Greece has had some bad press in the past couple of years. Riots, financial meltdowns, serious stuff! It’s only fitting that we remember some of the really wonderful things that Greece has given us, and one of these wonderful things is definitely the Greek salad.
Greek salad is a celebration of fresh summer vegetables, and the quality of your ingredients is directly related to the outcome of your salad here. Yes, you can make this at any time of the year with winter tomatoes and dried oregano. It will still be good. But if you really want to experience what this salad should truly taste like and why it became a world-famous classic salad, the month of August is your opportunity.
Beautiful ripe tomatoes are overflowing in August. They’re everywhere you look. I even scored some adorable heirloom tomatoes for a steal at my local farmer’s market this past weekend.
So treat yourself to the best of the season. Maybe even splurge a little on some fancy tomatoes at the peak of freshness — and do them justice with this salad.
Most Greek salads include red onion, but I’ve left it out here to let the tomatoes and other ingredients really shine. I love onions, but it can overwhelm the salad. Skipping the onions makes this salad a little more “sociable” and company-worthy as well. You don’t want your guests to worry about their raw onion breath!
- 10 small heirloom tomatoes (not cherry-sized tomatoes, but not full-sized tomatoes either are best)
- 1 large cucumber (the long, thin hothouse variety is nice here — a good ordinary cuke will also do, but should be peeled)
- 20 olives (suggestions are oil-cured French olives, such as niçoise, or kalamata)
- 8 ounces (227 g) feta cheese, cubed
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) olive oil
- ¾ tsp. (4 g) salt
- 3 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
- Quarter the tomatoes lengthwise (through the core).
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then into half-moon shapes about ⅜ of an inch (1 cm) thick.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and salt. Then add the olive oil and 1 Tbsp. of the minced oregano and whisk together.
- Put the cucumbers and tomatoes in the bowl and toss with the dressing you just made.
- Arrange on a platter (or in individual salad bowls/plates) then top with the olives, feta and the rest of the minced oregano.