Horiatiki Salata

Fresh Horiatiki Salata with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, green onions and a pita

As mentioned in The Village Salad & The Mediterranean Diet a true horiatiki salata comes straight from the home garden.

Ingredients:

1 medium cucumber, sliced

2 large ripe tomatoes

1 green onion (or one medium red/white onion)

4 tablespoons crumbled Feta

4 tablespoons light Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon oregano

Garnishes:

Pinch of salt and pepper

Large black olives

Directions

Horiatiki salata is easy to make. Like any simple salad, it is a matter of preparation. Gather your ingredients and tools: a large salad bowl, cutting board, and knives–I use a pruning knife, rinsed in between uses on different vegetables. The first thing you need to do is wash, peel, and chop. Like other salads, the preparation of the vegetables is your choice, it all comes down to preference. I like to keep the skin on the cucumbers, given that it is crunchy. Grab a potato or mushroom brush and under cold water, scrub down the outside of the cucumber. Next, slice the cucumber into 1/2 inch thick wheels. Halve the wheels, and place into the salad bowl.

Cucumber wheels. If you prefer to leave them as wheels, you can, though it is easier to eat them if they are halved, or cut into quarters.

Next, rinse the tomatoes under cold water. Again you can leave the skins on, but I prefer to peel them. A fast and easy (and probably the only way) to peel the tomato is to think slice off the top and bottom, making both ends flat. Place the tomato on the its top flat half, on a cutting board. Using a pruning knife, thinly peel the skin from the tomato. If you haven’t peeled a vegetable without a peeler before, this could take some practice, be careful not to slice away chunks of tomato, you should just get the skin. After peeling the tomatoes, slice them into 1 inch thick wedges. Place in the bowl.

Peeling a tomato like a pro. I sliced the top and bottom of the tomato (on the right) to make it easier to peel.

Next, wash a green onion and slice it on top of the cucumbers and tomatoes. Remember to keep slices of onion (whether green, white, or red) small: about 3 mm thick. Unless you or your guests really love to crunch down on onion, keep the slices manageable. At this point, you’re done most of the prep. Now it’s a matter of garnishing. I like to crumble some of the feta onto the vegetables, before dressing the salad. Following the feta, grind or sprinkle some fresh oregano. I say grind because we buy fresh oregano on branches in a small bag, which takes a few hours to take the leaves off the twigs, and then grind down into a powder using a mortar and pestle.

Coarse oregano. You can sprinkle this directly on the salad, but depending on the oregano, you will either crunch down on a slightly minty, or bitter flavour. You don’t want it to overpower the salad, so I recommend making it into a powdered seasoning, as pictured below.

Grinding oregano into powder. Easier to manage as a seasoning.

Next, using a table spoon, drizzle olive oil over the salad. I generally just pour the oil from the bottle and eye the amount. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper, top with the rest of the crumbled feta, garnish with a few large olives (black or green). Stir the salad, enough to marinate but not squish the vegetables. Serve with a pita or slice of bread on the side.

A serving from the finished bowl.

Kali Orexi

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s