Greek salad is something I’ve eaten a lot of over the years. It’s a classic salad that I love, but when I order it out at restaurants it’s more often then not, a disappointment, made with second rate feta and flavorless tomatoes. When I make a Greek salad at home it’s something I would never use a recipe for but I was looking through George Calombaris’s book Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart and his take on the classic Greek salad – horiatiki salata or village salad. There was nothing revolutionary about George’s recipe for Greek salad but there were a few things that were different from the way I would usually make it at home – George’s recipe called for red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice, green peppers instead of red and a sprinkle of dried oregano which is something I would probably never use in salad.
On the weekend I tried making the salad George’s way and it was good really good, better than my usual version of Greek salad. The red wine vinegar gave it more of a robust kick and the green peppers were crunchier then then red peppers and gave a better texture and flavour contrast to the sweetness of the tomatoes and cucumbers. This is a classic salad that is worth revisiting. Use a nice, crumbly proper Greek feta and you can’t go wrong.
Village salad (horiatiki salata)
Adapted from George Calombaris Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart
- 8 ripe tomatoes, coarsely cut
- 1 continental cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and coarsely cut
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 green capsicum, thinly sliced
- 200 grams (6 1/2 ounces) feta sliced thick (I used Dodoni)
- 1 pinch dried oregano
- 1 pinch of salt
- Olive oil, to taste
- Red wine vinegar, to taste
- Mix together tomatoes, cumber, onion, capsicum and olives in a salad bowl.
- Top with crumbled feta and a sprinkle of oregano and pinch of salt
- Dress generously with olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste.