Recipes » Salad Recipes » My Favorite Greek Salad

My Favorite Greek Salad

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Greek Salad with salami, red onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese, tossed in a fresh, tangy Greek salad dressing.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
A serving of Greek salad on a white plate with two forks and a bowl in the background.

A deliciously non-traditional Greek Salad with salami, red onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese, tossed in a fresh, tangy Greek salad dressing. A great choice for lunch, brunch, or dinner with warm, crusty bread and a glass of wine.

At least once a year, I start getting an uncontrollable urge. It’s the urge to purge and clean. Especially in my kitchen!

A serving of Greek salad on a white plate with two forks and a bowl in the background.

When we start getting near the end of the cold winter months, any little hint of bright sunshine puts me in the mood to organize stuff, straighten out cabinets, purge the pantry, and deep clean my kitchen!

All it takes is one day of temperatures anywhere near 60 degrees, and that’s all the push I need. We’ve just had one of those days here :-)

People call me a “foodie.” If that means “someone who really enjoys food and cooking,” then I suppose they’re right. I spend hours on end cooking things to share with all of you. And all that cooking takes a toll on my kitchen because I’m just not the neatest cook.

Those people who can “clean as they go” have my admiration. I’m not among their number.

My floors get messy. My cabinets get out of order. And my countertops get floury, buttery, sticky, and wet.

So, after a long day of making a mess cooking, I moved everything off my countertops and went to work. I cleaned the granite surfaces, polished the stainless steel, and wiped down the glass front cabinets.

I was so pleased with myself that I immediately started messing up the kitchen cooking again to make our favorite Greek salad for dinner.

Now, I know that you’re going to read the list of ingredients and see “salami.” And you’re going to say, “there’s no salami in a Greek salad!”

Well, if I’m going to serve BeeBop a salad for his main course, there’s going to be some kind of meat included. Substitute whatever you like or leave it out completely. Your choice!

And be sure to try my Greek salad dressing recipe that’s included. It’s a lovely, balanced dressing that perfectly compliments the ingredients in the salad. All you really need with this salad is some warm, crusty bread, and a lovely glass of wine.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s light and fresh
  • The preparation is easy and quick
  • It’s really two recipes in one (both the salad and the dressing)
  • It’s hearty enough for lunch or dinner (just add bread and wine)

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the dressing:

  • Olive oil (use a good quality extra virgin olive oil)
  • Lemon (the juice only)
  • Red wine vinegar (don’t go cheap on the vinegar; a good one makes all the difference)
  • Garlic (crushed, minced, or grated)
  • Oregano (dried Italian oregano)
  • Salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • Romaine lettuce (save time and buy the washed, bagged kind)
  • Roma (plum) tomatoes (Roma tomatoes have the best flavor all year round; choose nice firm, ripe ones)
  • Cucumber (I prefer English cucumbers; they have fewer seeds and are rarely bitter)
  • Red onion
  • Kalamata olives (Mezzetta is a good brand to choose)
  • Feta cheese (I always reach for the Athenos brand, but there are many good brands)
  • Pepperoncini (again, Mezzetta always gets my vote)
  • Salami (I prefer Genoa salami, however hard salami also work, or even ham if you’d rather)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make My Favorite Greek Salad

Make the Greek Salad Dressing

Photo collage showing the making of the greek salad dressing.

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small jar. Shake until well blended. Set it aside for now.

Tip: Instead of mincing or chopping the garlic, trying grating it on a fine grater. It’s so much easier!

Prep the Veggies and Salami

Photo collage showing the veggies and salami being prepped for the salad.

I used the pre-prepped Romaine lettuce from the grocery store as a shortcut. If you’re using fresh, you’ll need to wash, dry, and cut the Romaine into bite-sized pieces.

Dice the tomatoes, and peel and dice the cucumber. (Note: I recommend using an English cucumber for this salad. They have fewer seeds and rarely have a bitter taste.

