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GREEK SALAD

1 crisp head lettuce
olive oil
lemon juice or vinegar
salt
pepper
1 lb. Feta cheese (or more to taste)
oregano
1 medium cucumber
1 lb. whole cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb. Greek olives (< lb. black, < lb. green)
1 small green pepper
sliced avocado and sliced onion (optional)

A well-made Greek salad is perhaps the most resplendent centre-piece
a table can have. This salad is never tossed! Rather, it is carefully
constructed, step by step, in the most elegant design you can
create. Here is my method : First, choose a large oblong or oval
platter. Line it with the outer leaves of a crisp head of lettuce.
Tear the remaining leaves into small pieces, season them with a
little olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and some salt and pepper.
Arrange the lettuce in a mound on the platter. Break the Feta cheese
into pieces or slice it, and sprinkle some olive oil and chopped
oregano on it. Slice a cucumber, without peeling it, and sprinkle
the slices with salt and pepper. Just within the edge of the platter,
make a ring of overlapping cucumber slices, interspersed here and
there with a few cherry tomatoes. Inside that ring, arrange the
pieces of Feta cheese in a smaller ring. Continue with the green
olives. In the centre, pile the remaining cherry tomatoes with the
black olives.

Slice the pepper, onion, and avocado, and decorate further with
these vegetables, as your imagination suggests. The finished product
should be almost too beautiful to eat. Sprinkle with a little more
olive oil and lemon juice, a bit of oregano, and place in the centre
of the table. Now, eat it Greek style : rather then ruining it
instantly, by serving on to individual plates, each guest simply
spears what he wants from the platter and eats it. So it comes
apart as it came together - bit by bit - and everybody eats as much
as he likes of whatever he prefers.

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