Ever been to a mediterranean restaurant and ask yourself “how do they make such a simple salad taste so great”? Well, this recipe is for you! A great greek salad is all about few uncomplicated ingredients, that are fresh and incredibly delicious. Because there are so few ingredients and few steps to rely on, the quality of the ingredients mean everything!
Choose perfectly ripe tomatoes, that are firm yet slightly yielding to touch. Equally important is using a great quality olive oil, preferably greek olive oil. If you can get your hands on the cold pressed kind, even better! Otherwise a really good quality extra virgin olive oil that’s green, really fruity and smooth will work just fine. Authentic greek kalamata olives and creamy feta are also essential. Buy the feta block that you can crumble yourself, they stay creamy and unctuous; pre crumbled feta tend to be dry and mealy.
Also make sure the feta is vegetarian; as in, it doesn’t contain animal enzymes or rennet. Most cheese in the United States tend to contain animal derivatives that are simply marked as “enzymes” or “rennet”. Make sure you buy cheese labeled as plant or microbial enzymes, or rennet free. These days several brands are more conscious and make vegetarian cheese. Email me or message me if you have any questions of picking vegetarian cheeses.
With the right ingredients, there is quite literally under 10 minutes of work to do putting this together. It is one of those low effort, high reward recipes; perfect for a lunch or dinner party. It looks so good, tastes even better and hardly takes any prep time.
Hope you enjoy!
2 large tomatoes, diced into chunks
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 english cucumber or 2 persian cucumbers, diced into chunks (fewer seeds this way)
6-8 kalamata olives (I use the pitted and bottled kind)
2 pita breads, halved, slightly toasted
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
juice from 1/2 lemon (optional, but I personally love the extra tanginess and freshness from fresh citrus)
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
pinch of sea salt (~1/4 tsp)
pinch of black pepper (~1/4 tsp)
In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and lemon juice first. Then add salt, pepper, oregano and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
I often make double the quantity of dressing and save some for another time. It stays fresh up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
In a large salad bowl, place the salad veggies; tomatoes, cucumber, onions and olives. Drizzle how much ever dressing you prefer over the veggies and toss. Crumble fresh feta on top, be generous! Serve alongside some freshly toasted pita bread.
The best part of of this eating experience for me is the dressing + feta that’s leftover once all the veggies have disappeared. Dipping some fresh warm pita and scooping the cheesy dressing is just incredibly comforting, and oh so tasty!