Making a Greek salad.

Greek salad
What could be so difficult about making a good Greek salad? Simple ingredients, five minutes to make…and yet, I have had some really bad Greek salads – even in Greece!

When I order a Greek salad, the first thing I do is tear a piece of crusty bread and dip it into the salad juices. The oil and juices from the tomato should dance on your tongue. The first taste of the tomato will confirm whether I am embarking on a delicious culinary experience.

Tips to make the perfect Greek salad:

  • Ingredients, ingredients, ingredients: Use sun ripened tomatoes. They should smell good as well as taste divine.
  • Your ingredients must be at room temperature and never from the fridge.
  • Only Greek feta will do. Feta is a protected designation of origin product. It is made with sheep or goats milk and matured in wooden barrels. There is no substitute.
  • Use the best extra virgin Olive oil. The flavoursome olive oil of the Mani, Southern Peloponnese is my choice. The mountainous terrain, hot dry summers and the sea breezes produce an intense, fresh, green flavour.
  • Rub some dry oregano onto the fetta. Dry herbs should not be kept for more than a season. The aromatic oils will fade along with the taste. If you can get wild oregano, it is the best.

Greek salad II

So here is our tried and tested recipe for the perfect Greek village salad.

Salad for 2 – 3 people.

3 medium sized ripe tomatoes
1 small red onion
small cucumber
green pepper
black Kalamata olives or cracked green olives
large slice of feta cheese.
Extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar

Coarsely cut the tomatoes into a bowl. Slice the cucumber and cut the onion and green pepper into strips and add to the tomatoes.
Season with coarse sea salt, add a very generous splash (or two) of olive oil, a little wine vinegar and mix carefully until all the salad is coated. Place your feta cheese slice on top. Throw a handful of yummy Kalamata olives around the salad and drizzle more olive oil on the cheese. Finally, rub some oregano in the palm of your hand (to bring out the aroma) and sprinkle over the feta.

photo © Lisa Jeppesen

photo © Lisa Jeppesen

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