All About Greek Salads

Famous Greek Salads Secrets
greek salad choriatiki recipe

Every cuisine has its classic salad – sometimes more than one – that embodies all its cooking flavors and perfectly complements its main dishes. Whether its ingredients are raw or cooked vegetables, dried beans or grains, or fish, shellfish, poultry or meat, the salad immediately pops into mind the minute that style of cooking is mentioned.

Today’s signature Greek Salad recipes are a culinary quantum leap from the herba salata (Latin for “salted greens”) eaten by the ancient Greeks and Romans. But just as they share the same word root, they also share the same foundation of leafy greens. Until the mass production and transportation of food, salad greens were seasonal – a welcome change from winter’s root vegetables.

Fall triggers heartier appetites, the signal to double – not decrease – salads on the menu. Salads that strike responsive chords in fall and winter are heartier and more complex, too. And they invite fresh presentations – whether welcome revivals of old classics Greek Salad recipe, or surprising new combinations.

According to Greek Salad recipe good salad is nothing to be tossed off lightly. The ancient Greeks thought so highly of salads, they saved them until the last, eating them only after dessert. By comparison, the modern concept of the salad as a mere hurdle to be passed en route to the main course seems shallow. If the “Greeks had a word for it,” to quote an old saying, the word for Greek Salad recipe must have been “delectable.” To dine on Greek Salad recipe is to experience the alpha and omega of gastronomy.

Middle Eastern influences in Greek Salad recipe are evident, but with subtle differences. Dishes with eggplant, yogurt, rice, garlic, walnuts, lemon, and filo or phyllo (onion skin-thin pastry sheets) have their distinctive counterparts in Turkey, Israel, Arab States, Egypt, Iran and Morocco.

As in much of Europe, preparation, consumption and honest value of food is taken very seriously. “Sacred” in fact, is part of the culinary lexicon, and usually refers to water, bread and herbs. Greeks, food and hospitality (philoxenia) form a joyous triad, as anyone who has savored them will affirm.

Since the essential cuisine of the Greek people is down-to-earth and uncomplicated, feel no apprehension about duplicating Greek Salad recipe at home. The only dilemma is whether to invite a throng to nibble and sip the night away on appetizers (meze) and anise-flavored ouzo or Greek wines, or to plan a full-course dinner for the family. Neither will be mundane, as demonstrated by recipes of families with Greek cultural ties.

How to Make a Greek Salad

Greek Salad recipe in Greece is very different than its American or Europe counterpart. Made with ripe tomatoes, chunks of cucumber, small peppers, onions, juicy kalamata olives and feta cheese drizzled with nothing more than intense Greek olive oil, fresh lemon juice and chopped fresh oregano; no lettuce required.

Before goat cheese became ubiquitous, popping up in everything from soup to nuts, there was feta, most of it sprinkled over Greek Salad recipes. Feta, made from sheep’s milk, may not have the cachet of goat cheese, but it certainly packs plenty of flavor; in fact, some goat cheeses seem namby-pamby by comparison. The great thing about Greek Salad recipes is that the vegetarian dishes appeal to everyone.

The food is fresh (tomatoes plucked right from the vine, fish taken right off the boat), and the warm sun peeking through a grape arbor overhead along with the fresh smell of the sea add to the ambience.

To celebrate the sun and summer, put together a menu of Greek Salad recipes perfect for gatherings of small to big-sized proportions. You can make them all and serve them at once – following the Greek style of dining – or you can be selective and make just a few.

Do what is called a Village Salad in Greece, which is making up a salad of just what is available. Sometimes it’s oil on a single vegetable, sometimes it’s feta cheese, onion, olives, capers, or it could be radishes. Greeks favor vegetables as well as greens and herbs in Greek Salad recipe, and they eat lots of them (35 to 45 little dishes). It’s a lot of small, different flavored things instead of one big.

Follow that with a Greek village salad. Salads in Greece rarely contain lettuce. A typical Greek Salad recipe might consist of sliced cucumber, sliced tomatoes, olives, onion, chunks of feta or kasseri cheese, and a simple dressing of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and herbs (use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil). Like the culture, the Greek Salad recipe has timeless appeal.

That’s “timeless” in two senses: For the modern cook with little time to spare it means there are no last-minute flourishes – often things are made days ahead.

Greek cooks have mastered the making of alluring dishes that are good lukewarm or even at room temperature. It’s an ideal cuisine for buffets, for many items are finger-food size.

In addition, the unchanging nature of such Greek Salad recipes has worked to preserve historic delicacies and ancient traditions.

It’s traditional, for instance, for a ceremony to accompany some food preparation.

There are certain other traditional flavors that pervade Greek Salad recipe, as well.

The lemon, for instance. Setren uses lemon in seasoning meats, sprinkling the juice on lamb and chicken pieces. Cinnamon, too, runs like a fragrant thread through much of such food preparation, especially meat dishes and baked goods.

The secret to good Greek Salad recipe lies in the flavorings – lots of olive oil, along with lemon, basil, oregano and garlic – combined with simple ingredients such as chicken, fish and potatoes.

AllGreekSalads.com brings a new era to online Greek cooking. We offer you a selection of the finest traditional recipes which we hand-picked from all parts of Greece. This is why we believe that our recipes guarantee the unique Greek taste which constitutes the Greek cuisine one of the most recognized and loved in the world.

We are here to help you prepare the perfect Greek meal and salad, step by step.

Thank you for cooking with us!