Greek Lemon Chicken, Grain and Feta Salad
Note: From “Around the World in 120 Salads,” by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi.
For the tzatziki:
• 1/2 cucumber, skin left on, coarsely grated
• 3/4 c. thick Greek yogurt
• 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
• 1 tsp. finely chopped dill
• 2 tsp. white or red wine vinegar
• 1 to 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
• 1 c. grains, such as barley, wheat berries, farro, quinoa or brown rice
• 2 1/2 c. chicken stock
• 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes, or fresh chile to taste
• 1 lb. cooked chicken or turkey, torn into bite-sized pieces
• 2 tsp. dried oregano
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 red or green pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
• Handful of flat-leaf parsley, tough stems discarded, roughly chopped
• 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
• Handful of watercress or baby spinach
• 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for garnish
To make tzatziki sauce: Sprinkle cucumber with 1/4 teaspoon salt and leave in sieve to drain for about 30 minutes. Squeeze out water from cucumber with your hands but do not rinse. Mix cucumber with yogurt, 1 grated garlic clove, dill, vinegar and 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (start with less and add as needed). Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare salad: Cook grains in chicken stock with a little salt, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons oil in large frying pan and cook onion over medium heat until softened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add 3 chopped garlic cloves and red pepper flakes or chile, and continue to cook for a minute. Add cooked grains, chicken, oregano, lemon zest and juice, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning and balance as necessary with salt, pepper and more lemon. Mix in red or green pepper and parsley.
Transfer to serving dish. Cool and refrigerate (can be kept for a day). To serve, bring salad to room temperature, unless using rice, which can be kept chilled. Top with feta and watercress. Serve with tzatziki and lemon.