”Una Faccia, Una Razza”
Italians and Greeks are often called ‘kissing cousins’ due to the massive amount of cultural similarities. In cuisine alone, the two countries have so much in common simply from the influence of the sea that surrounds them and the rugged mountainous terrain that influenced so much creativity!
There is a famous Italian phrase that epitomizes the strong-bonded, close relationship between Italians and Greeks: “Una Faccia, Una Razza” (translated: “One Face, One Race”). I remember dating an Italian and a Greek (not at the same time!) when I was in college and the two guys were almost a clone of each other!
But let’s talk about one of the most favorite Mediterranean salads of all time: Greek Salad! Just thinking of all the fresh and tangy ingredients makes my mouth water and my head spin! This is one of those recipes that I could eat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! It’s seriously one of my go-to dishes!
And that’s because a classic Greek salad is a perfect side dish and easy to put together any time of the year. During colder times of the year, it’s superb with some hearty soup such as minestrone or pasta Fagioli. Then in the warmer months, Greek salads pair nicely with grilled and roasted meats.
This recipe for a classic Greek salad is not only bursting with those crisp, delicious, and tangy Greek flavors, but it’s also incredibly fresh and refreshing!
So let’s get to the kitchen and gather up all of the ingredients!
Greek Salad Ingredients
- Romaine Lettuce
- Cherry Tomatoes (Roma tomatoes are also delicious)
- Red Onion
- Bell Peppers
- Greek Pepperoncini
- Kalamata Olives
- Artichoke Hearts
- Feta Cheese
- (optional) Anchovy filets
I do add romaine lettuce to my recipe, as I know some cooks don’t add any lettuce. It’s a personal thing, I guess. If you’re like me and enjoy a little bit of lettuce in a salad, make sure that the lettuce is romaine only and that it is very crispy and cold. Nothing soggy at all. Mixed in with that, there are tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, red onion, capers, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Of course, it’s an option to add anchovies, which I love!
Cucumbers, red and green bell peppers, red onion, and lemons for the dressing.
Tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata onions, garlic, capers, and coarse dried oregano (not powdered).
Romaine lettuce, feta cheese (block), Greek pepperoncini, and optional anchovies
Greek Salad Dressing/Vinaigrette Ingredients
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Honey or sugar
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Basil
- Dried Parsley
- Onion Powder
- Sea salt
- Coarsely-cracked black pepper
How To Make Greek Salad
To make this classic Greek Salad you simply need to chop up all of the salad’s ingredients and then just drizzle a delicious Greek Salad vinaigrette. And that’s it!
So sharpen up your knife and you’ll have a healthy and delicious lunch or dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less!
Tips for Making a Greek Salad
Greek recipes are similar to Italian recipes in that both cuisines use a minimal amount of ingredients of the freshest and highest quality one can afford to buy. Truthfully, this has long been one of the secrets of fine Italian recipes.
- Classic Greek Salads include the ‘rainbow’ colors of vegetables, so select the freshest, shiniest, and brilliantly colorful vegetables!
- For cucumbers, if available, use English or Persian cucumbers which are sweeter and have smaller seeds.
- As always, shop for in-season vegetables whenever possible. Classic Greek salad flavors are so much more intense when made with seasonal produce. Try to shop at farmers’ markets or grow a few veggies of your own if space and time permit. During the winter, the only good-tasting tomatoes available are the small cherry or grape tomatoes . . . and seek out San Marzano cherry tomatoes. They are incredibly sweet!
- Chop up all of the ingredients in small sizes so that each forkful/bite has multiple flavors going on at the same time; this salad is irresistibly delicious this way!
- As shown in the photo above, only buy Feta cheese in block form and not the containers of crumbled Feta. Blocks of any cheese are always of higher quality, so the flavor will be more intense.
More Delicious Salads That You Might Enjoy:
For all of the salads on this blog, click here –> SALADS on La Bella Vita Cucina
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, core removed, cut up in 1 - 2" pieces
- 1 large, round green bell pepper, either cut into ¼" thick rings, or cut into ½" pieces
- 1 large, round red bell pepper, , either cut into ¼" thick rings, or cut into ½" pieces
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into ⅓" rings, and then cut those into half
- 1 - 2 cucumbers, sliced, and then sliced in half
- 1 large package of sweet cherry tomatoes (San Marzano's are the best, if available)
- 1 jar/can of drained artichoke hearts cut into halves
- 1 block of Greek feta cheese, cut into ½" cubes
- 1 jar/can of drained and pitted black Greek kalamata olives
- ¼ cup capers
- Greek Pepperoncini
- 6 - 8 slices of anchovy filets (optional)
Greek Salad Vinaigrette (Dressing)
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 - 2 tsp. honey to taste, sugar is fine if you don't have honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly-cracked black pepper
- In a small mixing bowl, add and mix together the ingredients listed above.
- Make flavor adjustments where preferred.
- Drizzle over salad.
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