When my best friend Kristin studied abroad in Greece the summer before our senior year of college, she came back obsessed with Greek salads. I never really got it, because Greek salads in America are all canned olives, sub par feta, and probably contain lettuce and some kind of funky dressing. Well…Tim and I just got back from Greece, and I totally get it now. I am obsessed, I can’t get enough, I’ve had Greek salad (and only Greek salad) for dinner three nights in a row.
While we don’t have a Greek market in Paso, I have found olives and feta at the grocery store, and they have been more than acceptable (though still subpar to their official Greek counterparts). The trick is, apparently, to just buy the most expensive olives and feta that you can find. I think this Greek salad habit is going to get pricey…
The Greek word for what we call Greek Salad translates into “House Salad,” and as such, we had it prepared in many different ways. With green peppers and without, Feta crumbled or sliced or cubed, with parsley or without, already dressed or served with oil on the side… The salad in the bottom right photo was topped with capers (still attached to their leaves) that the owner had picked and jarred himself – they were amazing!
Of course, this is an incredibly easy salad and barely needs a recipe. What makes this good is the quality of the ingredients (namely, feta and olives) that you buy. I thought I hated olives before we went to Greece, but when I tried them there my palate was transformed. Look for Kalamata olives in a jar (imported would be best), and see if you can get feta at your local cheese store. Otherwise, it’s kind of sad but true — usually, the most expensive feta at the grocery store will be the best. Good luck.
1 Large Tomato, preferably from your garden or the farmer’s market, cut into wedges
1/3 of an English Cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 Red Onion, very thinly sliced
Optional: 1/2 Sliced Green Pepper
12 Kalamata olives (from a jar)
2 ounces Feta
Good Olive Oil
Combine tomato, cucumber, onion, and peppers (optional) into two bowls and make sure they are evenly mixed around. Top with 6 olives each and 1 oz feta (cut into cubes or thin slices) each. Sprinkle with oregano and drizzle with olive oil. Try not to get addicted!
* This recipe will make two side salads. Just adjust the quantities of everything if you are looking for more!