Greek salads are fabulous, are they not? Of course, even though there is a lot of controversy about whether tomatoes are included or whether cucumbers should be peeled. Should lettuce be included? The jury is out.
Like any country, the exact methods of salad making vary across the country, so it is good to relax and go with the flow. It is Summer after all, and there is nothing like a great Greek Salad (whatever version) to nibble on or to accompany a meal. I do include lettuce sometimes – it makes a nice bed for the salad.
Greek Village Salad
1 Cos lettuce
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small white onion, thinly sliced into rings
0.5 green or red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced crossways
8 – 10 black olives
0.5 cucumber, thinly sliced
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
65g feta cheese
4 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil
0.25 lemon, juiced
0.25 tspn black pepper
0.25 tspn paprika
0.25 tspn dried Greek oregano
sea salt, to taste
Shred the lettuce finely – keep it in the fridge until ready. Alternatively, use the leaves as a bed for the rest of the salad ingredients.
Then place the lettuce in a large salad bowl or platter and add the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, radishes, green pepper and olives.
To make the dressing, mix the oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika and oregano together in a small jar or container. Taste and adjust flavours as needed and pour over the salad.
Crumble or dice the feta and layer it on top , or layer with large but thin slices of the feta. Serve immediately.
recipe notes and variations
In some parts, spinach is used instead of lettuce. Shred finely, discarding any coarse pieces.
Add roasted pine kernels, almonds, pistachios or walnuts to the salad. Other additions can be cooked lima beans or cannellini beans, and finely chopped preserved lemon. These of course are not so traditional.
Iceberg lettuce can also be used.