I have read, and been told, on many occasions that a ‘true’ Greek Salad never (ever) contains lettuce. I never questioned this assertion before but, when I came to actually reflect upon the notion, it began to strike me as a bit suspect. Think for a moment… one can probably encounter scores, if not hundreds of different types of salad in Greece so trying to specify the ingredients of a ‘Greek Salad’ is no different than dictating what constitutes an American, or a British Salad. What people mean by ‘Greek Salad’ is, I suspect, something that contains (vaguely) Greek ingredients but is only made in restaurants outside of Greece…
- 2 miniature Cucumbers;
- 8 Cherry tomatoes;
- 1 small Purple Onion;
- 2 Black Olives;
- 1/4 cup diced Feta;
- 2 ½ tbsp. good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (preferably Greek)
- ¾ tsp Dried Oregano … or 2 tbsp. of the chopped fresh article.
- 1 pinch Salt.
If you want to truly stir up the ire of the “Authenticity Police’ you could also add lettuce, or such further abominations as anchovies, radishes and green peppers to the above ingredients but, otherwise, the mix I’ve given you will pretty much be accepted as a ‘Greek Salad’ without exciting too much controversy.
To make the salad, half the cucumbers lengthwise and then cut into thickish slices. Half, or quarter the tomatoes and then slice the olives into rings. Make the dressing by stirring together the olive oil, salt and oregano and then pout this over the veggies. The Feta can be added at this point but, if you are making the salad ahead of time it is better to wait to mix it in until just before serving
Lots of people (not to mention restaurants) add lemon juice or vinegar to the dressing but, frankly I think it is much better without. I am not actually a huge fan of Greek Salads, to be quite honest, but my wife especially loves them and she thought this one was amongst the best she has tasted…