Greek salads are the ultimate, refreshing salad. Packed with fresh and crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, sharp onions, and lots of feta cheese, they are nothing short of flavourful. This village Greek salad is a traditional take on a horiatiki salad. This traditional Greek salad does not have any lettuce in it, like many mainstream versions. With a simple vinaigrette, you can have this salad ready to go in under 10 minutes. It's the perfect quick lunch, or dinner, and an even better side to a roast chicken!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It is a great way to use up produce in your fridge! This salad is full of fresh veggies. If you find that your tomatoes are getting a little soft, or you're tired of eating cucumber sticks as a snack, this is a great way to use them up.
- It makes the perfect main course salad! While it is not heavy with grains, these big chunks of feta cheese are perfectly filling. If you want to bulk it up, you can always do so with some grilled chicken or shrimp.
- It takes no time to prepare! You do not need to spend loads of time prepping the ingredients for this salad. Because all you need is a quick run through with a knife, and a shake of a jar, this salad is effortless.
Flavour: The vegetables are perfectly crisp and fresh in this salad. The red onion adds a subtle bite, while the tomatoes and cucumbers are mellow. The feta cheese and Kalamata olives add the right amount of brininess and saltiness to this salad. Top it off with a perfectly tangy, and easy vinaigrette, and this salad is bursting with flavour!
Ease: This salad takes no time or effort, at all! Toss the vegetables in a bowl, or on a platter. Top with chunks of feta, and shake up a quick dressing. It is really that easy.
Time: This salad can be ready in under 10 minutes!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Green bell peppers: Green bell peppers offer a bitterness in comparison to their red or yellow counterparts. It adds a good balance to the salad. If you do not like green peppers or do not have them on hand, you can also use red peppers. But, I do suggest green for this salad!
Red onion: Red onions are ideal, because they are a lot more palatable when eaten raw in a salad. They have a more mild flavour, that works best in raw salads. If you do not have any on hand, you can use white onions, but they will be more pungent. If you have an aversion to raw onion, try soaking your red onions in cold water before serving them! This helps mellow out the flavour.
Cucumbers: I like to use English cucumbers, as they have a thin skin that does not require peeling. English cucumbers are also less seedy. But, if you cannot find English cucumbers, you can use whatever you have on hand. Be sure to peel and de-seed your cucumber if needed!
Roma tomatoes: I used roma tomatoes for this salad. If you wish, you can also use hot house or vine ripe tomatoes, and they will yield an identical result. Also, you can use smaller grape or cherry tomatoes as well if you have them on hand. I prefer using whole tomatoes for this salad, because it adds more meatiness and substance to the salad.
Kalamata olives: Kalamata olives scream Greek salad. Kalamata olives originate from Greece, and are usually preserved in either wine vinegar or olive oil. I do not suggest substituting regular black olives in place of these, because the flavour is very different. You can always omit them if you do not like olives!
Feta cheese: I love using traditional Greek feta, that is made with a blend of sheep's and goat's milk. I recommend buying feta from the store that is in a brick, so you can slice thick slices to top the salad with. Pre-crumbled feta tends to be duller in flavour.
Spices, oils and seasonings: You will need dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, and salt. However, you can use white wine vinegar in place of red wine if you do not have any on hand.
For an extra kick add pickled pepperoncini peppers to the salad! They add the perfect amount of tang, with a kick of hea!
Make extra salad dressing! Make once, and keep in the fridge on hand for a simple vinaigrette on any salad. It also makes a great marinade for grilled vegetables!
The Americanized version of a Greek salad includes lettuce. A village Greek salad does not have any lettuce. Rather, it is packed with roughly chopped vegetables and big slices of feta on top.
You can use cow's milk feta cheese as well. I also thought I wouldn't enjoy it, but the taste is unparalleled!
This is one of the few recipes that I will suggest making fresh. Cucumbers and tomatoes both have a lot of liquid in them. Making this salad far in advance will likely result in a watery mess.
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Village Greek Salad
- 1 Red onion thinly sliced
- 3 Roma tomatoes cut into chunks
- 4 slices Feta cheese 1 inch thick
- ½ cup Kalamata olives
- 1 Green pepper thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber cut into chunks
- Prepare the dressing: Add the dressing ingredients to a jar with a lid. Screw on the lid, and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.
- Chop and arrange vegetables: Chop the vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Add to a platter or a mixing bowl.
- Assemble: Top the vegetables with slices of feta cheese. Drizzle dressing on top.