (I love anchovies, so I added some on the side. But they might be too overpowering for the salad … unless you really love anchovies, like me!)
1. Slice the tomatoes into big flat pieces and sprinkle the crumbled feta and diced red onion next to each other on a serving plate.
2. Drizzle all the ingredients with balsamic vinegar, olive oil. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve.