Greek salads hold a special place in my heart. Not only are they one of the many traditional Greek staple meals I enjoyed growing up, but they are also one of the most flavorful salads you will ever make. Yes I am biased, but that is what happens when your last name is Papachristos :)
When I was a senior in High School I was given one of the greatest opportunities to travel to Greece on a school trip. It had always been a dream of mine to visit Greece and when the opportunity arose, I quickly jumped on it.
The part I was most excited for was trying my favorite Greek meals in Greece! Would they taste the same? What other dishes can I explore while I am there?
The most memorable meal I had in Greece was the traditional Greek salad. You may be thinking that I went all the way to Greece and a salad was the most memorable dish??
Yes, all of the other Greek dishes, such as baklava, pastitsio and spanakopita, were delectable and everything I would have imagined them to be. But, the Greek salads over in Greece were totally different from a Greek salad you would find in America!
A traditional Greek salad is unique because it doesn’t have any lettuce, which completely surprised me. Instead it consists of chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives, feta cheese and other local vegetables. Talk about fresh and flavorful!
Traditional Greek Salad
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1-2 Cucumbers, quartered
2 Bell peppers, chopped (I used yellow bell peppers for some color!)
½ Red onion, thinly sliced
1 c. Kalamata olives, pitted, quartered
8 oz Feta Cheese crumbled
3 TBSP Olive Oil
3 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
1 Clove of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, red onion and olives in a large bowl. Stir in the crumbled Feta cheese.
To make the dressing, mince one clove of garlic. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.
*To make this salad ahead of time, combine the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers and red onion in a large bowl. When ready to serve, add the olives and Feta cheese. Then toss with the dressing.