On Line Cookbook

Greek Salad

Recipe Information
Authentic Lettuce Salad (with horiatiki or 'village' salad notes)

Lyman Gifford, Toronto Canada

Serves/Makes:4 (more or less)

  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce (opt. romaine)
  • 20 Kalamata olives
  • 8 oz (224 grm). Greek Feta cheese (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar OR 1 large lemon
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large firm tomato
  • (optional: medium cucumber, peeled and seeded)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) DRIED oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Remove core and tear lettuce into mouth-sized pieces.
  • Toss first with oil to coat, then add vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • ------
  • Place dressed lettuce on a large platter.
  • Strew tomato pieces.(cut thru 'equator' then into wedges)
  • Cut cucumber into bite-sized pieces, scatter over
  • (note cukes are optional, but used more often in the village salad)
  • Crumble feta, not too fine, some chunks, distribute over.
  • Likewise the Kalamata olives.
  • Rub oregano through fingers as you sprinkle it over.
  • A grind of blk pepper, another sprinkle of olive oil finishes it.
  • ------
  • HORIATIKI or Village Salad is similar, see comments below.
While working in Greece I sure loved the food and learned as much as I could. The above is the standard 'marouli (lettuce) Greek salad found everywhere. Another equally ubiquitous salad is the 'HORIATIKI' (village) salad (the Greeks pronounce it : "Hoary a tea KEY" with the emphasis on the key) which does NOT include lettuce! The cuke is optional in the normal Greek salada as we know it here, and is usual in the Village (Horiatiki) salad.

As well as having worked and lived amongst Greeks in Greece, in the villages too, my city of Toronto has an enoromous Greek population and eating places (plus Italian, Indian, Portuguese..the whole shebang!) so we have a lot of authentic food here. I am always grateful because it is easy to tour the world right here and eat good authentic food.

Village Salad: Omit the lettuce, and include tender sweet green peppers, some red onion rings, tomatoes, cukes, feta and Kalamata olives, olive oil... I think is more often made with lemon juice rather than red wine vinegar, but I am sure you may use either and remain authentic. This Village Salad is found all over Greece.

Both salads are perfect with grilled anything. Most 'souvla' (barbecue) is doused with lemon and salt and oregano and often olive oil as it comes sizzling to the table from the barbecue grill. This lemon/oregano flavour goes perfectly with these salads.

Ingredient notes: Dried oregano seems to work better. here. In all my time in Greece I never saw it used fresh. It is picked wild on the mountains and dried immediately. The Greek variety if you can find it is especially delicious and pungent. And the Greek sheep's milk Feta cheese is tastiest and creamiest. Some other fetas can be a bit dry, almost chalky. Tomatoes used in salads in Greece are often used quite firm, as they value the slight tartness and firmness of not-quite-ripe tomatoes. But overripe mushy is fine too! If you can not find a tasty tomato, try the Roma or sauce tomatoes, they are almost always better than those woody ones we get here in North America in the winter..

cheers, Lyman