Recipe: Traditional Greek salad -- horiatiki salata

by Julie Snyder

Greek SaladTo those who speak the language, it's called horiatiki salata. To the rest of us, it's Greek salad.

This traditional, country salad is loaded with big chunks of juicy tomatoes, slices of crisp cucumber and red onion, diced green pepper, crumbly feta cheese and clump kalamata olives.

This dish might not even contain lettuce, but it sure tickles the tastebuds!

Greek salad can be served as a side dish or turned a light meal with some crusty bread.

Traditional Greek salad

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes | Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

• 1/2 head romaine lettuce
• 1/2 peeled cucumber, sliced
• 1/2 green pepper, diced
• 2 to 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
• 1/4 red onion, sliced
• 4 radishes, sliced
• 8 calamato olives
• 8 Salonika peppers, optional
• 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
• 1/2 teaspoon oregano
• salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• olive oil
• wine vinegar

Directions

Tear the lettuce into bite sized chunks. In a medium sized bowl, toss together the lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, tomatoes, red onion and radishes.

Garnish with the olives, peppers and cheese. Sprinkle the oregano, salt and pepper on the top.

Just before serving, drizzle olive oil to taste over the salad; then sprinkle on an equal amount of vinegar. Toss well and serve as a side dish or pile it onto flatbread with strips of chicken, beef or lamb and tzatziki.

Cook's note

We prepare a dressing in advance. Combine 3 to 5 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon PLACE the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a small jar with a screw-top lid. Close securely and shake to combine. Double or triple the recipe if you wish and refrigerate the extra for another day.

One of my friends adds a sprinkle of sugar to her dressing -- "to offset that "tangy vinegar bite." How do you alter your recipe?

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.