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This past winter, Neal had a simple request: a greek salad to accompany his chicken, rice, and lemon soup (Avgolemono). I thought to myself, “well that is easy enough.” I chopped orange, yellow, and red bell peppers, a cucumber, tomato, kalamata olives, and red onion. I tossed everything in a light vinaigrette made of olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried parsley, and a smidgen of dijon mustard to bring it all together. I used pre-crumbled feta, thinking how wonderful it would be to have a bit in every bite. And you know what? It was all too much. What I had wanted was a simple Greek Village Salad (Horiatiki) where the vegetables were the star. What I got, while still delicious, was a salad clouded by too many ingredients. It didn’t taste as pure as some salads I have had at greek restaurants in the past.
The beauty of this Greek Village Salad, also known as Horiatiki, lies in its simplicity and I had simply done too much. All I really needed was to use the best ingredients I could find, and not muddle them with anything extraneous. Tomatoes that are firm yet ripe and taste of sun, green peppers that crunch as you bite into them, and feta in big blocks swimming in salty brine. While not easy to find such fresh ingredients in the winter, this Greek Village Salad is best enjoyed while farmers markets are still bursting with delicious produce. However, don’t despair if you can’t find super fresh ingredients, it will still be plenty delicious.
Tips and Tricks for Greek Village Salad (Horiatiki)
- Cut vegetables to be roughly the same shape. Cutting vegetables to be the same size/shape will ensure you get one even amount of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and onion in each bite. I prefer to cut my tomatoes in wedges, cutting any large wedges in half. I also cut my red onions and green peppers in chunks. I will slice the cucumber, cutting any large slices in half.
- Use in brine feta. Feta soaking in brine is more authentic and is so much more flavorful than pre-crumbled feta. I like Dodoni brand Greek feta, which I find at Costco. Don’t worry if you aren’t able to find in brine feta, this Greek Village Salad will still be good!
- Pack it for later. Because this salad does not include any lettuce or heavy dressings, it packs well for lunches. Put vegetables in individual containers and top with oregano and feta cheese. As you’re grabbing your lunch for the day, drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar and you’re good to go!
- Use the freshest vegetables you can find. Because this salad is simple and the ingredients shine through, use the freshest vegetables you can find at that time of year.
Serving Suggestions for Greek Village Salad (Horiatiki)
- Serve alongside roasted chicken and potatoes for a simple meal
- Make Rosemary Chickpeas with Chimichurri inspired sauce for mediterranean inspired vegetarian feast
- Add chickpeas to the salad for plant protein
- Serve with baked shrimp or a shrimp cocktail for a quick and easy weekday meal
Did you try this recipe?
If so, let me know in the comments! I love hearing how recipes turn out for others! And it helps me improve my writing and recipe development!
Greek Village Salad (Horiatiki)
- 1 pound roma tomatoes (approximately 6 medium sized tomatoes) cut into wedges
- 1 red onion cut into chunks
- 1 English cucumber sliced into rounds
- 1 green bell pepper seeds removed and sliced into chunks
- 1 cup kalamata olives pitted
- 1.5 teaspoon dried oregano plus extra for serving if desired
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz feta cheese preferably in brine, thickly sliced
- red wine vinegar for serving
- flaky sea salt for serving
- In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, green bell pepper and kalamata olives. Drizzle vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with dried oregano. Toss to combine, thoroughly coating vegetables. Top vegetables with feta cheese, flaky sea salt, additional oregano if desired, and a drizzle of red wine vinegar before serving.
Use in brine feta cheese if you can find it. My favorite feta is the Dodoni brand that I find at Costco.