I grew up enjoying Greek food. I have a cousin who I’m very close to and is half Greek. I grew up with the family connection to her grandparents and family so I was exposed to a variety of foods coming from Greece. My parents also loved to go out to the local International Festival where we ate foods from all over the world, but the Greek gyro was a favorite. As my taste buds developed when I got older, I grew fond of lamb chops and of course the famous Greek Salad.
After doing a little research, I came to find that there are certainly a lot of very strong opinions about what makes a traditional Greek Salad, or Horiatiki Salata, as they say in Greece. For example, some say no vinegar and no lemon juice; most definitely say do not crumble the feta on top, and almost all of them say to cut the veggies big. Those are the foundational concepts in which this salad was made and put together.
The other reason we’re cooking up Greek food is to join in on the World on a Plate: Grecian Gastronomy event over on the Expedia Travel blog. Over there you’ll see lots of other delicious Greek dishes and get inspired to cook some wonderful things this summer. If you’d like to join in on the cooking, you can also make a Greek dish and tag it with the hashtag #expediaworldonaplate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The ingredients are minimal and basic to Greek cuisine- sea salt, olives, green peppers, red onions, oregano, olive oil, tomatoes and cucumbers. Last, but not least of course is the feta. I use whole milk sheep feta. Fresh, healthy and very light for summer.
I like to use Roma tomatoes because they’re less watery, but really any nice and big and seasonally ripe tomato will do.
Choose Greek olives from your local grocer. They should be a mix of green and purple, big and small.
Also, the freshest cucumbers you can find. I like the Persian cucumbers because they’re small enough to cut nicely into this salad and not very full of fluid, which would make the salad wet and messy.
Fresh oregano is a must if you have it. It really makes all the difference. Mine is still growing in the garden so I don’t have enough for a full salad, which means I just compensated with the addition of dried oregano.
Place all of the veggies in a large bowl. Remember, you’ll need room to mix the salad before serving, so give yourself some room with a big enough bowl.
Add the capers and olives.
Add the herbs and the salt.
Mix thoroughly and here you have it, as close to authentic as possible, Greek Salad, or Horiatiki Salata.
- 3 Persian cucumbers, cut in half and cut again lengthwise
- 4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
- 1 large green pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 medium red onion, sliced round and thin
- 1 cup mixed Greek olives (green and dark purple)
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 3 fresh sprigs oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup feta (uncut)
- Cut the cucumbers in half and cut again lengthwise. Quarter the Roma tomatoes.
- Cut the green pepper lengthwise, thinly. Peel the onion and cut it in thin rounds.
- In a large bowl, place all of the vegetables. Add the olives and capers. Add the fresh and dried oregano. Add the salt and drizzle in the olive oil over the top. Mix the salad thoroughly.
- Cut the chunk of feta in half lengthwise and place on top of the vegetables and in the corner of the salad.
- Serve the salad immediately while all the veggies are fresh.