A truly traditional Greek salad recipe is meant to be of few ingredients–uncomplicated, super fresh, and utterly delicious! And this Greek salad is all that! It’s exactly as served on the Greek villages and islands with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, and creamy feta cheese. The perfect finish is a good splash of quality Greek extra virgin olive oil and a little red wine vinegar. Be sure to grab my tips and watch the video for how to make this Greek salad below.
You can serve this Greek salad as part of your Mediterranean meal next to Moussaka Lemon Chicken Grilled Souvlaki Greek keftedes Seared Trout or Baked Salmon. The possibilities are endless!
I was lucky enough to visit the Greek island of Patmos and Kos back in 2006. Our group spent a good bit of time doing the touristy things and taking in the mix ofRoman and Greek, and Ottoman landmarks. But the part I favored most was our visits to the smaller, off-the-beaten-path places. In particular, the local shops and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. I loved observing the Greek life and partaking of the simple, finger-licking Greek food.
It was at a small family owned restaurant in Kos that my eyes were first opened to theuncomplicated and refreshing, truly traditional Greek salad. It was my first time having the “real deal” Horiatiki villagers’ salad, even though not the first time I ever had a Greek salad.
What goes in a traditional Greek salad Recipe?
Horiatiki, or traditional Greek salad, is served most often from early spring to the early part of fall. It features the season’s quality juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and green bell peppers. The seasoning is simple: a pinch of salt and dried oregano. And the dressing is a generous splash of exquisite Greek extra virgin olive oil, and you may also add a little red wine vinegar.
Quality Greek kalamata olives and creamy feta cheese, made from sheep’a milk, are a must in a traditional Greek salad. Served in large chunks or blocks crowning the salad, although and the cheese is never crumbled.
What does not go in a traditional Greek salad? There are no red peppers or yellow peppers. And there is no lettuce, nor any other leafy greens or vegetables in traditional Greek salad.
The key to the best Greek salad?
This villagers’ salad is super simple, and there is not shortage of flavor. But it does begin and end with the quality of ingredients used.
Choose Perfect ripe tomatoes (somewhat firm but yielding slightly to the touch glossy skin fragrant) and firm, smooth-skinned cucumbers (I prefer English cucumbers, which are seedless and tend to be sweeter in taste). Similarly, choose firm and smooth looking green bell pepper and onions.
Equally important here is to make sure and dress your carefully selected produce with the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find or afford. A lower quality olive oil will be tasteless, or worse, rancid and can ruin this simple salad for you.
For authentic and best tasting Greek salad, I like to use this Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil. It’s an exquisite cold extracted and unfiltered oil with a perfectly balanced complexity— rich fruity, green and pungent with a peppery finish.