In the United States there is this misconception of what a traditional Greek salad is. In Greece, and in our homes, when making a Greek salad, we don’t like to mix our tomatoes with our lettuce. I actually feel as if the tomato is dirtying up my lettuce or the other way around. So the Greek salad that you will find at a Greek diner stateside, is more of a representation of aspects of our culture, rather than an actual traditional food.
So the horiatiki, or the village salad, is by far the most beloved salad of Greeks across the world. And it consists of fresh tomatos, cucumbers, red onion slices, Greek olives, feta cheese, perhaps a slices greek pepper. Garnished with a generous sprinkle of dry oregano from our mountains, sea salt from the Greek seas, extra virgin olive oil (probably from your family’s own olive groves) and often a splash of red wine vinegar from our grapes.
This is a real Greek salad. Tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, green bell pepper, olives (they are missing in my photo), a generous amount of feta cheese, dry Greek oregano, Greek extra virgin olive oil & a splash of red wine vinegar.
It is a staple in every Greek household & eatery. It’s the perfect refreshing summer companion at a seaside taverna. And there is nothing like mopping up the juices with a piece of crusty bread (regular or keto) at the end!
Perfect with your souvlaki or fresh fish. Always great with an ice cold beer or a glass of a great regional wine.
And while I can reminisce from afar the many times that I have enjoyed this, there is nothing like the flavors of a meal of which all of the ingredients are grown within kilometers of each other!
Imagine the sheep that gave us this feta have grazed in the same village where the vegetables have grown. The olive oil from the local olive groves. The wine & the vinegar from the local grapes.
Wherever you are eating today, whatever you are cooking, do your best to shop local and when you can, visit a farmers market. You will get this similar experience!
1-2 Persian cucumbers
1 red onion
a generous slice of feta cheese
a handful of Kalamata (or any Greek) olives
1 green pepper
sea salt to taste
dry oregano to taste
extra virgin Greek olive oil
red wine vinegar
Quarter and/or slice your tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and pepper. Assemble in your salad bowl. Toss with your olive oil, sea salt and vinegar. Now for the feta, you can choose to crumble it and mizz it together with the rest of the salad, or like most of us do, you can place a generous slice on top of the salad. You can drizzle that with a little more olive oil and sprinkle dry oregano on tops of that.
This salad can be a meal in itself, or it can be a side salad to any food that you love! Believe me you will want to sop up the leftover juices with a piece of bread, whether it’s keto or gluten free version, or your standard sourdough!