Greek salad is the iconic salad of Greece. The dish that most tourists / visitors prefer to order, during their stay in Greece.
Here you will learn what is the genuine Greek salad, how you can make it yourself, and how much should you pay for it while staying in Greece.
The origins of Greek salad
The true name of Greek salad is “villagers salad” (Choriatiki salata – Χωριάτικη σαλάτα).
Greek villagers, prepared this salad as their main dish, because it is easy to prepare, it is cheap, it is fresh, gives you energy and uses ingredients found during the summer time.
It is the most common salad in every Greek house during the summer, when tomatoes are in their best season.
Greek salad is a simple to prepare, tasteful, cheap, and full of energy dish.
Actually, when you combine Greek salad with good bread, it is a full energy meal.
What makes Greek salad one of the most favored dishes
Greek salad is the number one dish ordered by tourists in Greece (next comes mousakas).
And there is an obvious reason for this.
Greece salad is a cheap, fresh dish, full of summer flavors, and counts as a full meal.
Ingredients of Greek salad (original version)
Ingredients of original Greek salad are:
How to eat a Greek salad – Papares
First mix all the ingredients of the Greek salad. Break feta cheese and mix it with tomatoes, onions, extra virgin oil.
To truly enjoy a Greek salad, it should be accompanied with a lot of fresh rustic bread!
That way, you can make Papares (“Παπάρες”).
“Papares” is the move to take a piece of fresh bread, soak it with Greek salad’s extra virgin oil and tomato juices. Then brink it to your mouth and eat it!!
The moves during Papares should be full of energy. Enjoy every moment of the experience!
Variations of Greek salad
Up until now I presented the original Greek salad and its ingredients.
But there are variations of Greek salad, that still count as Greek salad.
Variations are based on the addition of extra ingredients. Tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, extra virgin oil, salt and oregano are always present.
Some of the most common extra ingredients are:
What is not a Greek salad
During your stay in Greece, you may be served a salad that looks like a Greek salad, but actually is not.
Is not a Greek salad because the ingredients are of low quality.
Tomatoes are not juicy and local.
Olive oil is not extra virgin oil, but a low quality oil. Even non olive oils are used in some places.
Cheese is not Feta cheese but a low quality white cheese.
Bread is not fresh.
Your salad is not reach and you can count tomato, onion and cheese pieces.
Your dish of Greek salad looks like plastic, not juicy and temping.
Because I couldn’t possible know the quality of Greek salad every taverna or restaurant in Greece serves, my TIP is to pick a place where locals eat!
How much should you pay for a Greek salad in Greece?
Quality ingredients raise the cost of any dish. That is also true for a good Greek salad.
Avoid places where a Greek salad costs from 3 to 5 Euros.
Choose places where a Greek salad costs from 7 to 15 Euros.
Taverna or restaurant prices for Greek salad and every other dish, are much higher than the cost of ingredients.
Remember that the price of a dish in this case, also includes costs for taxes, personnel, experience, place, resources.
Do not be afraid to ask about the ingredients used in their version of Greek salad.
Ask about the quantity and quality of bread accompanying the Greek salad.
Before choose a place, check the tables of people already served. How good you fill of their Greek salad?
Try to choose tavernas or restaurants that are not in tourist areas.
Do not be afraid to ask locals. Greek people will be more than willing to communicate and help you. Actually, their reactions and tips, will be a pleasant surprise!
How to prepare your Greek salad
Follow these tips to prepare your Greek salad:
Choose a big plate
Select ripen tomatoes (two or three based on size). Slice them in small pieces over the plate, so that juices stay in plate.
Choose good quality medium sized onions (one per salad). Slice them on top of tomatoes.
Buy a Greek feta cheese. Cut a big piece and place it over tomatoes and onions.
Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil. Use as much olive oil as you like. There is no rule. The more the merrier, according to Greek tradition.
Get Greek oregano. You can use fresh or dried oregano. Spread over the salad.
Optionally add slices of cucumber.
Stir well to mix all ingredients.
Bake or buy good quality bread. Use it to make papares. Remember that Papares is part of every good Greek salad experience.
Tips for Greek salad, when visiting Greece
You can make your own Greek salad using the right ingredients.
A genuine Greek salad can be pricey when ordered on a tavern or restaurant.
Not all “Greek salads” served are Greek salads.
Extra virgin olive oil is an ingredient that affects quality.
Greek salad should be accompanied by a lot of fresh bread for papares.
I hope that you will find this information about Greek salad helpful!