Homemade is Better—Greek Salad

It’s been sweltering here in Edmonton these last few days.  This week, it is going to hit almost 40C.  I’m writing this just before Canada Day, and I did not feel like using the oven or the grill.  I have wanted to make Greek salad, and today felt like the perfect day for it; it was hot, and I thought some cool vegetables for a salad would be perfect!

Greek salad is an exciting dish.  I’ve had in a few different places, and some restaurants put lettuce in while others do not.  The traditional Horiatiki Salad (peasant or village salad in Greek) does not have lettuce.  It’s western countries like Canada and the US that put lettuce in this dish.  Authentic Greek salad has only eight ingredients: onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, green pepper, feta cheese, oregano, and olive oil.  That is it, that’s all.  It could be one of the easiest salads to make, yet one of the easiest to mess up.  There are some rules to make authentic Greek salad; after that, you can spice it up as you want.

The rules are simple:

  • No lettuce.
  • All the ingredients are to be cut in larger pieces, not huge, but just big enough that you can fit them into your mouth.
  • Do not crumble the feta.

After these rules, you can make it your own, except with red pepper.  If you’re going for authentic, do not add red pepper; however, if you don’t care about authenticity, the sky is the limit.

For this salad, I chose to mix a vinaigrette instead of just using olive oil.  I like the flavour of red wine vinegar and a bit of lemon juice.  I find this combination adds more flavour to this salad and helps balance some salt from the feta.

I hope you enjoy this cooling salad!

Greek Salad


1 cucumber – diced
2 Roma tomatoes – diced
½ red onion – diced
1 green pepper – diced
1 cup of Feta cheese – diced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano

  • First, make the dressing, add the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, ½ tsp Kosher salt, ½ black pepper, and oregano, then mix thoroughly.
  • Combine the tomato, cucumber, green pepper, red onion, black olives, and feta cheese in a salad bowl.
  • Pour the dressing on top and mix.
  • Taste and add the rest of the salt and pepper if you think you need it.
  • If you don’t eat it all, this salad can be kept for up to 3 days, but it doesn’t usually last that long in my house.
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