Experience the authentic flavors of Athens with our Classic Greek Salad (Horiatiki Salad). It’s a medley of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, ripe olives, and creamy feta cheese. This Mediterranean delight is ready in just 20 minutes!
Diving into a Classic Greek Salad is like taking a mini-vacation to the sunny shores of Greece – it’s an explosion of flavors and traditions in every bite! This isn’t just your average salad; it’s a colorful celebration in a bowl. Have a little insider info: despite its global popularity, you’d never find lettuce in a traditional Greek salad in Greece! That’s right, it’s all about chunky tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, zesty olives, and that glorious block of feta cheese gracing the top.
It turns out that I’ve been making Greek Salad wrong my entire life. I was really making it way more complicated than it needed to be. I had a chance to take a cooking class while we were in Athens (I talked more about it in my Authentic Tzatziki post). So now, let me share what I learned about the “proper” way to make this delicious and popular dish.
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Recipe
- This easy Greek salad recipe is straightforward and quick to make.
- Packed with fresh vegetables and healthy fats from olives and olive oil, Greek Salad is a nutritious meal.
- Greek salad pairs well with many dishes, serving as a refreshing side.
- The combination of olives, feta, and fresh vegetables creates a burst of authentic Mediterranean flavors.
- Greek salad is easily customizable.
- Ripe Tomato: Adds a juicy, sweet-tart flavor, enhancing freshness to the salad.
- Cucumber: Contributes a light, refreshing crunch. Its mild taste helps mellow the bold flavors.
- Green Bell Pepper: Provides a crisp and subtle zest, adding complexity and a pop of color.
- Kalamata Olives: They offer a bold, savory flavor, infusing the salad with authentic Mediterranean taste.
- Feta Cheese: Its creamy, tangy essence elevates the salad.
See the recipe card for full information on this Greek salad ingredients and quantities.
- Mediterranean Medley: Incorporate romaine lettuce for added crunch. Swap the large tomato for grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. Consider adding a drizzle of red wine vinegar for extra tang.
- Vegan Delight: Skip Feta for a vegan alternative like tofu or plant-based Feta. Add lemon juice and a hint of Dijon mustard for zest and depth.
- Protein Powerhouse: Add grilled chicken, salmon, or chickpeas for protein.
- Spice It Up: Add red pepper flakes or chili for heat.
- Fresh Herbs: Elevate with basil, mint, parsley or dill. Replace dried oregano with fresh leaves and add fresh dill for herbal notes.
How to Make Classic Greek Salad
Step #1: Begin by cutting the tomato into bite-sized pieces over a large bowl to catch the dripping juice. Add in the chopped cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and olives.
Step #2: Sprinkle salt over the prepared vegetables. Use your hands to gently toss the ingredients together, occasionally squeezing to allow the tomatoes to release more juices.
Step #3: Place the whole block of Feta cheese on top of our salad. Then, sprinkle the salad with ½ tsp dried oregano and drizzle with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with capers before serving. Enjoy your freshly made Greek salad!
- Feta Excellence: Invest in high-quality Feta; it’s a game-changer. Keep it whole and position it on top for a delightful contrast of creamy and crisp textures.
- Juicy Tomato Technique: Cut the tomatoes directly over the serving bowl to capture every drop of their flavorful juices. Opt for plump, ripe tomatoes for the most authentic taste.
- Balanced Seasoning: Taste your salad before adding more salt. The Feta, olives, and capers contribute saltiness, so adjust as needed.
- Chill and Marinate: For the best results, let the assembled salad sit in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and intensify.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best method is to slice them into rounds, then halve or quarter the slices. This creates bite-sized pieces that blend well in the salad.
Yes, simply reduce the amount of olive oil and use less cheese for a lower-fat option. The salad will still be flavorful and healthy.
Absolutely! You can scale up the recipe for a crowd. Just ensure all ingredients are fresh, and assemble closer to serving time.
Cut and store the ingredients separately until serving for optimal freshness.
To store Classic Greek Salad, place any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, ensuring the Feta is stored separately. It should stay good for about 2-3 days. It’s best enjoyed fresh for the tastiest experience.
Classic Greek Salad Recipe (Horiatiki Recipe)
- 1 large - ripe tomato
- 1/2 a large cucumber - roughly chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper - roughly chopped
- 1/2 a large red onion - roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 8 ounces high-quality Feta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon capers
- Begin by cutting the tomato into bite-sized pieces over a large bowl to catch the dripping juice. Add in the chopped cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and olives.
- Sprinkle salt over the prepared vegetables. Use your hands to gently toss the ingredients together, occasionally squeezing to allow the tomatoes to release more juices.
- Place the whole block of Feta cheese on top of our salad. Then, sprinkle the salad with ½ tsp dried oregano and drizzle with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with capers before serving. Enjoy your freshly made Greek salad!
Please note that Greek Horiatiki Salad is often misspelled as Greek Horitiki Salad.