Greek salad, also known as Horiatiki, is a colorful and flavorful Mediterranean dish celebrated for its simplicity and vibrant taste. This salad captures the essence of Greek cuisine, showcasing a harmonious blend of fresh vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and a tangy dressing. Let’s explore an authentic Greek salad recipe that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also offers a multitude of health benefits.
Ingredients for Greek Salad:
For the Salad:
- 4 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 large cucumber, sliced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 200g (7 oz) Greek feta cheese, crumbled
- Kalamata olives (approximately ½ cup)
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare the Vegetables: In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and green pepper.
- Add the Feta and Olives: Gently toss in the crumbled feta cheese and Kalamata olives.
- Make the Dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl.
- Combine and Toss: Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss until all ingredients are evenly coated.
- Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley on top for added freshness and serve immediately.
Benefits of Greek Salad:
- Nutrient-Rich Ingredients: Tomatoes provide vitamins A and C, cucumbers are hydrating and packed with antioxidants, while olive oil offers heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Feta Cheese Goodness: Feta cheese adds a punch of protein and calcium to support bone health.
- Antioxidant Power: Kalamata olives contain polyphenols, offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Heart-Healthy: The combination of olive oil and vegetables contributes to a heart-healthy diet.
Tips and Variants:
- Ingredient Freshness: Use ripe, flavorful tomatoes and quality feta cheese for an authentic taste.
- Customization: Personalize your Greek salad by adding ingredients like capers, anchovies, or even a hint of fresh mint.
- Dressing Experimentation: Adjust the quantities of olive oil, vinegar, and herbs to match your taste preferences.
- Serving Suggestions: Serve as a side dish with grilled meats, pair with crusty bread, or enjoy as a light, refreshing main course.
Frequency Asked Questions (FAQ):
Q1: Is Greek salad served as a main course or a side dish?
A1: Traditionally, Greek salad is served as a side dish. However, it can also be enjoyed as a light and refreshing main course, especially when paired with crusty bread or served alongside grilled meats.
Q2: What are some serving suggestions for Greek salad?
A2: Greek salad pairs well with grilled meats such as chicken or lamb. It can also be served with crusty bread or alongside Mediterranean dishes like hummus, pita, or falafel.
Q3: How long can a prepared Greek salad be stored?
A3: A prepared Greek salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. However, it’s best enjoyed fresh to retain the crispness of the vegetables.
This Greek salad recipe is not only a flavorful delight but also a powerhouse of nutrition. Offering a well-balanced combination of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, it contributes approximately:
- Calories: 280
- Fat: 23g
- Carbohydrates: 12g
- Protein: 8g
- Fiber: 4g
Experience the delightful taste and health benefits of Greece with this simple yet fulfilling Greek salad recipe! Enjoy its fresh, tangy flavors while embracing the nutritious goodness it brings to your table.