by Cat, Aug 2007 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
This is an excellent, flavorful salad, and a great excuse to eat olives. I learned how to make it from the Greek family who owned the Souvlaki Stop Restaurant down the street from my home in Portland, OR. While the Souvlaki Stop is no longer there, there are many more wonderful Greek restaurants in Portland and Eugene, and all serve a version of this salad.
The name of this salad is pronounced ho-ree-ah-tee-kee, with the accent on the ‘ah,’ and the ‘tiki’ should dance lightly off your tongue.
See also: 1. Greek Salad Pita Sandwich (with Olive-Garlic Tapenade); 2. Greek Vinaigrette; 3. Mediterranean Vinaigrette;
Greek Village Salad: Horiatiki
This is a wonderful salad – a great one to take to a pot luck grill, or to serve at a Mediterranean party. Or just to have at home with dinner. Add some chopped, grilled chicken and it is a great lunch.
Much American Feta is too mild for this salad, because it is made from cow’s milk. It requires a strong-flavored feta, such as that from Greece or Macedonia, made from sheep’s or goat’s milk. However, with the increasingly popularity of locally made cheese, you might find a local goat’s milk feta.
Greek olives should be brined and usually sold in bulk, not canned or in a jar. The brined olives are made by lacto-fermentation and are considered a living food. However, once they are canned or jarred, they are no longer living because of the heat required for canning. They are fairly salty (as is feta), so keep that in mind when you mix your dressing.
Ingredients & Equipment
- 3 – 4 ripe tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 cucumber
- 1 green bell pepper
- 8 oz Greek-style feta cheese (made from sheep or goat milk, preferred)
- 12 or more Kalamata olives (large, black Greek olives), or a mix of green and black Greek olives (pitted preferred; in lacto-fermented brine)
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or raw apple cider vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp Unrefined sea salt (or more, to taste)
- 1 tsp crushed dried oregano or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ – ½ cup olive oil
- Garnish (Optional)
- Romaine lettuce leaves
- Mint leaves
- Salad bowl and tossing implements
- Small jar or bowl (for dressing)
- Prep work: Wash tomatoes; cut into wedges, and then cut each wedge in half, crosswise.
- Slice red onion, then cut the slices in half or quarters, to make small crescents
- Peel cucumber. Cut in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds. Cut each half in half again, lengthwise. Then cut the cucumber pieces into ½ – ¾ inch chunks.
- Wash the green pepper. Cut in half and remove seeds and white part. Slice into ½ inch segments.
- Cut the feta cheese into ½ inch cubes. However, if cheese is very crumbly, simply crumble it when you assemble the salad.
- Pit olives if not already pitted; then slice each crosswise 1 – 2 times to make rings.
- Dressing: Measure vinegar, lemon juice, salt, oregano and garlic into a small jar. Shake well. Add olive oil and shake well again. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Assembly: Put all the veggies and olives into salad bowl. Add the feta cubes (or crumble feta over). Pour some of the dressing over and stir well to mix. Add more dressing as needed so that all veggies are evenly coated.
- Cover bowl and chill for at least 2 hours before serving, but best if chilled overnight.
- Serve directly out of bowl;
- Scoop salad into bowl lined with Romaine lettuce leaves.
- Lay a Romaine leaf on each individual salad or dinner plate, scoop salad onto leaf, then garnish with sprig of mint.