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Traditional Kalamata Salad

The traditional Kalamata salad is known in Greece as ‘horiatiki salata’ (or villagers’ salad) when other ingredients such as capsicum or purslane are added, comprises Kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumber, Greek feta and onion. Many people incorrectly call it a ‘Greek’ salad and add other ingredients; however, I prefer the traditional blend and do not alter the quantities or compromise on the quality oft he ingredients.

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  • 4 large ripe tomatoes

  • 1 Lebanese cucumber

  • 1 large red onion

  • 18 Kalamata olives

  • 150 g Greek feta, in one thin slice

  • sea salt

  • dried wild oregano, to taste

  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  • 1.

    Wash and dry the tomatoes and cucumber. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Cut the cucumber into thin rounds.

  • 2.

    Peel the onion and slice into thin rounds.

  • 3.

    Combine the tomato, cucumber, onion and olives in a large bowl and balance the piece of feta on top.

  • 4.

    Sprinkle sea salt and oregano over the salad to taste, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil just before serving.


I don’t tend to add red wine vinegar to the salad, but you can if you like. The word feta means ‘slice’. Most eateries in Greece therefore slice the feta
rather than cut it into cubes, and place it on top of the salad just before serving.

This recipe is from My Greek Family Table, by Maria Benardis, RRP $59.95. Penguin Books.

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You're right that's exactly the way I remember even as a small child my mother and aunty's all made their Greek salad the way you describe it. And its the best combination and therefore taste.