TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Greek Salad - THE NIBBLE Blog
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TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Greek Salad

Everyone we lunch with seems to order a Greek salad or a Cobb salad. And they admit that they never make it at home!

So today’s tip is: Enjoy a Greek salad at home, regularly. When you make your own, you can add as much feta, olives, pepperoncini and other favorite ingredients as you like.

  • You can buy top-quality feta at a cheese store.
  • You can substitute romaine for the iceberg lettuce normally used in restaurants.
  • You can use the beautiful tomatoes that are now in season.
  • And if you don’t like red wine vinegar, the classic dressing in America, you can substitute balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
  •  
    Serve your Greek salad as a main meal, a smaller salad course, or as a soup-and-salad or sandwich-and-salad combo for lunch.

     

    A cute Greek salad preparation from Stix
    Mediterranean Grill
    in New York City. What’s missing? The lettuce, which is not part of authentic recipes.

     

    FOOD TRIVIA: In Greece, the feta-cucumber-onion-plus salad is referred to as horiatiki, which translates to country/village/peasant salad. It is a common part of a traditional Greek meal. Horiatiki doesn’t contain lettuce—that’s an American preference. In Greece, you’ll only see lettuce used at restaurants that cater to tourists.

    An authentic horiatiki is a combination of all or some of the following: anchovies, bell pepper, capers, cucumber, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, onion, sardines and tomato. It is dressed with olive oil only—no vinegar—plus oregano, salt and pepper.

    The recipe below is from Molyvos, one of the finest Greek restaurants in New York City. Executive Chef Jim Botsacos. He serves an American-style Greek salad, but check out the preparation: He uses the techniques of a top chef.

    RECIPE: GREEK SALAD

    Ingredients For 6 Side Servings

  • 3 beefsteak tomatoes*
  • 1 cucumber, scored, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise ¼ inch thick
  • 1 small red onion
  • 20 kalamata olives, pitted and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup feta cheese, diced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, well drained
  • Red wine vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
  • Optional: anchovies, bell pepper, pepperoncini, sardines
  •  

    *When beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes are not in season, use halved cherry tomatoes.

     

    A classic Greek salad. Photo courtesy Stix Mediterranean Grill | New York City.

     

    Preparation

    1. CORE the tomatoes. Cut each tomato in half crosswise, then cut each half into 6 pieces. Place the pieces in a mixing bowl. Add the cucumber.

    2. CUT the onion in half lengthwise and then slice each half lengthwise into thin julienne. Add the onion to the bowl. Add the olives, cheese, and capers. If using pepperoncini, slice into circles and add; or use whole as garnish,

    3. ADD the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Taste and season with oregano and salt and pepper to taste.

    4. PLACE an equal portion of the lettuce on each of 6 salad plates or bowls. Top with an equal portion of tomato mixture, sprinkle lightly with oregano. Serve immediately.

     

    RECIPE: RED WINE VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the vinegar with the garlic and oregano in a small mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk, whisking constantly. add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until all the oil is incorporated.

    2. SEASON with salt and pepper to taste and set aside until ready to use. Whisk briefly before using.

      




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