Many debate about what goes into a Greek salad in order to reproduce that insanely robust and fresh flavour. What should be agreed upon is that a Greek salad is meant to be uncomplicated and fresh – and by fresh: the tomatoes should be sun-ripened on the vine not rose coloured but vivid deep red, the cucumber and capsicum should be crisp and not limp – not dug up from the depths of the fridge. You see, if you want to recreate that flavour, you need to imagine what a Mediterranean village life in summer is like.
When eating in Greece, a fresh loaf of village loaf and boiled greens like ‘vlita’ or amaranth leaves must be accompanied to whatever is ordered. They are the staple or the building blocks to an amazing Greek eating out experience.
The ingredients are usually hand-picked early in the summers morning, and kept fresh and crisp by immersing in the Mediterranean sea while your out for a swim. The Mediterranean sea in summer is still quite cool from the European winter. Despite the heat in the air. When your ready to make the salad, they are rinsed in the salty sea water and cut.
Most of us, don’t have a village farm nor the salty Mediterranean sea but in the morning we can remove the tomatoes from the fridge ( better still don’t keep in them in the fridge at all ), the fridge seems to sap the tomatoes of flavour. Have them sitting on your window sill in in-direct sunshine for a few hours. You’ll notice the hue deepen and their flavour re-ignited.
So, here is the recipe. Herbs and olive oil are not permitted to be omitted or reduced in quantity. Olive oil is used with abandon. Have measured it out for you, in case ‘use with abandon ‘ is not quantifiable enough.
In this particular occasion, I have used cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes. Any kind of tomato will do, as long as you have considered my desciption above. Do note, they have been cut in half so that some of the juices seep out into the herb, live oil and lemon juice. The chemical reaction between these ingredients is partly also what contributes to the flavour of the dressing.
If you would like an authentic salad, only use Kalamata olives . Their distinctive taste contributes to the overall flavour of the salad
Red capsicums are sweeter in flavour.
Use a hard greek-style feta cheese rather than the soft variety
Use a fruity extra virgin olive oil.
250g -400g tomatoes for interest use a mixture of cherry, truss, roma
1 continental cucumber or 2-3 Lebanese cucumbers
1/2 red capsicum
1/2 red or spanish onion
1/4 cup Kalamata olives
125g greek style feta cheese
1/2 cup pure robust fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley ( optional )
salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the cucumber into even slices, capsicum and onion into thin slices. For the onion, the finer the slice the better.
- In a bowl, add the top five ingredients. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice and parsley, salt and pepper and mix the ingredients together.
- Cut the feta cheese in cubes or even slices and place over the salad. Sprinkle oregano over the feta and drizzle remainder of olive oil over the top.
- Three simple steps, paying attention to the quality of your ingredients is the key. Enjoy your authentic greek salad.