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Stratusfying Spartan Salad
It is known as a 'Village Salad' or 'Horiatiki Salata', pronounced haw-ree-AH-tee-kee sah-LAH-tah (in Greek χωριάτικη σαλάτα) or simply, traditionally a 'Greek salad'. If you were to order the 'Greek salad' in Greece, this is what you would get. Notice, there is no lettuce. Many restaurants have commercialized the traditional 'Greek salad' and will toss in the 'filler' iceberg lettuce. Since it's such a simple salad, paying special attention to each ingredient is what is going to make it. Here's what is going to make your Greek salad, a great Greek salad:
- Tomatoes - as long as they are ripe and in-season, you can use any variety including hot-house, beef, even cherry
- Olive oil - choose a quality Greek olive oil, yes it must be GREEK olive oil – you are making a Greek salad after all!
- Olives - Kalamata is what is usually used
- Feta - feta is only 'feta' in the traditional sense, if it is made of goat or sheep's milk – not cow's milk
I am a little spoiled when it comes to my olive oil and olives as mine comes to me directly from my family olive groves and those of our neighbours and friends located in the sun drenched rolling hills of southern Greece. Near the city of Sparta, in the Lakonia district is the Spartan valley which is surrounded by mountains and sun drenched long sunny days, making ideal growing conditions for olive oil and olives of the highest quality. Early harvested from late November to January each year from three tree types (Manataki, Koutsourelia and Kakoni), we produce a dark green olive flavoured aromatic olive oil with a slight peppery after taste. To read more about my family's groves or to see about ordering, visit Spartan Rolling Hills.
- 2 large tomatoes - cut into wedges
- 1 cucumber - sliced
- 1 green pepper - sliced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- Handful of Kalamata olives
- Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
- Feta cheese - crumbled
- Sea salt to taste
- Dried Greek oregano to taste
1. Add first 4 ingredients to a large bowl.
2. Sprinkle with sea salt, drizzle with olive oil and add the oregano.
3. Top with olives and feta and give it a toss. Feel free to add more feta and olive oil to taste.
A traditional Greek salad does not contain wine vinegar or lemon juice, however feel free to add a splash and a squeeze of each to taste.