The authentic recipe for one of the most famous salads in the world and a different way to add the feta cheese.
So here it is! My big, fat, Greek salad!
Or should I say my big, not-so-fat, Greek salad? Because the only fat you can find in this delicious dish are the good fats from the olive oil and the fat from the feta cheese whose quantity is entirely up to you! You can even omit it completely if you like and you’ll still enjoy a healthy, vegetarian salad.
Around the internet there are a thousand different versions of Greek salad. Literally! You can find all kinds of ingredients in it like lettuce, corn, carrots, asparagus, even potatoes! And there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with different vegetable combinations when making a salad. That’s actually the beauty of it. But for us Greeks, our “horiatiki” – the villager’s salad – contains specific ingredients that are non-negotiable. It’s the number one dish in the salads’ list of our palate. It’s been in the center of our family tables for as long as we can remember.
So, what do you need in order to make a real Greek salad?
First of all, tomatoes. Not cherry tomatoes, no matter how cute or easily-served they may look. We need normal-sized, red, ripe, juicy tomatoes.
And fresh, crispy cucumbers. Red onions. Olives and olive oil. Dried oregano. And feta cheese.
I add green peppers. But it’s not a must-ingredient. Some people like it, some others don’t.
One of the most important things about really enjoying a Greek salad is the way it is served. The vegetables are all juicy and when those juices are combined together with the olive oil they quickly make the freshness of the salad disappear. For this reason, there are some things that you have to do.
– It has to be really freshly-cut. I mean, just minutes before you eat it.
– The vegetables must be cut in medium pieces. Not too much bigger than bite-sized but also not chopped.
– You can’t stir too much. You give your salad a gentle stir just to coat the vegetables with the salt, oregano and olive oil.
We usually serve the salad with the feta cheese on top, drizzled with some extra olive oil and sprinkled with a pinch of oregano.
A different way to serve it is on top of round barley rusks.
And for those of you who just can’t have a salad without a creamy sauce on top, I’ve made a wonderful dressing just for you! You can pour it over your salad or use it as a side dip. Made with feta cheese and buttermilk and with the added spiciness of sun-dried tomatoes, it is sure to become a favorite addition to many salads!
Real Greek salad (with feta cheese dressing)
What you need:
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 2 small cucumbers
- 1 medium onion
- 10 olives
- (optional) 1 green pepper cut in circles
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
For the dressing:
- 60 gr. (2.2 oz.) feta cheese
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
What to do:
– Cut the tomatoes and cucumbers in medium pieces.
– Peel the onion and cut it in rings.
– Place the vegetables in a large salad bowl. Add salt, olive oil and oregano and gently stir just to coat the vegetables.
Make the dressing:
– Place the feta cheese, buttermilk and olive oil in a food processor and blend until a smooth sauce is formed.
– Empty the content in a small bowl and add the oregano and sun-dried tomatoes. Gently stir.
– Pour over your salad or use as a side dip.
– Alternatively you can serve your salad with a slice of feta cheese on top drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano. Or divide it into servings and put them on top of round barley rusks.