Rounding out this Mediterranean themed week with my all time favorite greek cuisine…the simple yet flavorful, GREEK SALAD. As I mentioned in an earlier post, David and I were lucky enough to make a trip to Greece last summer with a few of our friends, and let me tell you, it was a dream come true!
(The group in Mykonos Town, Mykonos)
The country is so old, history so rich, and the land is beautiful! We toured the National Archaeological Museum and Acropolis, met some of the nicest and most accommodating locals, lounged on their sun filled beaches, and indulged in some of the best and freshest food (and drinks)!
(Enjoying those drinks at a bar overlooking the Acropolis! Bar: A for Athens Cocktail Bar)
(Walking through the ancient Acropolis of Athens)
(David drinking a beer at Nammos Beach Club, Psarou Beach, Mykonos)
If I’m being honest, I always enjoyed Greek Salads here in the U.S., but they weren’t anything I’d obsess over. So obviously, first day in Greece, I had to try out a traditional Greek Salad from the homeland to see how it compared. Final verdict? OH.MAH.GAWD. it was life changing. And no lie, I ate one every.single.day.
You think one would get tired of eating the same food every day, but that was not the case at all. It actually had the opposite effect, in that I required a Greek Salad with a side of fresh bread and olive oil, every day in order to survive. The best way I can explain it is like this…I’m stuck floating out into space, and the Greek Salad is my oxygen filled space suit GIVING ME LIFE.
But I digress…
Aside from the seriously ripe, home grown tomatoes and cucumbers, the biggest difference in Greek Salads in Greece vs Greek Salads in the U.S. is the FETA CHEESE. Every place you went to in Greece gave you these big blocks of brine-soaked feta, drizzled with oil and oregano. This was a GAME CHANGER.
One of my favorite brine-soaked feta blocks is made by Dodoni, an authentic Greek feta imported from the homeland itself! I get mine at Costco in a big container, so as you can imagine it lasts me a while! Trader Joe’s also has a good selection of blocked feta, so don’t be afraid to try it out and take the extra step of cutting it up ypurself…its worth it!
So as you can imagine, I was determined to recreate this in my own home and I think this recipe is pretty darn close. The key is to keep it simple. Use large chunks of veggies, quality EVOO, and a big ‘ole block of brine soaked feta for good measure! Do not underestimate the power of simple, quality ingredients, as evidence by this life giving salad.
Once you’ve created your masterpiece, sit back, relax…and take a picture to send to you friends telling them you took a last minute trip to Greece!
Traditional Greek Salad
- 1/2 cucumber cut into large chunks
- 2 tomatoes cut into large chunks
- 1/4 cup red onion sliced thinly
- 1 large block of feta
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 4 tbsp EVOO
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- fresh basil chopped
- Dice cucumber and tomatoes in large chunks and add to bowl.
- Thinly slice the raw red onion and sprinkle over top of cucumber and tomato mixture.
- Drizzle oil and vinegar over salad mixture.
- Cut a large block of feta and lay overtop individual salads.
- Drizzle a little extra oil over feta and sprinkle whole salad with dried oregano.
- Garnish with fresh chopped basil.