A traditional, substantial salad that can - as its national identification suggests - provide a fresh cooling lunch on a hot day, but is also tasty enough to be part of an evening meal, regardless of the weather or season. As with all salads, opinions differ on the ingredients, and some popular variations are given below. I prefer to keep a Greek salad simple, using a small number of essential ingredients, a strongly flavoured dressing, and with prominence given to the feta cheese. Quantities given here would be sufficient for four people, but can be easily adjusted for more or less.
Olive oil, four tablespoons
Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon
Oregano, dried, one level teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Make the dressing first. Put all of the ingredients in a small jug and mix vigorously. Set aside while you make the salad
One small, crispy lettuce. I prefer iceberg. Broken into pieces by hand
Tomatoes, small, ripe, up to about ten. Cut into quarters
½ cucumber, trimmed, cut lengthways, de-seeded (if preferred) and finely sliced
Olives. According to taste and the number of people being served, at least a dozen or as many as twenty, green or black or a combination of the two, pitted, halved or whole. If the olives are bottled in brine, rinse in cold water and dry first
Feta cheese (suitable for vegetarian), a 200g block. Drain the feta, dry it and cut however much you need (about 150g to start with I would suggest) and in whatever size pieces you prefer. Sometimes the feta cheese is crumbled over the salad. It’s an attractive variation, though I would usually go for medium bite-sized pieces
Put all the ingredients, apart from the feta cheese and the pine nuts, into a large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and mix well. Then distribute the squares of feta on the top and finally sprinkle with the pine nuts. Cool in the fridge before serving.
Like many salads, it can be varied as you wish. Some chopped spring or red onions are often included, as are grapes, peppers, and other nuts and herbs.
Serve as an accompaniment with whatever you fancy. It’s good by itself with fresh bread or rolls and butter; but also with new potatoes and vegetarian sausages or burgers