Greek Salad – Ours and Theirs

We are huge fans of what I’ll kindly call the evolved Greek salad, especially when it’s hot, and we are weary of the grill. Big, fat farmer’s market cucumbers, tomatoes – finally! – red or sweet onion slices, yellow or orange bell peppers, the salty bite of feta and kalamata olives, a sprinkling of oregano and finish with a drizzle of vinaigrette. Maybe on a bed of arugula or spinach, maybe not. Add cold grilled chicken or shrimp? Absolutely if you have them on hand – but not essential.

Slow Food News celebrates the true Greek salad, horiatiki, a genuinely local experience:

“In each of Greece’s historic regions, the salad expresses the flavors of the territory. The variations are endless, based on the hundreds of varieties of tomatoes, dozens of types of feta cheese and the diversity of olive varieties. On the islands, people usually add pickled capers and their leaves. In northern Greece, we like to add spicy green peppers.”

Dried rusks, you say? I’m going to try them next time. In my books there’s only one ingredient absolutely off-limits: olives from a can, sliced or otherwise, which would surely never be found on any Greek table!

Illustration: Dimitra Tzanos © Creative Commons