Tzatziki Cucumber Salad



This Greek salad is made with grated cucumber and dressed with Greek plain yoghurt, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and chopped mint.


If you grow your own cucumbers, this is a great recipe for the summer if you have an overabundance.



  • coarsely grated cucumber
  • 120g plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • a handful of finely chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Put the grated cucumber in a colander and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Mix well with your hands, pressing to release as much liquid as possible.
  3. Cover with a small plate and place a heavy object on the plate.
  4. Leave a for about an hour and then squeeze again with your hands to remove any liquid.
  5. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl
  6. Combine the cucumber with the sauce and check for seasoning.
  7. Chill in the fridge beforehand.



Using Sun Dried Tomatoes

Reconstituting Sun Dried Tomatoes

Sun Dried tomatoes in a salad.

Method 2 Sun dried tomatoes in a salad. (the jar method)

OK so you have lots of sun dried tomatoes but they are useless unless you know what to do with them. The obvious thing to do is to add them to stews and anything you are cooking. In this post I want to tell you how to reconstitute them so that they can be used in salads etc as a substitute for fresh tomatoes in the months that fresh tomatoes are not available.

Method 1
Put some tomatoes on a deep plate.  Cover them with boiling water. Cover with an upturned plate. Leave for 15 minutes or until they are soft. Pour off the water. Sprinkle on some salt and drizzle some olive oil over them. They can be served as a tomato salad just on their own.  As you can see some of the sun dried tomatoes can go a bit black but they taste the same so I don’t care. 

Sun Dried Tomatoes in a salad

Method 1 Sun Dried Tomatoes in a salad

Method 2
Cram some dried tomatoes into a glass jar. Add a small teaspoonful of sugar to the jar. Fill the jar up with a mixture of water and vinegar. The ratio is according to taste and how strong the vinegar is. Leave for 24 hours. Use within 3 days because they will start to ferment. I tend to use these tomatoes as a substitute for fresh tomatoes in winter salads. 

The tomatoes on this page were dried in my solar drier. Click here to see it

Curried peanut, corn and rice salad

Finally, I have got round to including this recipe on the blog. It is surprisingly simple to make but amazingly tasty. It was something I invented a couple of years ago and it makes the perfect accompaniment for barbecues, etc.

Curried peanut, corn and rice salad
A simple to make and tasty salad with rice, corn and peanuts
  1. 2 cups long grain rice, cooked, washed and drained
  2. 2-3 heaped teaspoons curry powder
  3. 4-5 heaped desssert spoons mayonnaise
  4. 250g salted peanuts
  5. salt and pepper
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and season to taste.
  2. Serve.
Cortijo de la Plata

Cucumber tomato rice salad

Cucumber tomato rice salad

cucumber tomato rice salad

Cucumber tomato rice salad

This fresh summer salad is made with brown rice, tomatoes, cucumber and mint and is dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. It can also be made with cous cous.

brown rice, cooked
1 cucumber, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
juice of one lemon
a handful mint, finely chopped
salt and pepper
olive oil

Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.


Fennel chickpea salad

Fennel chickpea salad

fennel chickpea salad

Fennel chickpea salad

In the summer when the fennel comes into season, it’s good to have a couple of recipes for different ways of preparing it. This recipe for fennel chickpea salad uses raw fennel which is dressed with lemon and olive oil. The secret is shred the fennel very finely so that it is softened, almost cooked, by the lemon juice.

Fennel has a distinctive slightly sweet taste reminiscent of aniseed. It has a number of  health benefits and is an excellent source of Vitamin C, fibre, folate and potassium.

Fennel is low in calories and has a high amount of fibre, very little fat and no cholesterol.

To prepare the fennel bulb, strip off the outer, tougher leaves. You can use the whole bulb including the delicate fronds which can be chopped and added to a salad or used to makevegetable stock.

There are a number of ways of cooking fennel and you can eat it raw, boiled or roast. To boil the fennel, cut the bulb into quarters or wedges and cook in boiling, salted water for 15-20 minutes. If you prefer, you can roast it in the oven and it will take about 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the pieces.

As well as in salads, fennel can be used in soups, as a vegetable in its own right or in dishes such as fennel risotto.

fennel bulbs
juice of one lemon
400g cooked chickpeas
salt and pepper
olive oil

Quarter or halve the fennel bulbs, depending on how large they are and shred very finely, either by hand of using a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the chickpeas and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, dress with some olive oil and mix well.