Make Greeks most famous dish to enjoy with your family and friends on a beautiful summer evening!
Total time: 30 Cooking time: 30m Servings: 6
2 medium ripe tomatoes
2 small and thin cucumbers
1 green pepper
1 medium red onion
1 tbsp capers
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Thick slices of sourdough bread
In a big salad bowl cut tomatoes in small chunks that feel easy for you to bite into. Slice cucumbers 0.2in thin preferable with the skin on (especially if organic and very fresh). Peel the skin off for non-organic cucumbers. Slice green pepper in thin slices. Slice red onions lengthwise, or from root to stem, allowing the root end to hold their shape better.
Top the vegetables with capers, eumelia kalamata olives, eumelia Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil and red wine vinegar. Give it a good stir for all the ingredients to combine. Taste saltiness and then adjust seasoning to your taste. (Capers and olives are very salty by themselves, so avoid adding more salt before stirring capers and olives in the salad.) Keep in mind that feta cheese will also be added.
Leave at room temperature for 10 minutes. Serve with a big slice of feta cheese on top and thick slices of sourdough bread for dipping.
Tips for good execution:
1. Size matters…
the size of the vegetables’ pieces really matters in the final taste and enjoyment of the Greek salad. The secret is to be able to take a bite of more than one vegetable at the time, e.g. a bite of tomato, onion and some feta cheese. I never enjoy salads in taverns because, in order to save time, they cut tomatoes and cucumbers into very big pieces that not only I cannot enjoy both in one bite but I even have to cut them to eat them! The size of the bowl matters as well! Do not overload a small bowl with the salad because you will not be able to stir it well. Flat salad plates aren’t ideal either since the juice spreads out and does not make the dipping of bread fun. So use a bowl
2. The secret ingredient is…
A splash of vinegar! It can be either wine vinegar or apple vinegar. Just test the level of acidity of the chosen vinegar and adjust the quantity. A small amount of vinegar will not give a vinegary taste to the salad. It mostly has a strong effect on the texture of vegetables and binding flavors of all ingredients together. Add a splash of vinegar, stir well and let sit for 10-15 min. The onions will soften and their spiciness will reduce, the tomato juices will release and offer a mouthwatering sauce to dip the bread in, the cucumbers will be highlighted and become even more refreshing and feta’s saltiness and fattiness will also soften.
3. Temperature also matters…
It is very well known that the lower the temperature the lower the flavor. Remember? When we wanted to smell and taste the olive oil we heated it up into our palm! So why chill a salad with such delicate aromas? Of course, warm salad is not an option either! It is highly suggested then, not to refrigerate the salad after you prepare it. Keep the veggies in the fridge until you start preparing the salad and then, keep the time indicated in the recipe.
4. “Comme il faut” is not Greek (obviously)
You might also know “when in Rome do as the Romans do”. What I’m saying is for a few minutes or for as long as your meal lasts, forget about manners and table etiquette. By sharing the salad from this wonderful big bowl to small salad plates, you lose part of the magic. Unfortunately, we had to do it, too, during Covid… oh mon dieu, quelle catastrophe! Greek salad should be interactive with plenty of options for the ideal bite combo. For example,. should I go for a tomato with a bite or onion or maybe try to see how cucumber and feta go together? By getting a couple of spoons of it, you limit your options and you risk contaminating the salad with the flavors of the other foods found in your plate. Most importantly, you lose the mouthwatering salad juice and the experience of a Greek family negotiating and trading tomatoes for capers and onions for cucumbers. This, too, is part of the appeal and charm of the Mediterranean diet!
5. Last but not least, choose the right bread!
Sourdough bread is the right bread in my opinion but if that isn’t your think, at least make sure that:
- The bread is strong enough not to disintegrate into the salad. Of course, I said that we want all the ingredients to join together but bread crumbs in the salad is a “no no”! Sliced sandwich bread for example has no chance in your Greek salad bowl… Any kind of more traditional style bread (French baguette or Italian) with a thick crust will make your dipping practice easier and keep the salad clean from crumbs.
- The bread is absorbent enough to absorb as much as salad juice as possible. German style dinkel and spelt bread have no place in your salad!
- The bread has a neutral flavor or at least is in the savory spectrum. You guessed right, Greek salad with French brioche is just another diplomatic crisis waiting to happen, so don’t!
Good luck and share with us photos of your Greek salad by tagging @eumeliafarm on Instagram!