GREEK SALAD – a healthy plate of Mediterranean masterpiece made with tomatoes, cucumber, onions, olives, and feta tossed in a simple olive oil lemon-mint dressing. Prepare your taste buds and let the flavors take you into the sunny islands of Greece. The best part about this is that it’s a quick and easy recipe ready to be served in less than ten minutes.
I love flavors that would instantly take you to another place. In fact, it’s usually the inspiration to most of my dishes here. I’m talking about “closed-eyes” level of deliciousness that would just make you go “Mmmmm, yeah, I know I’ve been there“.
Normally, you wouldn’t expect it from a regular salad because it lacks taste profile, but we don’t just have a random plate of fresh goodness here for today. We have a Mediterranean salad that feels summer wherever you are. One bite of this and POOF! The next thing you know, you’re singing Mama Mia!
Greek Salad Origin
So, what makes it so Greek? The answer to this mostly relies on the ingredients used for the dish. The most authentic version of this can be distinguished by the absence of lettuce. Greek Salad or as the locals would call it, Horiatik (village), is considered as peasant food because the ingredients are generally inexpensive. It’s also known as farmer’s breakfast or lunch because the main ingredients are often what a Greek farmer has on hand.
The American or westernized version of the Greek salad recipe adds in lettuce and a variety of different ingredients depending on the region. Personally, I love how the dish has evolved as it shows the creativity of chefs and home cooks alike. But before we put our own twist in this very simple dish, let’s embrace the simplest version of this salad.
Is Greek Salad Healthy?
I’m just gonna say it straight forward, Yes! Nai! Greek Salad is healthy for you mainly because of the ingredients. But let’s look into why you should eat this dish every now and then.
Tomatoes – I said it before, and I’ll say it again, tomatoes are good for the heart! With its rich source of lycopene Vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. you’ll be A-OK!
Cucumber – the relaxing crunch of this ingredient should be a benefit just as itself but it offers more than just that. It has a high water content that helps both in hydrating your body as well as cleansing and lowering the body’s blood sugar. Now that’s what makes it cool as a cucumber.
Onions – aside from the cucumber, another crunchy ingredient here is the onion. The tangy and spicy flavor helps make this Greek Salad recipe have a bit of a personality.
Feta – high in nutrients, this cheese made mainly from sheep or goat’s milk contains a great amount of protein, and calcium, vitamin B complex, and Riboflavin. Talk about having it all.
Olives – it wouldn’t be the Mediterranean without olives. It gives you high amounts of vitamin E with antioxidants. So, if you plan to cleanse your system, you know what ingredient you need.
Olive Oil – Just like the cucumber, the extracts from the olives helps in keeping your body hydrated. Olive oil also has antioxidant properties that help fight bacterial infections.
Lemon Juice – the most common dressing ingredient, lemon juice not only adds a nice punch of vibrant flavor to your salad, but it’s also a good source of vitamin C, promotes hydration and improves skin quality, among others.
Mint – refreshing and zingy, this wonder leaf not only adds life to your favorite drinks but is also a good source of vitamin A, iron, fiber, and folate to name a few. It even aids in digestion.
Greek Salad Dressing
Dressing?! What dressing? This dressing here is like THE MOST basic dressing you’ll ever encounter. No-fuss. Just 3 simple ingredients yet packed full of flavor – an olive oil, lemon juice (or any citrus will do), and mint leaves. And there goes your mighty dressing for the night!
Can You Make Greek Salad in Advance?
Well, it’s partly no and yes. No, you can’t make this in advance as most of the ingredients here have a high-water content. Aaand, it should suppose to taste fresh, vibrant, and crisp. However, yes, you can make a part of it in advance. What you can do is to mix the Greek Salad dressing ahead of time (overnight), put it in a jar with lid, and store in the refrigerator. Just bring it out once you’re ready to make the salad. Make sure to shake it well before using it.
What to Serve with Greek Salad?
This very straightforward salad recipe will easily compliment to just about anything. You can serve it for a quick lunch or as a side dish for dinner. Here are some of my favorites.
- Grilled Lamb Chops
- Chicken Gyros (recipe coming SOON)
- Baked Cod
- Salmon Burger
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How To Make Greek Salad
In a small bowl, whisk in olive oil and lemon juice. Then add mint- stir to combine. Set aside until ready to be used. You may refrigerate overnight. Place tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olive, and feta cheese in a large bowl. Pour dressing over mixed vegetables, toss to combine – season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
- 4 tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint , chopped
- ½ cup tomatoes , diced
- ½ cup cucumber , diced
- ½ cup red onion , diced
- ½ cup Kalamata olives , halved
- ½ cup Feta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk in olive oil and lemon juice. Then add mint- stir to combine. Set aside until ready to be used. You may refrigerate overnight.
- Place tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olive, and feta cheese in a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over mixed vegetables, toss to combine – season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
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