By: Sue Anganes
The weather is getting warmer, and I just can’t wait until the vegetables come fresh out of the garden- well, in my case, out of someone else’s garden. Even though summertime is the best time for salads, I still make them through the winter months, but it’s just so much better when the local farms open up their farm stands!
For years I’ve made a Greek salad almost every night with dinner. Unlike a garden salad, a traditional Greek salad, or horiatiki salad, has no lettuce. It consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives, feta cheese, and sometimes green bell peppers (my husband doesn’t like them so I leave them out). It’s seasoned to taste with crushed garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Some cooks prefer a little lemon juice added, but I prefer to add a little red wine vinegar.
Of course I also only use Greek Kalamata olives in my salad. My mother-in-law’s family was from Kalamata so we can’t use anything else!
Greek salad can be eaten with almost any meal. It’s healthy, easy to prepare, and delicious.
1-2 cucumbers sliced (I don’t peel them, but you may if you wish)
2-3 tomatoes cut in wedges (some cooks prefer cherry tomatoes halved)
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
2 cloves crushed garlic (or more–I dare you!)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives (or more–you never can have too many olives!)
Feta cheese (I prefer to cut it into square chunks and serve it on the side for everyone to add as much as they’d like)
Salt and pepper
It’s hard to give actual measurements for the olive oil and vinegar because I usually just pour it over the salad, but I estimate that I use a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar, so for a quarter of a cup of oil, I’d use an eighth of a cup of vinegar. Some Greeks prefer the salad without any vinegar and just add a bit of lemon juice. It’s okay to experiment with the seasonings until you find something you like.
I toss everything together in my favorite serving bowl and it’s ready for the table.
If by chance you have a crusty piece of bread to accompany the salad, all the better! Enjoy!