Local Greek Salad
An opportunity to take a step back from the hectic routine of work is a luxury any millennial would like to get their hands on. This nearly-missed trip was a real eye-opener for me in terms of understanding why Mediterranean food is so effortlessly delicious and beautiful. Here, people walk at a leisurely pace, talk to each other without rushing and smile without regard for any negative energy. This vacation was a far cry from the usual party island destination of Mykonos; instead, we headed for Paros, Naxos and of course starting and ending our trip in Athens.
Every day was a mix of vibrant rays of sunshine, gentle winds, lush flowers and scenic greenery views. Landing at Lefke on Paros, we passed by a local eatery which only had Greek salad on their menu as well as fresh homemade lemonade or frappé. The chef (also the waiter) took so long in preparing each the dish that I assumed he was handpicking the tomatoes from a local vine and distilling olive oil down some nearby country lane. This was in fact, likely to be true as each and every ingredient in the salad was fresh, nicely textured, and profoundly satisfying with each bite. It is no overstatement to describe this as the best Greek salad I have ever had.
After spending a couple of days on the slow-living Greek islands, it becomes very clear that the locals really make the most of what they have around them. From oregano to olives to red onions, each and every ingredient they use are fresh and grown within walking distances from their restaurants. The country’s wholesomeness and purity in its cooking led me to replicate a traditional approved Greek salad recipe. It is a simple recipe that only requires tossing and plating. Taking centre stage on the plate, the feta cheese looks more beautiful in its big square form as opposed to being chopped. You will find collective juices at the bottom of your dish made of tomatoes, olive oil and waters from the cucumber, which should all be soaked up with a crunchy piece of bread.
Vine tomatoes deseeded & chopped into small pieces 4
Cucumber peeled, deseeded & chopped 1
Red Onion peeled & thinly sliced 1
Kalamata Olives handful / 12
Dried Oregano 1 tsp
Feta Cheese 80g (no need to slice)
Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil 60ml
Crunch Bread broken up
Combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, oregano, feta and olive oil in a large bowl.
Lightly season, then serve with crusty bread all over.