Vegan Greek Salad with Almond Cashew Feta
Many people think that salad isn't filling, but this one will convince them all otherwise, I promise!
A Greek salad is actually, according to Wikipedia, only served as an appetizer. However, in our adaptation, we've packed everything that goes into a classic Greek salad and more. So, on top of a mountain of cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, green peppers, and red onions sit orzo pasta and homemade vegan feta made from almonds and cashews. The homemade feta is wonderfully crumbly and pairs perfectly with this salad. Alternatively, we have a vegan "feta" from cheese on sale if you prefer that, or use your favorite from the organic- or supermarket.
Orzo pasta, or kritharaki, is something you eat far too rarely anyway - so they have to get in here. They're also relatively easy to get in any major supermarket, but not often on the pasta shelf, but in the deli and international specialties departments.
The salad is perfect for taking to work, school, or even on a trip. However, if you're looking for more filling salad inspiration, check out the following recipes: vegan asparagus salad à la Salade Niçoise, vegan rice noodle salad with baked tofu & lemongrass dressing, vegan taco salad with beaf-style walnut "meat" or our winter salad with oven vegetables and turmeric dressing.
Vegan Greek Salad
For the Salad:
- 250 g (9 oz) orzo pasta
- 1 cucumber
- 1 green bell pepper
- 250 g (9 oz) tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 100 g (3.5 oz) black olives
For the Dressing:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 portion of our homamde almond cashew feta (recipe on our blog)
Cook orzo pasta in a pot of salted water for approx. 8 minutes until they are al dente. Then drain and place in a large salad bowl.
Wash and dice the cucumber, bell pepper, and tomatoes.
Peel the red onion and cut it into fine rings. Cut the olives in half. Add the vegetables to the orzo pasta in the bowl and mix well.
Mix all ingredients for the dressing and pour over the salad. Mix well and serve with crumbled almond cashew feta if desired.
Vegan Baked Almond Cashew Feta
For the nut mixture:
- 200 g (7 oz) blanched almonds
- 100 g (3.5 oz) cashews
- 0.5 lemon (juice)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1.5 tsp salt
For the herb mixture:
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp dried herbs (e.g. basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, ...)
Put blanched almonds and cashews in a bowl or stand vessel and pour fresh, warm water over them until everything is covered. Let soak for at least 1 hour. Then drain and rinse under clean water.
Put the soaked nuts in a food processor with lemon juice, olive oil, peeled garlic cloves, and salt. Blend everything well until a slightly sticky mixture forms and add more salt to taste.
Set a colander over a large bowl. Place a cheese cloth or clean kitchen towel over the colander and transfer vegan almond-cheese mixture into it. Gather corners and twist tightly until you notice that you could squeeze out liquid. Secure with a rubber band and place in fridge overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 180°C/355°F. You’ll notice that the mixture lost more moisture and holds its form once you unwrap it from cheese cloth. Transfer it to a small oven-proof dish.
In a small bowl, mix olive oil and dried herbs and brush the mixture all over the small ‚cheese’ ball. Afterwards, bake in the oven at 180°C/355°F for approx. 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve (still warm!) and crumble it over salads, other vegetable dishes, or use it as a spread.