To be clear, I am not Greek. I have also never been to Greece. But when my parents came back from Greece, they said that my Greek salad was the closest they have ever gotten to being back. That is my only source of authority here.
In Greek, “Greek Salad” is called horiatiki. Apparently this means village in Greek. There are a bunch of regional variations and arguments about whether you should include certain things or not. However, there are many rules to abide by. Stick to them, and you will have a good salad.
I know that my blog is called “Inside the Fridge” but you must ALWAYS keep your tomatoes OUTSIDE the fridge. If you keep them in the fridge it will stop their ripening and the tomatoes will get mealy on the inside. DO NOT DO IT!
Rules of the Greek Salad
- NEVER put lettuce or greens in.
- Feta cheese is not cut in cubes but rather one large piece, or a few smaller pieces are placed on top of the salad.
- Everything is cut in large chunks.
- Green not red peppers.
- As with most any tomato salad, it is REQUIRED that you use RIPE tomatoes, good olives, good olive oil, quality oregano and real feta. If you don’t, the salad will taste like shit and you will (rightfully) suffer.
Pro Tip: Tomatoes in my area are only ripe in August and September. If you really must make this salad, you can find some reasonably ripe cherry or grape tomatoes. Your salad will be decent.
2-3 ripe tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
5-6 Greek black olives
1 sweet onion
1 Green Pepper
1 chunk of feta — about 1 ½ to 2 ounces
extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Parsley (This is totally non-traditional, but I like it on my salad anyway. Please note I am not Greek.)
- Cut tomato in wedges- or large chunks.
- Peel cucumber and cut in half-moons.
- Cut onion in thin wedges.
- Put tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers in a shallow bowl and combine.
- Drizzle with a healthy amount olive oil (more than you think you need) and a splash of vinegar.*
- Season with a pinch of oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add olives.
- Place a piece of feta on top and sprinkle entire salad with oregano and chopped parsley.
*Like most things, I typically do not measure out the oil. As I said above (and in the Salad Dressing Blog Post) you want roughly a 1:3 ratio of oil to vinegar. Typically I usually go a bit heavy for Greek Salads because of how important the oil flavour is and the delicious mixture of the tomato juices, vinegar, salt and oil. This mixture, in effect, creates a dressing.