Greece in summer is wonderful – bright sunshine, clear skies, beautiful beaches, friendly locals and amazing food! Yummy fruits and fresh vegetables, bread straight from the bakery, and tasty local olives and cheese – it’s easy to understand why the Mediterranean diet is not only appetising but healthy, too. Let’s discover the story behind one delicious Greek summer recipe everyone knows – Greek Salad!
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What is a Traditional Greek Salad?
Chunks of tomato, cucumber, onion, olives, slices of feta cheese, and then olive oil poured over the top – and depending where you are, maybe some green pepper added in and dried oregano over the feta – that’s a true Greek salad or “Horiatiki” – village salad. One of the great things about Greek food is that most recipes are based on seasonal, local products. For example, lettuce is traditionally a winter vegetable in Greece, so it isn’t combined with tomatoes, a summer crop, in a true Horiatiki salad. Let’s not forget that Greece has over 230 inhabited islands, each with their own versions of summer salads, but they all agree those 5 ingredients – tomato, cucumbers, onions, olives and feta – are the basis to a true Horiatiki Salad.
From where does the recipe for Greek Salad originate?
It’s believed Horiatiki – or village salad – was created because farmers would take a whole tomato, feta and onion wrapped in a piece of cloth with a chunk of bread to eat at the fields! There are many variations around Greece – crisp bread rusks, delicious tomato, feta cubes and olives are a specialty in Crete, and Horiatiki with capers, sweet seaweed and orange peppers is a specialty in the island of Tinos.
How to prepare traditional Horiatiki Salata
Chunks of delicious ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and olives with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and a chunk of feta. Perfect.
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