With ripe tomatoes and cucumbers hitting supermarkets just about now, the fresh taste of my easy Greek Salad recipe is a great choice for a crowd.
Known in Greece mainly as country salad, or horiatiki, the Greek Salad we know here is a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives, all dressed up with an olive oil and vinegar blend.
Last weekend I was invited to a poolside birthday party for a lovely girl who was turning 12 years old. I asked what I could bring, suggesting a salad to go along with the hamburgers and hot dogs on the menu. Julie brightened up and volunteered: My favorite is Greek Salad.
So, Greek Salad it was.
This recipe is not totally authentic as I do take a few liberties, given that in Greece one would never add salad greens in the mix, but I like to stretch the concept a bit!
Matilda’s easy but excellent Greek Salad
- 1 package American style salad greens
- 1-1/2 large green cucumbers, peeled and cut into half moons
- 4 ripe large Roma tomatoes
- 1 pound Feta cheese
- ½ green bell pepper
- 1 small red onion
- Kalamata olives
Empty about half the package of salad greens into a large pan or bowl.
Wash, peel and cut the cucumbers lengthwise to create two horizontal halves. Cut into chunky half-moon slices between ¼ inch and ½ inch thick. Arrange over Greek Salad greens.
Cut tomatoes into chunky slices and arrange these over cucumbers. Try to evenly balance the tomatoes and cucumbers in the Greek Salad. Add more tomato, if needed.
Cut Feta into small, square cubes and sprinkle over tomatoes. (You don’t have to use the whole pound, depending on your taste for cheese.)
Dice half of a green bell pepper into rough chunks, and layer it over the cheese.
Slice red onion very thin and scatter the raw onion ringlets all over the Greek Salad.
The final touch is to add as many Kalamata olives as you think people can stand. (I remove the olive pits quickly with a sharp knife, and sometimes chop the olives for greater flavor saturation.) There is no substitute for the taste of Kalamata’s, so try to use them instead of black or green olives, if possible.
Instead making my own oil and vinegar dressing, I cheated and bought a very nice light-style Greek Salad dressing with Feta cheese that was quite delicious. I added the bottled dressing to the Greek Salad just before serving.
As I said, I took a few liberties with my simple version of Greek Salad, and I’m sure you can alter this recipe for your family cookbook to suit your own tastes.
It’s a great dish to bring to any big bash when you need to feed a crowd – such as a birthday, graduation or Father’s Day. And it is so easy to prepare!
By the way, at the end of the pool party there was hardly any of my Greek Salad left in the pan, so I guess it passed muster.
(Sure hope Julie got some!)
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