Greek Salad, known as “Horiatiki” in Greece, epitomizes the simplicity and flavors of Greek cuisine. This refreshing dish is a harmonious blend of ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, sharp red onions, green bell peppers, creamy feta cheese, and plump Kalamata olives, all dressed in a rich olive oil dressing. This guide delves deep into the world of Greek Salad, covering its origins, traditional recipe, comparison with other salads, and much more. Let’s embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Greece through its most iconic salad.

Origins and History

The Greek Salad’s roots can be traced back to ancient Greece, where the basic ingredients of the salad were staples in the local diet. However, the modern version, with its emphasis on fresh, raw vegetables, evolved over time. The term “Horiatiki,” meaning “village” or “country style” in Greek, reflects the salad’s rustic origins. It’s a dish that represents the agricultural bounty of the Mediterranean landscape.

Traditional Greek Salad Recipe


  • Ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • Cucumbers, partially peeled and sliced
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Green bell pepper, sliced
  • Kalamata olives
  • Feta cheese, in a block or crumbled
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Prepare the Vegetables:

  • Tomatoes: Wash the tomatoes and cut them into wedges. Aim for pieces that are bite-sized but still substantial enough to hold their shape and juiciness.
  • Cucumbers: Partially peel the cucumbers if they have thick skin, leaving some strips of skin for a rustic look and texture. Slice them into thick half-moons.
  • Red Onion: Peel the onion and slice it thinly. For a milder flavor, you can soak the slices in a mixture of water and vinegar for a few minutes before draining.
  • Green Bell Pepper: Wash the bell pepper, remove the core and seeds, and then slice it into thin rings or strips, according to preference.

2. Assemble the Salad:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the prepared tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and green bell pepper. To this, add a handful of Kalamata olives (pitted or whole, based on your preference).

3. Season the Salad:

  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper over the vegetables. The salt not only seasons the salad but also helps to draw out the flavors from the tomatoes and cucumbers.

4. Add the Cheese:

  • For an authentic presentation, place a large block or slice of feta cheese on top of the salad. Alternatively, you can crumble the feta into large chunks and scatter it over the vegetables. The idea is to keep the feta in substantial pieces rather than finely crumbled.

5. Dress the Salad:

  • Drizzle a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over the salad. The quality of the olive oil makes a significant difference, so choose a good one.
  • Splash a little red wine vinegar over the top. The acidity will balance the richness of the olive oil and feta.
  • Sprinkle dried oregano over the salad, focusing on the feta cheese where the herb’s flavor will be most pronounced.

6. Final Touches:

  • Before serving, give the salad a gentle toss to slightly mix the ingredients. However, keep the tossing to a minimum to maintain the structure of the vegetables and feta.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Sometimes, a little extra pinch of salt, a dash more vinegar, or an additional sprinkle of oregano can enhance the flavors.

7. Serve:

  • Serve the Greek Salad immediately, accompanied by slices of crusty bread or pita to soak up the flavorful juices.

Comparison with Other Salads

Greek Salad stands out for its simplicity and the quality of its ingredients. Unlike salads that rely on a variety of mixed greens, such as Caesar or Garden salads, the Greek Salad focuses on the freshness and flavors of its vegetable components. The use of feta cheese adds a creamy texture and tangy taste, setting it apart from other cheese-based salads like the Italian Caprese, which uses mozzarella.

Nutritional Benefits

Greek Salad is not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits. The vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, while the olive oil is a great source of healthy fats. Feta cheese adds calcium and protein, making the salad a balanced meal option.


While the traditional Greek Salad is beloved for its simplicity, variations exist across different regions of Greece and among the Greek diaspora. Some add capers or parsley for extra flavor, while others might include lettuce or use lemon juice instead of vinegar in the dressing.


What makes a salad a “Greek Salad”?

A traditional Greek Salad includes tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green bell peppers, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and is dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and seasoned with dried oregano.

Can I add lettuce to my Greek Salad?

While not traditional, some variations outside Greece include lettuce. However, to experience the authentic taste, it’s best to stick to the original ingredients.

How do I choose the best ingredients for my Greek Salad?

Look for ripe, locally sourced tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and high-quality extra virgin olive oil. The quality of the feta cheese also significantly affects the salad’s flavor.

Is Greek Salad healthy?

Yes, Greek Salad is considered a healthy meal option due to its high content of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.

Can Greek Salad be made ahead of time?

Yes, but for the best taste and texture, add the dressing just before serving. The vegetables can be prepped and stored in the fridge to assemble quickly.

Aladdin Houston: Home of the Best Greek Salad

At Aladdin Houston, the Greek Salad transcends the ordinary, offering diners a taste of authentic Mediterranean cuisine right in the heart of Houston. This beloved dish stands out for its farm-to-table freshness, with each ingredient carefully selected for quality and flavor. From the juicy tomatoes and crisp cucumbers to the rich Kalamata olives and creamy feta cheese, every component is a testament to Aladdin’s commitment to excellence.

The salad is brought to life with a signature dressing, a perfect blend of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a secret mix of herbs, delivering a flavor that’s both bold and balanced. At Aladdin Houston, the Greek Salad isn’t just a meal; it’s a culinary journey to the Mediterranean, making it a must-try for anyone seeking the best Greek Salad in town.


Greek Salad offers a slice of Mediterranean cuisine that is both simple to prepare and rich in history and flavor. Whether served as a refreshing summer dish or a healthy everyday meal, it continues to be a beloved choice for people around the world. By following the traditional recipe and understanding its roots, you can bring a taste of Greece to your table. Enjoy the blend of crisp vegetables, tangy feta, and aromatic olive oil in your next meal!