Horiatiki (Greek Village Salad)
Horiatiki, or Greek Village Salad is a classic Greek salad with no lettuce. It’s simple, rustic and chunky, and it’s tossed in homemade Greek dressing!
I visited Greece many years ago, and ate some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had in my life. I ate my weight in chicken souvlaki, tzatziki, Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and honey, along with an array of Greek pastries that surpassed anything I’d ever eaten here at home.
The interesting thing was that it was the Greek village salad, which is known as horiatiki salata in Greece, that really blew my mind. The ingredients were simple, but they were so fresh and flavorful.
The quality of these simple ingredients came together and shined. Once I returned home, I couldn’t eat Greek salad for a very long time because I knew it wouldn’t hold a candle to the salads that I had in Greece.
Of course, quality tomatoes and cucumbers at their peak of freshness are the key to preparing a mind blowing Greek village salad.
I’ve been making horiatiki with my garden grown tomatoes and cucumbers, and it definitely rivals the ones I had on my trip.
Minus the Greek island of course. 🙂
Village style Greek salad is rustic and simple, with large chunks of tomato and cucumber, thinly sliced red onion and whole kalamata olives.
It’s typically topped with a thick slab of feta cheese, which is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with dried oregano.
Horiatiki is a great way to bring the flavors of the Greek islands into your home. It’s effortless yet mind blowing at the same time, but nobody needs to know that.
It’ll be our little secret. 🙂
Village Salad vs. Greek Salad
The biggest difference between Greek village salad and Greek salad is that Greek salad normally includes lettuce. Here in the United States, if you order Greek salad at a restaurant it almost always includes crisp, chopped romaine lettuce.
Salads that don’t include lettuce are a nice change of pace for me I love that there’s one less ingredient to chop, and that there will be no wilted lettuce!
Next, Greek salad isn’t rustic and chunky. The vegetables are chopped smaller, the olives are halved and the feta cheese is crumbled into smaller bits.
Another difference between Greek village salad and Greek salad is the dressing. As I mentioned, horiatiki is simply dressed with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, whereas Greek salad is tossed with something similar to my Greek Salad Dressing.
How to make Greek Village Salad
- Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl.
- Toss the vegetables with red wine vinegar first, so that the vegetables can absorb it, then toss with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Serve the salad topped with a thick rectangle of feta cheese, topped with dried oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Make sure you have quality ingredients for this salad to truly shine. Use the freshest tomatoes and cucumbers that you can find! I love using a block of feta in its brine for this recipe, as well as a good quality red wine vinegar. There’s no need to buy a $20 bottle of vinegar — I use Colavita Aged Red Wine Vinegar which is under $10 and it’s perfect.
- Horiatiki is a great make ahead salad because there’s no lettuce to wilt down on you. You can put it together a few hours in advance, or assemble it mason jar style in beautiful layers for picnics or your work week lunches.
- The recipe below is for 2 servings, but it’s easily scaled to feed a crowd! You don’t even have to dress the salad in advance — simply place the red wine vinegar and olive oil out for guests to drizzle for themselves if you prefer.
Need more salad inspiration? See all of my salad recipes.
More Greek recipe inspiration:
Homemade gyro by Spruce Eats
- 1 large tomato, cut into wedges then halved
- 1 medium cucumber (I used seedless)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 12 kalamata olives
- 2 ounces feta cheese, cut into thick slices or cubes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- dried oregano, for serving
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place the tomato, cucumber, red onion and kalamata olives in a medium bowl (If using cubed or crumbled feta instead of a thick slice, add that now as well).
- Add the red wine vinegar and stir to combine.
- Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste, then stir until incorporated.
- Divide the salad between (2) plates and top with a slice of feta, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of dried oregano.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Recipe is easily scaled to feed a crowd! This salad may be assembled a few hours in advance and is great as meal prep mason jar salads.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 526mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 6g