The Greek Salad, a nutritious treasure
Visiting Greece provides a chance to experience a gastronomical paradise with a variety of fresh ingredients and a handful of inspired traditional or modern recipes. The taste is usually found on the simplest dishes. One of them is the traditional Greek Salad.
Greek Salad recipe
The Greek salad consists of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, green bell pepper, red onion, olives, feta cheese, oregano, and virgin olive oil. Don’t miss trying Greek salad when visiting Greece and then I am sure you shall add this refreshing light meal to your diet for a lifetime!
The original Santorini Salad
Santorini’s islanders, before the prime of tourism around 1960, used to have nutrition habits that relied on the local production since commuting with the mainland was not that easy! Thus, Santorini’s version of the Greek salad, Santorini salad, is a bit twisted and, I dare to say, more interesting! The volcanic soil, the sparse rainfall, the strong winds, and high temperature encourage the cultivation of a unique variety of agricultural products that are considered as one-of-a-kind throughout Greece.
Santorini Salad recipe
The Santorini salad consists of the following:
- The cherry tomatoes (called “tomatinia”). The cherry tomato, notorious for its sweet taste due to the lack of water, is labeled as a PDO product. An interesting fact is that locals give names to the cherry tomatoes depending on their shape and texture; round-shaped, oval-shaped, or wrinkled. Keep in mind that original Santorinian cherry tomatoes are not so easy to be found as production is nowadays limited and they are considered a delicacy!
- The local cucumbers (called “katsounia”). Katsounia are cherished for their intense and refreshing flavor. Since they have sprouts in the middle that have to be removed, you can recognize them by their crescent moon shape in the salad.
- Caper (called “kapari”). Caper, self-growing in bushes in cliffs, fences, and along the coastline, adds a spicy flavor to the salad. Its small flower buds and leaves are collected by hand and pickled or dried to be used.
- Chloro cheese. Chloro is a fresh cheese made from goat milk with a creamy texture. The recipe is being handed down from grandmothers to granddaughters and you will be very lucky to find it in taverns.
- Rusks from barley and wheat. Rusks were very common in Cyclades islands in the past as poverty had made the housewives resourceful on how to store and sustain the limited goodies their land was providing! Thus, baking rusks about two to three times per year and wetting them before consuming them was common practice!
The modern recipe of Santorini Salad
Today, rusks have evolved but the rest of the ingredients remain tasteful and original! Virgin olive oil is added while pickled kritamos, an herb that grows wild along the coasts, or fresh-cut spearmint as a finishing touch can lift the taste of our salad! Which version would you try, Greek Salad or Santorini Salad?