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What makes a Greek Salad Greek?

Salad in phyllo cups


Yesterday when I visited Kalyn’s Blog I saw that she had posted about an American Greek Salad. When I read some of the comments, I saw that people were talking about their experience of Greek Salads, as they were expecting a salad with tomato, cucumber, feta, onion, oregano and Kalamata Olives. Some said their salad was served with lettuce, others said about anchovies, others about potatoes and that made me think. What makes a Greek Salad, Greek?

I replied to Kalyn that according to my opinion if the basic ingredients are : Greek olive oil, Greek oregano, Kalamata olives, onion, feta and the combination of certain vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, coriander, etc., then it’s a Greek Salad. Otherwise the salad everyone has in mind as a Greek salad which is tomatoes, cucumber, feta, onion, olive oil, oregano and kalamata olives is called “Horiatiki”, meaning village salad.

After commenting on Kalyn’s salad I opened my refrigerator and took out anything that could make a Greek Salad.

Every Tuesday there is a Farmers’ Market near my house and when I go I buy enough things to last for a week. I had already made a salad with lettuce, spring onions, dill, parsley which I prepare and keep in a Tupperware and it stays fresh until we consume it.

I bought Piperies Florinis, which are red sweet peppers, which I roasted but you can find them in jars in shops selling Greek products.

Salad ingredients

I had also bought fresh anchovies which I also marinated.

I had bought beetroots which I boiled and had some leftovers which I peeled and preserved in the refrigerator with oil and vinegar.

I had gherkins, capers, kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, oregano. I had everything to make the perfect Greek Salad and a Greek Salad Dressing.

I saw at Mike’s Blog a dessert served in phyllo cups and then I saw at Elly’s an appetizer made in phyllo cups. It’s been a long time I also wanted to make some phyllo cups for a salad. I looked into the freezer but did not have phyllo. I had puff pastry and that was good enough for what I wanted to make:  A delicious Greek Salad (not Horiatiki) served in Puff Pastry Cups.

Making puff pastry cups

This would be a very difficult salad to make everything from scratch. However, as I had most of the ingredients at hand it was easy. Even if you use a combination of any of these ingredients I am sure you will still make a lovely salad.

I am submitting this recipe to Manina, of Maninas: Food Matters, hosting this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, created by Kalyn, of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Making Greek Salad

My Greek Salad in Puff Pastry Cups


A little bit of everything

  • Tender Romaine Lettuce leafs, coarsely cut
  • 1 Spring onion, finely cut
  • A few sprigs of dill, finely cut
  • A few sprigs of parsley, finely cut
  • ½ tomato, sliced
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 2 roasted Piperies Florinis, cut in pieces
  • 6 Kalamata olives, pitted and cut
  • 2 gherkins, cut in small pieces
  • 4 marinated anchovies, cut in pieces
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • ½ boiled beet, cut in pieces
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Greek salad dressing


  1. To make cups, cut puff pastry into square pieces.  Brush your muffin tin with olive oil on the back side.  Place the puff pastry to cover each muffin muffin case.  Bake in a preheated oven to 180 degrees C, for about 20 – 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.
  2. Place all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl and mix in dressing.
  3. Serve the salad puff pastry or phyllo cups.

salad in puff pastry

If you ever visit Greece or Cyprus and want the classic Greek Salad order a “Horiatiki” salad and you will get what you expect.

Related Recipes:

Greek and Cypriot Horiatiki Salad

Salad Bar

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

signature Ivy

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16 Responses

  1. Sweet & Simple Bakes

    What a wonderful salad Ivy!! This one is bookmarked that’s for sure 🙂

    Rosie x

  2. Bellini Valli

    This is Greek salad also because it is made by someone from Greece…wink…wink… I do see your point about Greek salad…it is whatever you make it:D

  3. Ivy

    Thank you Rosie.

    Val, I am not sure if I made my point. If we add oil, onion, oreganon, feta etc., etc., and then add avocato or pineapple or mango or other vegetables or fruit we cannot call the salad as a Greek salad.

  4. Passionate baker...& beyond

    Love what went in…what a YUM Greek salad Ivy. You take so much interest in each ingredient & the history behind it. Takes food to a different level altogether! :0)

  5. Lore

    Ivy you are the expert on Greek salads! The idea of serving them in puff pastry is brilliant. I can imagine crunchiness and refreshing going so well together!

  6. Anamika:The Sugarcrafter

    dear ivy
    it is nice and re-affirms what a greek salad should be ! Thanks for posting and thanks for your concern.You make my day and i enjoy reading your posts..so here’s to you…..a surprise at my blog site.

  7. Cynthia

    Now you are spoiling me – this is how I want my Greek salad from now on 🙂

  8. Ivy

    Thank you all for leaving such nice comments.

  9. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    Makes total sense. What kind of dressing? I usually just use Greek olive oil and lemon. Does that qualify?

  10. Ivy

    Jenn, of course that qualifies. A Greek salad can be with any of these ingredients. The one which is usually called Greek salad i.e. tomato, cucumber, feta, onions etc. we call it “Horiatiki”

  11. Shubha Ravikoti

    Thank u Ivy for visitng my blog and commenting… I loved ur explanation of wt exactly is a greek salad… I an still never differentiate if its greek or any other…. hmmm… but then wts in a name…?

    Wt is greek oregano? where can i get it? It is same as the oregano we use for italian cooking?? what is greek olives??… please carify… I request u to write a pst completely of different ingredients that are used for greek cooking and where can we get them… I feel i shud do the same for indian cooking… hmmmm rt?

  12. Ivy

    Hi Shubha, thanks for visiting back. Oregano is the same anywhere you can get it. However, some parts of Greece have better oregano as it is more aromatic. Some spices we use in Greek cuisine is thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, allspice and I shall try at one of my posts to write about the spices. The best place to find them is in shops selling Greek products but I suppose this may be difficult to find in India. I had the same problem finding garam massala, turmeric and cardamom but I discovered a small shop selling Asian products and I am very happy I have discovered them.

  13. Núria

    Hola Ivy :D. He, he… you hit the point! Ok, whenever I travel to Greece (fingers crossed – hope it’s soon) I’ll remember to ask for a Horiatiki salad!

  14. Mike of Mike's Table

    The salad looks great and I always think the best things come from a little of this and a little of that when you go through the fridge (then you just hope you’ll ever have that set of stuff in the fridge at one time again!). Also, I’m glad you liked the phyllo cups and it looks like you took them in a great direction! The whole salad looks wonderful 🙂

  15. Kalyn

    Great post! It’s nice to know there are a lot of variations which are still true to the spirit of this dish in Greek cooking. Love the sound of your dressing, and I want some of those red peppers!

  16. Ivy

    Thanks Kalyn for giving me the opportunity to explain my thoughts about this. At least I tried to explain the difference between the Horiatiki salad and anything else which qualifies to be called a Greek Salad.