|Greek Salad (Horiatiki)|
For some reason this recipe was out in blog land. I had deleted a bunch of photos and posts from when I first started but that meant there were 4 posts stuck in the middle of nowhere when you scrolled down. Therefore I brought them back from the land of the oblivious rather than having them trailing behind a whole lot of empty blog space.
Greek salad or "village salad" is a standard component of a traditional Greek meal. I typically get tired of eating the same thing day after day, but, when in Greece last Spring I must have had Greek salad in one form or another every day. The produce is always fresh and the tomatoes have no resemblance to the waxy, under ripe versions in the grocery stores we have in this country.
True Greek salad is made of sliced or chopped tomatoe, cucumber, bell pepper and red onion, seasoned with salt, black pepper, and oregano and dressed with a little olive oil. Common additions include a slab of feta cheese, capers, caper leaves and kalamata olives.
Here in Canada "Greek Salad" is a loose interpretation and usually made with Greek-inspired ingredients, dressed with vinegar and oil. Rather than using simple olive oil we use prepared dressings containing various herbs and seasonings for a substitute. Here a true Greek salad, when encountered, might be called "horiatiki" or refered to as "country salad", "peasant", or "village salad". If the ingredients are truly fresh I can enjoy a Greek salad or Greek-inspired salad any day of the week!!! The one thing I did adopt from the Greeks when I make my own Greek salad now is to use a slab of feta cheese over top instead of the grated feta I am used to seeing.
I have included 2 of my favourite Greek inspired salads. One with lettuce and one without. I am sure the one with lettuce has a specific name which I just don't know. Maybe someone else can help me out there?
The photo was taken on the island of Santorini at a lovely little restaurant near Akrotiri. The proprietor gave my daughter and I two lovely lily flowers we had been admiring. This is very typical in Greece to be given flowers, a spoon sweet or fresh fruit by the owner. A very nice custom I thought!!!!
**Greek Salad (Horiatiki)**
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and extra for garnish
- 4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1/4 red onion, sliced into rings
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced into half-moons
- 1/2 green pepper, julienned
- 4 oz (120 g) feta cheese (recipe calls to cut into small cubes...but in the true Greek fashion it must be a whole slab)
- 16 kalamata olives
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices (2 cups)
- 2 romaine hearts, washed, dried thoroughly, and torn into 1/8-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
- 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, each cored, seeded and cut into 12 wedges
- 1/4 cup loosley torn fresh parsley leaves (optional)
- 1/4 cup loosely torn mint leaves (optional)
- 20 large kalalmata olives, each olive pitted and quartered lengthwise
- 5 oz feta cheese
Transfer the salad to a wide, shallow serving bowl or platter; sprinkle with olives and slab of feta cheese. Serve immediately. YAMMAS!!
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