Juicy, red tomatoes…crisp, cool cucumbers…tasty, crumbled feta…
Imagine the sea breeze flicking past your face, the smell of sea salt and garden vegetables, and ancient stone and bright fabrics everywhere. You are in Greece. Inside a little shop down a narrow alley you stop for lunch. Inside are just 3 small wooden tables and a grandmotherly woman with a big smile ushering you inside. You look around, there isn’t a kitchen in the back, just a counter, a chopping board, and a refrigerator. After you sit down, the woman brings you a much welcomed bottle of water and you nod in appreciation…Greece is hot and dusty outdoors and there isn’t much air conditioning to be found in this part of the city. There is no menu, so you just order the daily special…Greek Salad. Instead of reaching inside the fridge to bring out stored away ingredients, the woman steps into her backyard. You look out the window to watch as she picks through her garden and starts to grab fresh tomatoes. Soon enough she is back inside with a handful of fresh vegetables. She washes them clean and begins to make the freshest, tastiest Greek Salad you will ever eat. You sit back and smile, this is going to be good.
This story is one of the many I remember from when I studied abroad in Europe. While on spring break that semester , I had the honor of accompanying a friend to the Mediterranean where we visited the Greek Isles and Athens. At the time I was a vegetarian and so my first meal choice was a traditional Greek Salad. To my surprise, there was no lettuce! Just chopped up vegetables, feta, olive oil, basil, and Greek olives. Immediately, I was in love. As we traveled and ate throughout Greece, 90% of my meal choices were Greek Salad. Needless to say, this meal was tucked away in my head forever as a must eat for the future.
Now a favorite in our household, Greek Salad is our weekly (maybe daily at times) scrumptious, easy-to-make, choice for lunch. Ours consists of a Chunky Greek Salad (recipe below), flat bread (we use indian roti), and hummus. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 8-10 minutes
- 3 Roma Tomatoes, diced
- 1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of freshly chopped basil (or dried basil-approx. 2 tsp.)
- Optional: freshly chopped red onion / Greek Olives
Directions: In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, cucumber, and optional ingredients. Next, place in feta, olive oil, and basil. Toss until well mixed. Serve immediately.
Serve with: Flat bread and hummus
The Fresh Fridge Tip: When purchasing Feta Cheese, choose the block kind at the store instead of the pre-crumbled. For one, you get a lot more for the money and it is also much fresher tasting.