Greek salad, also known as Village salad or Horiatiki, is an iconic dish of Greece that accompanies the lives of Greeks since the ’60s. It is mostly a summer dish enjoyed by everyone visiting Greece but is also famous in many countries around the world.
It is easy to prepare, very tasteful and nutritious.
Horiatiki Salad is “Greece in a Dish”! It consists of Kalamata Olives (PDO) – Feta Cheese (PDO), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fresh vegetables, endemic herbs and spices. All Greece’s best in a single dish ready to satisfy even the most demanding palates. Depending on the region, you can also find in the salad green olives, red peppers, capers, purslane, samphire, garlic, mizithra cheese, rusks, balsamic vinegar or lemon.
At the end of the 19th century, tomatoes entered the life of the Greeks for good. People who
worked in manual labor in the province - but also in the cities – used to carry with them onions, olives, cucumber and in a few cases a little cheese and tomato, accompanied by a thick slice of bread to eat at their break. They tied them all together in a kitchen towel, without cutting them into slices in a plate but used to eat them by biting them in pieces.
The people of the city were the ones who gave another form to the vegetables, putting them on the plate, sliced and matched with olive oil. However, the version that approaches the final form of the salad as we know it does not show as the origin of a Greek village, but the center of Athens!
It is said that sometime between the 1960s and 1970s, tourist development prompted Plaka's restaurant owners to invent the village salad to escape the charges of food market regulations. The market regulations included cucumber and tomato salads in the valuation items, which forbade professionals to charge at will. With the trick of adding a slice of feta cheese, they managed to get out of the restriction and sell their salad at any price. So, the restaurant owners may have made some more money, but Greece won its iconic, famous arond the world Greek Salad!
Classic Recipe for 4 persons
· 4 Medium ripe-juicy tomatoes, preferably organic ones
· 1 Cucumber, partially peeled making a striped pattern
· 1 green bell pepper, cored
· 1 medium red onion
· 8-10 pitted Kalamata Olives
· Salt, a pinch
· 5-6 tbsp of high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
· 1-2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
· Blocks of Greek Feta a good amount to your liking
· 1/2 tbsp quality dried or fresh oregano
1. Cut tomatoes into wedges or large chunks.
2. Cut the partially peeled cucumber in half length-wise, then slice into thick halves.
3. Thinly slice the bell pepper into rings.
4. Cut the red onion in half and thinly slice into half-moons.
5. Place everything in a large salad dish. Add the pitted Kalamata Olives.
6. Season very lightly with salt (just a pinch). Pour the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and red wine vinegar.
7. Give everything a very gentle toss to mix.
8. Now add the Feta cheeseblocks on top. Sprinkle the dried oregano.
9. Serve with crusty fresh-baked bread and enjoy!
Pairing Tip: Add a rich amount of Koroneiki variety Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your Greek Salad. Its aromas of tomato fruit and leaf, fresh-cut grass, green olive fruit and herbs plus its bitter and spicy taste pair perfectly and will enhance the flavor of all the ingredients in the salad.
Take a thick piece of bread and soak it in the olive oil of the salad that has absorbed all the juices of the ingredients. For us the Greeks this is the epitome of Gourmet!