Horiatiki Salata (Greek Village Salad)

Sharing a horiatiki salata (Greek village salad) recipe seems unnecessary because it’s a pretty straightforward dish. But as easy as it is to drizzle olive oil over chopped vegetables, there are still necessary steps and dos and don’ts of this salad that you may not be aware of.

A proper horiatiki salata is a vibrant salad that calls for tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, kalamata olives, red onions, feta cheese, oregano, olive oil, and vinegar. You may come across recipes that add lettuce, parsley or capers, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it just wouldn’t be a true horiatiki salata. And when it comes to horiatiki salata, it’s all about keeping it traditional.

Although it would be ideal to enjoy this classic Greek dish in the beautiful homeland itself (sighs and longs for Greece) to access all the fresh produce the salad relies on, you can still make a horiatiki salata at home. I make it almost daily, especially in the summer months when I can pick cucumbers and tomatoes from my dad’s garden. That way, at least half my salad is filled with garden vegetables. The tricky part is getting a quality Greek feta cheese. Feta is the crown jewel of a horiatiki salata and tops the dish in one big chunk, so you want to make sure it’s good. Unfortunately, we don’t have farm animals at home to make our own cheese, so we buy store-bought feta. My family prefers the brand Dodoni Feta, but you can certainly use whatever you fancy.

As for the dressing, don’t skimp on the olive oil and vinegar because after all the vegetables and feta have been eaten, you’ll be left with plenty of juice that needs to be sopped up. And one last tip for you—keep a loaf of crusty bread nearby for dunking unless you plan on drinking the juice plain, which I actually have done before. Now don’t let me keep you any longer. It’s time for you to enjoy this authentically delicious horiatiki salata.

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Ingredients:
-2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced
-5 to 6 tomatoes, cut into wedges
-1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into rings
-¼ red onion, cut into rings
-Handful of kalamata olives
-8 oz Greek feta cheese in blocks (don’t crumble)
-¼ to ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
-1/8 to ¼ cup Red wine vinegar
-1 Tablespoon dried oregano
-Salt to taste

Directions:
1. Thoroughly wash the vegetables. Cut tomatoes into wedges, peel and slice the cucumber into thick slices, core and cut green pepper into thick rings, and cut the onion into thin rings. Place all vegetables into a large bowl.
2. Add a small amount of salt and gently mix the vegetables together. Pour red wine vinegar and olive oil to your liking throughout the salad.
3. Add the kalamata olives and block of feta on top and sprinkle dried oregano. Drizzle salad with extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

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