Slice the red onion into very thin, half-moon shapes and cut the Kalamata olives in half. (Tip: to mellow the red onions and remove some of the harshness, rinse them briefly after slicing. Dry thoroughly before adding to the salad.)

For the salami, I ask my deli to give me two slices about 1/2-inch thick (that’s usually a total of about 8 ounces), and then I cut those into cubes myself. I prefer the meatiness of the thicker cubes over thin slices in this salad.

Dress the Salad

Large salad bowl containing all ingredients for the salad and a pair of cooking tongs.

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Shake the dressing again and pour over as much as you’d like to coat the salad. Toss to combine.

This salad serves 2 as a main course, 4-6 as a side or starter.

Tips

  • Instead of mincing or chopping the garlic, trying grating it on a fine grater. It’s so much easier!
  • I recommend using an English cucumber for this salad. They have fewer seeds and rarely have a bitter taste.
  • To mellow the red onions and remove some of the harshness, rinse them briefly after slicing. Dry thoroughly before adding to the salad.
  • Ask your deli for two slices of salami about 1/2-inch thick (that’s usually a total of about 8 ounces), and then I cut those into cubes.

FAQs

What else can I use the dressing for?

My Greek salad dressing recipe below is so delicious and really versatile. Besides being the perfect compliment to this salad, you could also use it for a delicious cold pasta salad, to marinate pork or chicken, or as a simple dip for fresh veggies like celery, cucumbers, or carrots.

How long can I keep the dressing in the refrigerator?

This dressing will keep very well for up to a week in an airtight jar or bottle.

What’s the difference between Italian and Greek dressings?

Well, if we’re talking about authentic Italian and Greek dressings, there’s really not that much difference. They’re both basically vinaigrettes with olive oil, vinegar (for Italian) or lemon (for Greek) and seasonings added. However, if you’re referencing the Americanized versions that we’re used to seeing in our grocery stores, there are huge differences. Italian dressings come in a wide range of flavors that would be as foreign to someone in Italy as our version of pizza. And our bottled Greek dressings, I’m quite sure, would cause a true Greek cook to just shake his head.

What’s the difference between Kalamata olives and black olives?

Kalamata olives, also known as “Greek black olives,” have a characteristic oblong shape and are bigger than black olives. They are harvested by hand and go through a three-month process before they are ready to be eaten. Black olives typically sold in grocery stores are actually picked while they’re green and flooded with oxygen to turn them black. Ferrous gluconate is added to make them retain their black color.

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Recipe

A serving of Greek salad on a white plate with two forks and a bowl in the background.

My Favorite Greek Salad

Greek Salad with salami, red onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese, tossed in a fresh, tangy Greek salad dressing.
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Salads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 1141kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced or grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

For the salad:

  • 9 oz Romaine lettuce washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Roma (plum) tomatoes seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cucumber peeled and diced
  • ½ medium red onion sliced into thin half moons
  • ¾ cup Kalamata olives pitted and halved
  • 4 oz feta cheese diced
  • 12 pepperoncini
  • 8 oz salami diced

Instructions

  • Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small jar. Shake until well blended. Set it aside for now.
  • I used the pre-prepped Romaine lettuce from the grocery store as a shortcut. If you're using fresh, you'll need to wash, dry, and cut the Romaine into bite-sized pieces.
  • Dice the tomatoes, and peel and dice the cucumber.
  • Slice the red onion into very thin, half-moon shapes and cut the Kalamata olives in half.
  • Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Shake the dressing again and pour over as much as you'd like to coat the salad. Toss to combine.

