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September 2, 2012

GREEK SALAD - The REAL one!



      The Greek salad is well known around the world. In Greece we call it choriatiki salata meaning village (rustic) salad. It is mainly eaten in the summertime and it can be a side dish or a light meal.
 
      When I was in the USA I couldn't find a restaurant (Greek one or not) that wouldn't add lettuce to it. !!!! Lettuce? That was almost infuriating to me. Lettuce has no business in the Greek salad. Let me say that again: Lettuce has no business in the Greek salad! If I wanted a lettuce salad I would have asked for a lettuce salad. Restaurants would load the plate with lettuce (cheap!) and I was treasure hunting for the tomatoes and cucumbers and green peppers (expensive!) which are the main ingredients!

GREEK SALAD WITH LETTUCE IS NOT A GREEK SALAD!!!

     You can call it a variation of Greek salad, I'll accept that. And that's what it is. Oh! Don't let me forget about the dressing! There isn't a dressing that comes out of a bottle for the Greek salad. It's olive oil and red wine vinegar that are poured over the salad separately!

     Lately you can find this variation of Greek salad in Greece too, but only at restaurants that cater to tourists. Even there, do ask for the real one with no lettuce! Say cho-ria-ti-ki !

I will give you the recipe for the REAL Greek salad.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes cut into wedges (I prefer small wedges)
  • one red onion sliced into thin (half) rings
  • 1 crisp cucumber sliced into half-moons (whether or not you peel the cucumber is a personal choice)
  • 1 green pepper - julienned                          
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon or less (according to taste) salt
  • 4 oz (120 g) feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 dozen Greek olives (f.e.Kalamata olives, plump black ones or even green)
  • good quality olive oil (maybe virgin but avoid the extra virgin, it lacks in rich taste)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (according to personal taste)


PREPARATION:

After cutting the tomatoes (some peel the tomatoes if the skins are tough; it's a personal call) and peppers and slicing the cucumber and onion, place the salad ingredients with the olives in a large salad bowl. Add salt, pepper and oregano. Pour over the salad the vinegar and the olive oil and toss gently to combine. In the end, add the crumbled feta cheese.

(Note: Toss in a few capers if you like them!)
 




That' s the REAL Greek salad. Now you know!


     Try it and let me know if you liked it! I'd love to hear what you thought of it!


Some photos are courtesy of Google images
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10 comments:

  1. you're so right...I had also noticed that in the US they use lettuce in the so called Greek salads...of course, back then I had no idea that lettuce shouldnt be used, but now after all these years here I understand how wrong it is...

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for understanding Mireille!

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  2. The only restaurant that I have ever had an authentic Greek salad was in Tarpon Springs Florida. There is an adorable Greek village there, famous for it's sponge docks. Other than there, I have always had a bowl full of lettuce..

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  3. This looks amazing, VIcki. We had a lovely Greek restaurant back home in Michigan. Greek salad without lettuce was the only way I knew. I think the restaurant also used artichokes. I love Kalamata olives and capers...I think I'll have to make it for dinner this week! Happy Monday to you!

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  4. I did not know that about the lettuce! your greek salad looks and sounds delicious. I am making that tomorrow...i have all the ingredients in my fridge already. yum!!
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  5. Interesting I did not know that. I love all those fresh ingredients.

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  7. LOL I adore real Greek salad...um without the onion:)

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  8. Ha! I will have to make my husband try...I am not an olive, green pepper (or any other color pepper) or onion fan :) The rest sounds good, but may have to be called something else, then!


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  9. I loved this post, It was very interesting. One of my favorite breakfasts when camping is pita bread, watermelon and some feta cheese. So good thanks for reminding me.

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