Horiatiki Salata

Horiatiki Salata (Greek Salad) is a delicious Mediterranean mix of tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper and kalamata olives, topped with feta cheese, sprinkled with oregano and drizzled with a red wine vinaigrette. 

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • A cucumber
  • Three salad tomatoes
  • Half a red onion
  • A green pepper
  • 10-20 Kalamata olives
  • 200g/7oz/half a block of feta cheese
  • A pinch of salt
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • One tablespoon of red wine vinegar (optional)
  • One teaspoon oregano
  • Crusty bread, to serve

Make it vegan: You can omit the feta cheese- or make your own vegan feta! Online vegan recipes for feta seem to be plentiful, and many claim to taste just like the real thing.

Special Equipment

  • A sharp knife
  • A large serving bowl
  • A ramekin or small bowl

Method:

  1. Use a sharp knife to peel the cucumber and slice it in half length-ways. Neatly cut out the cucumber seeds, then chop the cucumber halves into thick half-moon slices.
  2. Cut the tomatoes into large chunks or wedges. Peel the red onion and cut it into thin slices. De-seed the pepper and chop it width-wise into thin rings. 
  3. Gently toss the cucumber, tomato, onion and pepper slices together with the olives and salt in a large serving bowl.
  4. Cut the feta into two or three large blocks and place these on top of the salad. 
  5. Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing the oil and vinegar together. Then drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, but don’t mix it in. 
  6. Sprinkle the oregano over the feta, and serve with crusty bread
  7. Kali Orexi!

Tips

  • Don’t add any leafy salad vegetables or lettuce leaves to the salad
  • Don’t crumble the feta over the salad or cut it up too small. Just lay one or two large blocks of uncut feta over the salad.
  • The salad ingredients should only be very lightly tossed together, and the vinaigrette should be gently poured over the salad and not mixed in.

Background

Pronunciation: /ˌhɔːrɪəˈtiːkɪ / (horr-eaah-tee-kee)

Origin: Greece

History

Horiatiki Salata means ‘Village’ or ‘Peasant’s’ Salad in Greek. This village food was traditionally eaten by Greek farmers, for whom the fresh salad ingredients were readily available.

The ancient Greek Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, put salad-based starters on Greek menus when he advised patients to eat more raw vegetables to aid digestion. But since the tomato, which is a key ingredient in Horiatiki, didn’t make its debut in Greece until the nineteenth century, the contemporary version of this popular salad can’t be quite that old! Europeans were initially skeptical of the South American tomato plant, due to its close relation to the potato plant whose fruit is poisonous. But because the tomato plant thrived on the volcanic soil of the Greek island Santorini, tomatoes quickly became an important component of Greek cuisine. As such, they were soon adapted into Horiatiki Salata.
Today, it’s common in Greece to eat salad with every meal. Horiatiki is eaten in the summer months, when fresh vegetables are inexpensive; it’s a popular lunchtime dish. Horiatiki might be internationally known as the Greek Salad, but there are many other types of salad to be found in Greece. These include regional varieties, potato salad, rocket salad and lettuce salad.

Santorini
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