Greek Summer Salad
When I lived in Greece as a military spouse, I was surprised to find that salads did not include a lettuce base. Maybe it’s too warm to grow lettuce in Greece. I know I didn’t see any lettuce during the two years that I lived there.
Greek salads initially struck me as odd, but they did grow on me. All the restaurants served them, and the more I ate, the better I liked the lettuce-less salads.
For a change of pace, serve a Greek salad at your next barbeque. They’re really easy to make, and they are light and a nice compliment to grilled lamb, seafood or even beef.
Greek Summer Salad Recipe
• 2 cucumbers (slim ones are good to make full round slices)
• 6 tomatoes (firm)
• 1 onion (colored looks especially good)
• 1 cup large black olives
• 6 oz. Feta cheese
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• dried oregano
Slice the cucumbers. If the cucumbers are slim, then just make full rounds. If you have to buy (or have grown) bigger ones, then cut the rounds in halves or fourths.
Cut the tomatoes in wedges. Small, firm tomatoes like paste tomatoes (Roma for example) work well. You want the wedges to stay intact.
Slice the onion and make rings. Red or purple onions look really nice in the salad, though you can use standard white or yellow onions if necessary.
Put the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and olives in a salad bowl and toss.
You can also crumble the feta cheese in with the vegetables. Some companies now sell feta cheese crumbled in tubes. Since feta has a pretty distinct flavor, I usually serve it on the side to be added by visitors. It really does “make” the Greek salad, but putting it on the side allows everyone to go slow and get to know the cheese.
Right before serving the salad, drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables. Don’t use vegetable oil. It’s too heavy. Though extra virgin olive is pretty expensive, it only takes a small amount for the salad. Olive oil is healthy too. Consider it an investment.
Sprinkle the oregano over the salad to taste. Again, you can provide the oregano and let guests decide if and how much to use.
This is a pretty and delicious salad. It’s more common in some parts of the country now, though I don’t see it here in the South.