Getting to Know the Traditional Greek Salad (Horiatiki)

If you are planning to visit Greece, there are several things to enjoy in the country. Greece is well known for its traditional recipes, especially salads. One of the most popular traditional salads you won’t want to miss is the Horiatiki, or Greek village salad.

Horiatiki is a simple and traditional Greek salad made from fresh vegetables and other ingredients, such as olive oil, olives, and feta cheese. There is no lettuce or salad dressing that is used while making it. The presentation is also very simple and the salad can be made very simply. Here’s more information about it:

Get to Know the Ingredients

Horiatiki is a unique traditional salad because of the ingredients and the notable omission of lettuce, which doesn’t grow well in the Greek climate except during the winter months at the higher elevations. Care is taken to select the freshest produce as possible. If you grow you own vegetables that’s about as traditionally Greek as you can get! Here are the ingredients:

  • Tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • Cucumbers, cut in rounds
  • Green bell peppers, sliced or chopped
  • Onions, sliced or chopped
  • Whole Kalamata olives
  • Sheep or goat milk feta
  • Greek olive oil
  • Dried oregano

How to Choose the Freshest Ingredients

In order to make a traditional Horiatiki, you need to use the freshest ingredients you can find, especially when it comes to the tomatoes. Since there is no salad dressing, it is much better to find ripe tomatoes that will leak their juices while the salad marinates in the olive oil. This tomato juice will help flavor the salad as a whole. Here are some tips for choosing fresh ingredients:

  • Buy ingredients from a farmer’s market. Products sold from a farmer’s market are usually fresh because they are ready from the farm. So, when making Horiatiki, you should ensure you get the vegetables from a farmer’s market. Choose those that look fresh and ready enough to make the salad more delicious.
  • Purchase imported olive, feta oil and get olives from Greece. These ingredients are pure and do not have any kind of preservatives. They are also well packed, so no contamination can occur.

Simple Method for Making the Salad

Are you wondering how to make Horiatiki once you assemble the ingredients? You don’t really need to measure the ingredients, they’re straightforward and you can make as large or small of a salad as you want!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own Horiatiki:

  • Add the olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and green pepper into a large bowl.
  • Toss the salad so that all the ingredients combine well. Note that it should not be over mixed, so do the tossing lightly.
  • Place some sliced or crumbled feta cheese on top of the salad after you’ve tossed it. Ladle olive oil over the salad and sprinkle it with oregano.

As you can see, Horiatiki is not only healthy and delicious. It is simple to prepare using the natural ingredients. If you’re interested in cooking traditional Greek foods such as this check out My Greek Table by Diane Kochilas, which airs on PBS.