This Traditional Greek Salad recipe is so delicious. Every bite conjures up feelings of sunshine and summer with bright, bold flavors and big crunch. The best part about this recipe is that it is so easy to put together.
Traditional vs American Style.
The difference is simple really. A Traditional Greek Salad has tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell peppers, red onions, Kalamata olives, and of course Feta Cheese. Our American versions of Greek salad have romaine lettuce and often skip the bell pepper. Both have a light vinaigrette with good olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and oregano.
I always thought of a Greek salad as the kind with romaine lettuce. It wasn’t until I honeymooned in Greece that I learned the difference. I ate the traditional version day in and day out our trip to Greece. We really enjoyed it for the first twelve days or so, but then we had enough. It might just be a California thing, but after a few weeks of getting salad without lettuce we really started craving lettuce. There were frequently other salad options, but nothing had lettuce. The last few days of our trip we had this desperate search for “real” salad. Finally, we happened to walk into a restaurant and the menu said lettuce salad. The server probably thought we were crazy because I think we might have exclaimed our order a bit too enthusiastically. When we finally got our lettuce salad it was just a head of chopped green leaf lettuce with salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar. In that moment it tasted so good.
Another traditional dish we had on our honeymoon was this Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe called Avgolemono.
How to Make a Greek Salad
Now that I’ve had a little distance from that experience, I can safely say that Traditional Greek Salad is one of my absolute favorites. The best thing about it,is that all of the ingredients are super easy to find and it takes no time at all to throw one together.
Start by washing all of your produce. I do this by making a bowl of ice water, and soaking my tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell pepper in the bowl for a few minutes. The dirt comes off of the produce and the ice water helps crisp everything up.
Peel the cucumbers and cut into half-moon shapes about ⅛” thick. Cut your tomatoes into 1” pieces or if you have cherry tomatoes simple cut them in half. Slice open the bell pepper and clean away the stems and ribs. Cut in half and then cut from top to bottom to make skinny strips. Peel a red onion and cut into very thin half-moon slices. Put all of the chopped produce in a large bowl. Add drained olives and crumbled feta to the bowl.
Make the Greek Salad Dressing
There cherry on top of this amazing Traditional Greek Salad Recipe is really the Greek salad dressing which can be used with these ingredients as well as other garden type salads or even as a marinade.
In a small bowl, measure out olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and spices. Add them to the bowl in turn and mix thoroughly. Pour salad dressing over the large bowl of salad ingredients and mix together gently.
Try out this great Tzatziki Sauce Recipe from House of Nash eats for more authentic Greek Flavors.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”–Pericles.
Traditional Greek Salad Recipe
- 1 Cup Cucumbers Peeled and diced
- 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes Roma or grape will also work. Choose what is best looking at the store.
- 1/2 Cup Green Bell Pepper About Half of a large pepper.
- 1/4 Cup Red onion Thinly sliced. About 1/4 of a large red onion
- 1/2 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
- 1/2 Cup Feta Cheese Crumbled
Greek Salad Dressing
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Oregano
- 1 Tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 Tsp Granulated Onion
- Start by washing produce. To make sure produce is clean and crisp place cucumbers, tomatoes, and green bell pepper in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes before cutting.
- Peel cucumber and cut in half long ways. Then cut into half moon pieces about 1/8th of an inch thick. Place in a large bowl.
- Cut cherry tomatoes in half and add to the bowl. If you are using a larger round tomato or Roma tomato cut in half and squeeze away some of the juice and seeds, then cut into 1" pieces. Place the tomatoes into your salad bowl.
- Cut the green bell pepper in half long ways. Remove the seeds and ribs from the inside. Cut half of the pepper into thin strips and add to the salad bowl.
- Slice the red onion into very thin half moon pieces. 1/4 of a large red onion should be enough. Separate onion slices and place them in the bowl.
- Drain the Kalamata olives and add 1/2 Cup to the bowl.
- Crumble 1/2 Cup Feta Cheese into the bowl as well.
- Make the Greek salad dressing by measuring all of the ingredients and placing in a small bowl or mason jar. Stir until the dressing is well mixed. Then add the dressing to the Greek Salad and toss gently to make sure the salad is completely coated.