This is my family’s favorite Greek salad recipe. As soon as the tomatoes are ripe at the farmer’s market we grab the ingredients and start our summer ritual of Greek salad several times a week. This is the salad that we make on the 4th of July (Sarah’s birthday! It’s her favorite!) and most weekends. We never tire of it.
But we only make it in the summer. Winter tomatoes never have the flavour and sour-sweet taste of a summer tomato. And summer vine ripened tomatoes demand a summer salad like this to showcase their unique flavour profile.
This Greek salad couldn’t be easier to make. All the ingredients can be prepared ahead and assembled just before serving.
Don’t add the dressing right away
If you add the dressing too soon though, the saltiness of the feta cheese draws the juices out of the cucumbers and tomatoes and you end up with a drenched salad. So keep the dressing on the side until you are ready to serve it. But go ahead and make it ahead and take it with you for a picnic, a potluck, or a family gathering. Just add the dressing immediately before bringing it to the table.
Make this summer salad recipe when the tomatoes are ripe, the cucumbers and peppers are abundant, and the feta cheese is fresh.
Don’t have olives and feta cheese today?
Make the Israeli salad with lemon mint dressing instead. The ingredients and preparation method are very similiar. But the Greek salad ingredients are more coarsely chopped than the Israeli salad ingredients, which should be chopped very finely.
2 vine ripened organic tomatoes, cubed
1 orange or yellow sweet pepper, seeded and cubed
1 green pepper, seeded and cubed
1 red onion, peeled and diced
1 english cucumber diced with the skin on (or a peeled and diced regular cucumber)
1/2 can of pitted, ripe olives, drained
1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 bunch of fresh basil, leaves only
To assemble the salad
In a large salad bowl put the prepared vegetables, olives, and feta cheese. If you are taking the salad to a picnic or potluck, assemble the vegetables, olives, and feta cheese. Prepare the dressing. But reserve the dressing and add it just before you are ready to serve the salad.
To make the dressing:
Using an immersion blender or in a blender jar blend together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and basil leaves. Blend until thick and smooth, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate the dressing until you are ready to serve the salad.
When you are ready to serve the salad, pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly until vegetables are covered. Serve immediately.
Other summer salad recipes to make from scratch