A ‘True’ Greek Salad
A ‘True’ Greek Salad

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 most people mean by ‘Greek Salad’ is, I suspect, something that contains (vaguely) Greek ingredients but is only called a ‘Greek Salad’ outside of Greece…


By the way, the basic salad mix illustrated here would very likely be known in Greece (and in some Greek restaurants outside of Greece) as a ‘Horiatiki’ Salad… this simply means ‘Village’ Salad and will obviously have many versions depending on who is making it.

Also… there *is* a particular Greek Salad, called the ‘Maroulosalata’, which *does* contain lettuce. Naturally, it also has many variations…

The Basic Main Ingredients
The Basic Main Ingredients

These are the main ingredients for my ‘True’ Greek Salad…

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 you see here will pretty much be accepted as a ‘Greek Salad’ without exciting too much controversy.

To assemble the salad, stir the dressing of olive oil, salt and oregano into 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. Go ahead and add a little of either if you like, though. Nobody can honestly tell you it isn’t a ‘True’ Greek Salad anymore (and you can ignore them, if they do).

Your Recipe Card

A ‘True’ Greek Salad

People will argue about what makes a ‘True’ Greek Salad. This recipe has all the standard ingredients and is as basic, and simple, as they get…
Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Cucumber, Feta, Olives, Onion, Tomato
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  • Half the cucumbers lengthwise and then cut into moderately thick slices.
  • Half, or quarter the tomatoes and slice the onions and olives into rings.
  • Make the dressing by stirring together the olive oil, salt and oregano and then pour this over the main ingredients and toss gently.
  • Just before serving, add the Feta Cheese and toss one more time.

2 Comments

  1. Hi John,
    Reflects exactly my own thoughts about this topic 🙂
    Cheers !
    Στην υγειά σας
    Stin ygeiá sas

    1. Author

      I always think that a person’s use of the word ‘authentic’ in connection with food stands in inverse proportion to his or her actual culinary knowledge. Oh… I had to look up the Στην υγειά σας … Don’t know if I am pronouncing it correctly.

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