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What makes a Greek Salad Greek?

What makes a Greek Salad Greek?

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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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Wednesday 11th of June 2008

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.


Wednesday 11th of June 2008

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!

Mike of Mike's Table

Monday 9th of June 2008

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 :-)


Thursday 5th of June 2008

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!


Wednesday 4th of June 2008

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.

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