Horiatiki-Style Greek Salads Are Served Without One Main Ingredient

When someone mentions Greek cuisine, one of the first dishes that comes to mind is the renowned Greek salad. However, what many outside of Greece might not know is that the traditional version of the dish, known as "horiatiki," differs slightly from what is commonly served in the United States as a "Greek salad." While both versions boast fresh ingredients and a delightful Mediterranean flair, the absence of lettuce is what sets horiatiki apart from its Americanized counterpart.

Horiatiki, which translates to "village" in Greek, is deeply rooted in the country's culinary heritage and serves as a celebration of simplicity and purity. The key ingredients that make up this mouthwatering dish are ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, and a generous slab of feta cheese, all drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkled with oregano, and seasoned with a pinch of salt. The flavors of these elements meld together to create a refreshing, zesty, and wholesome experience that embodies the essence of Greece.

The vibrant colors and textures of the vegetables mirror the picturesque landscapes of the Greek countryside, evoking a sense of connection to nature and its bountiful offerings. The omission of lettuce allows the true flavors of the primary ingredients to shine, showcasing the essence of each component without being masked by an unnecessary bed of greens.

How to make your own traditional horiatiki

As you might imagine, horiatiki is best when it is made with peak summer produce. Tomatoes, plump on the vine, and fully-ripened cucumbers give this simple salad a profound depth of flavor that is balanced by the other sharp, piquant ingredients. In addition to the foundational ingredients that make u0p authentic horiatiki, you may also want to add other fresh ingredients, such as sweet bell peppers, or other preserved elements, such as capers, caper berries, or marinated artichokes.

What makes this such a staple is the ease with which it comes together. One has only to wash and chop the vegetables, slice the olives, crumble the feta, whisk together the simple vinaigrette, and voilĂ , a fresh horiatiki bursting with garden goodness is ready. For a lighter meal, horiatiki can be served on its own, the feta lending it enough substance, especially when paired with crusty bread and some chilled Greek wine. Or, it can be a vibrant side item that works well with Greek classics, such as grilled lamb souvlaki or tahini-marinated Mediterranean-style grilled chicken.