I’ve been wanting to “educate” non-Greeks about real Greek salad for ages, having come across so many variations of it in the years I’ve been living abroad. More often than not, there would be a lot of lettuce added to a mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives (probably to save on costs and to offset the fact that the tomatoes and cucumbers might not have as much flavor as they do in Greece!!). When Elli Nikolaou mentioned her love of simple Greek salads in last week’s blog post, I realized I just had to share a proper recipe for all our zealous foodies!
Greek Salad is a true staple of the summer, when tomatoes are at their peak of juicy flavor and all the other ingredients can be found in abundance. It is a part of every meal, a refreshing and flavorful antidote to the hot summer days and nights. Greek Salad is called a horiatiki salata in Greek, “a village salad”, perhaps because the best vegetables would come from the countryside, where food is so often simple yet incredibly tasty. On the Greek islands, the salad is often topped with krítamo, also known as sea fennel or rock samphire. Krítamo grows wildly in crevices next to the sea and is a lighter alternative to capers.
The trick to a great Greek Salad is in the freshness and quality not only of the vegetables but also of the olive oil that tops it. It’s debatable if the best part of the salad is the vegetables themselves or the wonderful dressing at the bottom of the bowl that comes from the fragrant olive oil blending with the juicy tomatoes and crumbs of feta cheese…perfect for dunking fresh crusty bread!
2-3 ripe tomatoes
1 firm cucumber
200 gr of Greek feta cheese
10-12 Tragano Greek Organics Tragano Greek Organics Kalamata olives
Tragano Greek Organics Tragano Greek Organics sea fennel (optional)
about 1/4 cup of Tragano Greek Organics extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Greek oregano or Sparoza's 15 Greek Herbs & Seeds blend
Salt to taste
Cut the tomatoes in about 8-10 pieces per tomato.
Cut the cucumber lengthwise and then in 1/2-inch pieces.
Slice the onion thinly in a mandolin or with a sharp knife.
Put the tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a large salad bowl.
Add the olive oil, salt and oregano and mix well to coat the ingredients.
Top with the olives and the feta cheese.
Sprinkle with a little extra oregano and add the sea fennel on top for the island version of the salad.
Serve with warm crusty bread and enjoy!
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