Notes

Serves 2 as a main course; 4-6 as a side or starter.
Tips:
  • Instead of mincing or chopping the garlic, trying grating it on a fine grater.
  • To mellow the red onions and remove some of the harshness, rinse them briefly after slicing. Dry thoroughly before adding to the salad.
  • I recommend using an English cucumber for this salad. They have fewer seeds and rarely have a bitter taste.
  • Ask your deli for two slices of salami about 1/2-inch thick (that’s usually a total of about 8 ounces), and then I cut those into cubes.
Other Uses:
My Greek salad dressing recipe below is so delicious and really versatile. Besides being the perfect compliment to this salad, you could also use it for a delicious cold pasta salad, to marinate pork or chicken, or as a simple dip for fresh veggies like celery, cucumbers, or carrots.
Storage: This dressing will keep very well for up to a week in an airtight jar or bottle.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 1141kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 101g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 4592mg | Potassium: 1370mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 12397IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 426mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on March 6, 2014.

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12 Comments

  1. An amazing salad, especially since I’m recently on a ‘Greek kick’. I like to use English cucumbers lately, instead of the usual cucumbers, b/c they’re not as watery, and the seeds are a lot smaller. I might try using Greek seasoning instead of oregano. Regardless, I’m sure the salad will be super delicious!

  2. The salad looks wonderful, and the countertops really shine! I will put those cleaners on my shopping list. On the other hand, you are welcome to come and demonstrate the cleaning properties of the Granite Gold line of products at any time.

    Miss P

    1. Best granite cleaner I’ve used and I’ve tried a bunch of them. I especially like that it’s safe for food prep areas.

  3. You’re close to what a Greek salad is but if you’re interested in knowing, here’s what really happens.

    Chunks of tomato, cucumber, green peppers, onions, Kalamata olives, feta, drizzled with olive oil and maybe vinegar, sprinkled (or loaded with) oregano and a little salt; sometimes capers but honestly, it’s rare. There’s never lettuce. I know you said you added the salami on purpose and.. okay, that’s fine. Granted, we would normally have some souvlakia with it then. There’s no real dressing per se and the salad is served with all ingredients kinda placed/layered on top of each other. The feta is even placed on top of the salad in one slice then generous amounts of olive oil are poured over it and there is so much oregano that goes on that.

    Yeah, so, that’s that. I hope you like the feedback. I have spent my whole life in Greece and I would be happy to help if you want to know of anything else Greek. :D

    Kali Oreksi!

    1. Hi Nicole. Yes, I’ve seen real Greek salad many times. My intention was not to represent this recipe as authentic, just as “my favorite.” It’s a pretty typical American preparation/adaptation of that wonderful classic. Maybe one day I’ll have the pleasure of eating a real Greek salad in Greece!

    2. Great info, Nicole! I’m SO into Greek food lately, since I’ve been watching Chef Diane Cochilis on my cable TV “Create” network. Greek dishes are healthy & delicious, & it’s nice to see where they originated. I made several of her recipes, and they were exceptional! You can check her out at dianecochilis.com.

  4. The house I just left had laminate and granite and I never hated it like I guess I was supposed to; it was a newer laminate and looked great in my kitchen.

    Still, new homes have granite and I’m good with that; but it’s funny. I upgraded to a mottled look that I love but you know what I don’t love? I can’t see if it needs to be cleaned. Crumbs just blend in!

    I’ll send my daughter to work with you, OK? I’m definitely a clean as you go and she prefers just piling up the dirty dishes! I’ll have to go scope out this product. I’ve sealed mine already but do want to take good care of it on a regular basis.

    The salad? Looks great but I expect nothing less! :)

    1. Barb – something I learned from Granite Gold that I had absolutely no idea about before is that granite needs to have sealer applied regularly. They say that you just can’t over do the sealing. I never knew! But it does make sense – granite (or any stone) is porous so the sealing would be really important.

  5. Where I live in Florida a lot of the restaurants serve their Greek Salad over a big scoop of potato salad. My husband is the same as BeeBop so that makes it more substantial and more of a meal for him.

    1. That’s really interesting, Linda! I have never heard of that but it sounds like something we’ll have to try.

    1. The pepperoncini go in with the salad ingredients. Or they can be served on the side. Can you see in the photo how they’re on the side of the plate?