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Horiatiki Salata: Greek Salad

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Photo of Classic Greek Salad - Horiatiki Salata

Fresh, delicious, and oh so Greek!

Photo © Jim Stanfield

In Greek: χωριάτικη σαλάτα pronounced haw-ree-AH-tee-kee sah-LAH-tah

A traditional Greek salad is a staple in just about any Greek restaurant anywhere in the world. But what makes such a salad authentic, and how can you make one at home when you can't get to a Greek place? This recipe should get you started and impress your dinner guests, whether or not they frequent Greek establishments.

On the menu in every Greek restaurant and many non-Greek restaurants as well, this salad has many individual variations, but here are the basics to work from. This is the traditional version that does not include lettuce.

Note: Many cooks peel the tomatoes if the skins are tough; it's a personal call.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 large, ripe, tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 pound (113.5g) of Greek feta cheese, sliced or cumbled
  • dried Greek oregano (rigani)
  • sea salt
  • top quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 dozen Greek olives (Kalamata, green Cretan olives, etc.)
  • pickled pepperoncini hot peppers (garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon of water (optional)

Preparation:

Wash and dry the tomatoes, cucumber, and green pepper. Clean off the outer skin from the onion, wash, and dry.

Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized irregularly shaped chunks, removing the core. Salt lightly. Slice the cucumber into 1/4-inch slices, cutting slices in half (whether or not you peel the cucumber is a personal choice). Salt lightly. Slice the pepper into rings, removing the stem and seeds. Salt lightly. Slice the onion into thin rings.

Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper and onion in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with oregano, pour olive oil over the salad, and toss. Just before serving, place the feta on top of the salad, either as a slice or crumbled (as in photo), and toss in some olives. Sprinkle the cheese with oregano (and pepper if desired), mix the oil and water and drizzle over the top, and serve, garnished with hot peppers.

Yield: Serves 4-6

Additional ingredients

  • Anchovies: if you like this salty fish, add a couple to the salad before tossing.
  • Capers: toss in a few if you like them.
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