I love a non-traditional Greek salad. I’ll explain in a bit. Mediterranean cuisine, especially Greek, is my top five favorite ethnic foods. I also love Greece, the country itself. I’ve only been there once. I went on a Mediterranean cruise and traveled to various parts of Italy, Greece, and Turkey. It was my first international trip and it was an incredible experience. That trip holds magical memories. As soon as I step foot on Greek land, I felt connected to that place.
Did you know there’s thousands of Greek islands, but only about 170 are inhabited? That’s insane! During my trip, I’ve visited: Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. My favorite was Mykonos. It was so beautiful there. Whenever I see the Mamma Mia! movies, it always reminds me of my trip many years ago. It brings back such beautiful memories. I’ve thought about living there. Maybe when I retire. Mykonos seems like a retirement-friendly island. Maybe I could run a hotel like Meryl Streep’s character did in Mamma Mia! Hehe!
Our featured dish this week is a traditional Greek salad. I mentioned above that I love non-traditional Greek salad. I was introduced to what I thought was authentic Greek salad before my travels to Greece. It became one of my favorite go-to dishes when I’d dine at Greek restaurants here in the islands.
Here’s a story for the books of my first dining experience in Greece. I was so excited to try the Greek salad at a restaurant in Athens. Well, when I got my order, I was so disappointed. As you can see in the image, there’s no lettuce in that salad. It contained the ingredients I’m not necessarily too fond of: bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. I thought there was a mistake. Nope, turns out that was the correct order. I learned that authentic Greek salad does not contain lettuce. I attempted to do research, but could not find the reason behind why there’s no lettuce.
It wouldn’t be wrong to add lettuce to a Greek salad. It just wouldn’t be the traditional salad that is served in Greece. It’ll be like a Greek-American salad. Personally, I love lettuce and it will always be part of my salad make-up.
The only ingredients I enjoyed from that authentic salad were the feta cheese and red onions. I didn’t care for the kalamata olives back then, but in the recent years, I’ve learned to enjoy it. Gotta like that salty bite.
Despite that discouraging experience, I enjoyed other authentic Greek dishes in Mykonos and Santorini, like the lamb kabobs and gyros. They were delicious! Tzatziki sauce is the best! Seasoned yogurt sauce really pairs well with meat and pita bread. It’s very simple to make. I use plain Greek yogurt and season it with dried dill, garlic salt, and black pepper. Bam! Super easy!
I can’t wait to plan another trip to Greece. I loved the food (minus the salad, haha), the atmosphere, the landscape, and the people. The people were wonderful. In Mykonos, I remember having a lovely conversation with a local store owner. Even got a picture with her. She was so sweet.
Have a great week. We’re heading into the middle of April already. Is it me, or is this month flying much quicker than previous months this year?
αντιο σας (antio sas– “goodbye” in Greek),
Here’s a recipe to make that classic Greek salad: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/classic-greek-salad-recipe-2112069