March 9, 2019

Mediterranean Meals: Our Go-To Greek-Inspired Salad Recipe

Greek Salad Recipe

One of our favorite things about traveling is being introduced to foods and discovering new flavors and combinations we wouldn’t have tasted otherwise. And the best part? Once you’ve tasted those flavors together, you can create dishes with a similar flavor profile inspired by the meal. And that truly is one of the coolest souvenirs you can bring back from traveling—especially because it’s something you can easily share with others.

All of the salads we sampled in Greece were very simple: chunks of tangy feta (not yet crumbled), cucumber, tomatoes, onions, sometimes there was bell pepper sprinkled in, or maybe a lemon on the side. This is a twist on the kind salad you would actually find in Greece—more of an Americanized version, inspired by a favorite Greek restaurant in Chelsea’s hometown. One thing you won’t ever find in traditional Greek salads? Lettuce! We’ll explain why below!

Greek Salad RecipeTraditional Greek Salad and Shrimp in Greece

History of Greek Salad

So, it’s a salad…why does it not contain lettuce? Well, lettuce is a winter crop, and as Greek salad is typically a summer dish—it was never in season!

One of our favorite ways to learn about a dish is to learn about the significance of its name and figure out what that might imply about its origins. In Greece, their version of the typical Greek salad is called ‘Horiatiki,’ which translates to village or rustic/peasant salad; it is also sometimes referred to as a summer salad.

Consider the name: rustic or peasant salad—the origin of this can be tied to the snack farmers would frequently take with them into the field. They would keep everything intact for easy transportation in a wrapped cloth—a chunk of feta, tomato, sometimes a cucumber, and even an onion for a mid-morning snack! Nothing like a zesty bite of onion to wake you up. 

Greek Salad Recipe Food Styled PhotographyMediterranean Greek Salad Ingredients Recipe Greek Salad Recipe

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of oak leaf lettuce (butter lettuce works well, too!)
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper (capsicum)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Greek feta cheese
  • 2 handfuls of small tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 2 tsp of dried dill
  • 1 tbsp of Greek yogurt
  • sprinkling of salt and pepper
  • kalamata olives*


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (205° C)
  2. Slice the red bell pepper into small pieces and place on tray.
  3. Drizzle the red bell pepper pieces with olive oil + a pinch of salt. Cook in oven for ~20 minutes, until the edges get slightly crispy/charred.
  4. Wash lettuce + spin off any leftover water.
  5. Cut cucumber into thin slices, along with the tomatoes, and red onion. (Tip: Soak the onion slices in cold water for 5-10 minutes to prevent your eyes from tearing up.)
  6. Dice up the feta (for this recipe we usually use 1 block ~200 grams) and place all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  7. Remove red bell pepper from oven and mix in to salad.
  8. Add kalamata olives if you so desire. (Dave loves them, Chelsea doesn’t!)


Dressing:

In a small bowl or cup, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, dill, a dash of salt and pepper, squeeze in a bit of lemon, and add a spoonful of Greek yogurt. Stir together. (Too tangy? Use less red wine vinegar + add in more oil.)

Nutrition Info:

Servings: 4 | Calories per serving: 210 kcal | Protein: 9.1 | Carb: 10.6 | Fat: 9.1

*These nutrition statistics are gathered from Happy Forks and may vary.

Greek Salad Recipe

We’d love to hear what you think about this recipe + if you have any special twists of your own? For more protein, we love pairing this with lamb cutlets, chicken thighs, or salmon (sprinkled with a little bit of dill + lemon pepper).

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Culture Shoque is digital destination and channel designed to cultivate relationships in your community and while traveling. By breaking down barriers and xenophobia through the exploration of customs and food, the pursuit of joy, and environmental conservation, the goal is to show that at the core, we aren’t all that different. In fact, we all stem from similar roots. It’s time to nourish them and grow together. 

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