I love Greek salad. Bursting with beautiful colours, loaded with the goodness of fresh vegetables and tantalizing the taste buds with the lemony dressing! Red from the cherry tomatoes, white from the feta cheese, yellow from the bell peppers, black from the kalamata olives, green from the lettuce and cucumber make a colourful display that appeals to the eye. Called horiatiki in Greece and popularly known as Greek salad elsewhere, the flavour and texture of the salad do a good job of appealing to the senses.
Many a time, when I’m tired or in the mood for a T.V dinner, Greek salad and some crusty whole meal bread take care of my hunger pangs. It also quite often makes an appearance as a wonderful side or salad when I have planned an elaborate menu. If you carefully construct the salad, arranging it by layers and colours according to your choice, it can form an attractive centerpiece for a buffet lunch or dinner.
Greek Salad Recipe
You can adjust the limejuice in the dressing according to taste. Substitute any black olives, if you can’t find kalamata olives. I also substitute the Indian cheese panir which is quite similar to the salty feta, when I can’t find good quality feta cheese.
For the salad
1 bunch of Romaine/Cos lettuce
200gm feta cheese cut into cubes
1 medium sized Cucumber sliced into rounds
15 to 20 Cherry Tomatoes
10 to 12 Kalamata olives
1 yellow Bell Pepper/Capsicum
1 green Bell Pepper/Capsicum
For the dressing
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp limejuice
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
¾ tsp salt or to taste (adjust according to the saltiness of the feta)
Mix all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a bowl. Prepare the salad ingredients. After washing the lettuce, keep them immersed in ice water to preserve crispness. In a large bowl assemble all the ingredients for the salad and dress with the salad dressing.
* When I’m in the mood for fewer calories I reduce the oil from 2 tbsp to 1 tbsp. Less of olive oil flavour, but not bad at all!
* For a vegan version, replace the feta with any vegan cheese.