A simple, healthy authentic Greek salad is a combination of vine ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, red onions, and crunchy peppers, tossed with chunks of feta, briny olives, and a simple dressing. No lettuce invited to this party.
No lettuce? That’s right. Authentic Greek salad has no lettuce. So all those times of ordering Greek salad at your local roast beef place was just a salad with some feta and olives. Still good, just not the real thing.
As for the dressing, this one only requires some olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and of course, oregano. Salt and pepper to your taste. Keep it short simple.
This is perfect for bringing to a cookout or party because you don’t have to worry about the lettuce wilting. Use good feta and as much as you want. I’m a cheese fanatic so I use a good amount. Same thing goes with the olives because those briny little black ovals make your eyes pop open with every bite.
Look, if you’re going to make this salad, please use tomatoes from your garden, someone else’s garden, or in-season tomatoes from the farmer’s market. Using supermarket tomatoes that aren’t in season taste like nothing.
Every Greek salad I’ve had in restaurants uses Kalamata olives with the pits and some say that’s the way to do it if you want a traditional Greek salad. That's fine if you want to do the same. I like using pitted Kalamata olives just to save the aggravation and discomfort of either breaking a tooth or performing a mouth exercise to chew around the pit then discretely spitting it out - not to mention the funny facial expressions that come with it.
Does size really matter?
When I eat a salad, I like my veggies to be cut in bite-sized pieces. When ordering out, I notice big chunks which require me to either cut them down before eating. If you like your veggies in chunks then prepare it that way. There are no rules here. It’s your kitchen and you can do what you like.
You can use a good ol’ cucumber or a fancy English one with few seeds. No one will judge, just use what you have. When choosing a green pepper, choose a nice firm one - and if you’re lucky to have one in the garden - then you are set!
Slice the onion into half moons, then slice those halves into quarters. You can keep them as is but again, you will have stringy onions hanging out of your mouth while you try to chew. How you want to look while you eat is up to you. Of course, you can always cut them as you eat, but why not prep first so you can dive right in?
Toss everything in a bowl with some of the dressing. Transfer onto a platter if you want to make it look pretty.
This is a delicious, healthy and simple salad that’s good on its own, with fresh soft pita, or as a side to your meal. Make it ahead or make it now. It will last a few days in the fridge because there’s no lettuce to wilt. Enjoy.
Try these other delicious salads:
- Peruvian chickpea salad
- Sweet pepper and avocado salad
- Quinoa salad with orange vinaigrette
- Spinach watermelon feta salad with lime vinaigrette
- Lemon garlic butter bean salad
Life is too short for mediocre food.
Have you seen these?
Authentic Greek Salad - No LettucePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 garden tomatoes sliced into wedges
- 1 cucumber sliced into half-moons (thick or thin)
- 1 green pepper stemmed, seeded and sliced into thin strips
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 4 ounces feta cheese in chunks, sliced, cubed, or crumbled
- ½ cup Kalamata olives I use pitted
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, red onions and olives in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss. Top with the feta cheese then drizzle with a little more dressing.
- Serve as is or with a slice of pita bread on the side. If preparing ahead, refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days.
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