Greek salad refers to country salad which is prepared with crisp cucumber, green pepper, juicy tomatoes, red onions, plum and feta cheese with a seasoning of dried oregano, salt and pepper and layered with olive oil on top. Also called horiatiki salata, it is a rustic Greek salad which is widely consumed during summer season in Greece. The salad is a very important component of Greek food, which is a blend of various flavors with a distinct visual appeal. The salad is usually prepared at night, allowed to refrigerate overnight, and eaten chilled. In France it is known as salade à la Grecque, in Germany it is called Bauernsalat, in Spain it is famous by the name ensalada Griega, and in other countries like Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro the salad is known as grčka salata.
Greek Salad Recipe- Ingredients
The ingredients required for preparing Greek salad include chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion, green bell pepper, black olives, olive oil, feta cheese, mushrooms, white wine vinegar, oregano leaves, black pepper, salt, and lemon juice.
Greek Salad Recipe- Preparation
Preparing Greek salad is quick and easy where all cheese and olives are combined with all vegetables, and mixed well. The remaining ingredients are blended together, poured over the prepared salad, and tossed. The Greek salad in then, refrigerated and served chilled.
Greek Salad Recipe- Variations
Greek salad has different variations. Apart from the commonly used ingredients as mentioned in the Greek salad recipe, other ingredients like chopped parsley, capers, pickled leaves and vinegar can also be added.
Greek salad recipe may also consist of chicken, where cooked chicken pieces are added to the salad to enhance its flavor and taste.
Greek salad is not only popular in Greece but is also famous in other countries like UK, Australia, North America, and South Africa, where it referred to as lettuce base salad, prepared with ingredients used in Greek cuisine. Vinegar and oil are used for dressing the salad. In almost all the countries, cucumbers, bell peppers, radishes, onions, dolmades, hot peppers (pickled), and sardines/anchovies are commonly used is Greek salad recipe. However, in American cuisine, there is a slight variation which makes use of feta cheese, olive oil, tomatoes and lettuce as the standard elements in preparation of Greek salad.
Beets are also included in few variations of the salad. Also, dressings may vary from simply used oil and vinegar to various seasonings and herbs. This kind of salad, though uncommon in Greek cuisine, is popular among American Greeks. Also, it is offered on the menu of various restaurants entertaining tourists on a large scale.
The interesting fact about Greek salad is that there are various kinds of salads with this name having no resemblance or similarity to the authentic Greek salad. For example, Australians referred boiled squash dish dressed up with sour milk as Greek salad. Also, a salad made of mayonnaise, lettuce, and shredded carrots and cabbage had been once described as Greek salad by popular American newspaper.
Popular Greek Salad Recipes
Most of the Greek salad recipes make sue of Italian dressing to augment the flavor and appeal of the salad, where the dressing is made up of a mix of lemon juice, vinegar, oil, water, minced onions, sugar, bell peppers, various herbs, spices (consisting of oregano, garlic, salt and fennel), and black pepper. An individual can either prepare the Italian dressing at home or can buy it from various stores, where it is commonly available in bottled form. The two most copular forms of Greek salads are discussed below.
- Greek veggie salad
This is a purely vegetarian salad loved by the Greeks. In this Greek salad recipe, chopped cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, and black olives are mixed together, shredded feta cheese is added and the mixture is tossed. The Greek salad is then dressed with Italian dressing, kept in refrigerator and served chilled.
- Greek chicken salad
Greek chicken salad is a popular kind of Greek salad which makes use of chicken in its preparation. A mixture of vegetables and chicken is prepared by combining together cooked pieces of chicken, chopped carrots, and sliced cucumber. Shredded feta cheese and black olives are added to the mix; the mixture is tossed well, and dressed with Italian dressing. The prepared salad is then kept in refrigerated after making sure that all ingredients have been proper mixed together, so as to blend together the flavors of vegetables, chicken and the Italian dressing.