Prep: 10 min // Roast (optional): 30 min
You may start drooling as this refreshing salad has it all: it's healthy, sweet, tangy, sharp and packs all the familiar Greek salad flavours in their best season.
Admittedly, there's nothing so special in preparing a Greek salad, however, this one is special to me because 1) it's in season and 2) served warm baked feta simply takes it to another level. Tomato and cucumber are the predictable partners in crime, especially when it comes to Greek salad recipes. Summer, July and August, in particular, is the period with the best seasonable tomato (and cucumber) produce not to mention the red colour dominates Greek tables at this time of the year. Tomatoes, tomato-based sauces, red peppers and watermelons are common in the centre of tables and attention. It's also the season I just can't have enough of these salads.
Feta is another essential partner for cucumber and tomato salad and I highly recommend you roast the feta as suggested by this post. If you are looking for a more simple and fast alternative, simply go for the traditional "feta ladorigani" cubes, which translates "toss the feta and top it with oregano and olive oil".
Most of us might not be able to travel to the south this summer, so let this salad be our silver lining for staying in this wet and chilled July weather we have been offered this year in the UK.
Ingredients (for 2 persons)
4 large fresh tomatoes or 600-700g cherry tomatoes (several different colours-varieties)
1 medium-sized cucumber
50g black olives (Kalamata preferably - check the Recommended Product section at the end of the post)
150g feta cheese
1 unwaxed lemon
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A handful of mint or parsley leaves, roughly chopped.
Salt & Pepper
Prepare the feta for roasting. If you are not roasting, skip this step completely. Preheat the oven to 200c (180c fan) and place your feta chunk in an oven-proof plate (or use some foil instead). Lightly press and break the coriander seeds with the side of your knife (or use a pestle/mortar) to slightly crush and sprinkle along the oregano on your feta block. Zest half the lemon on the feta, season with some pepper, add a drizzle of olive oil and roast it for 20-25 minutes until it becomes golden.
While feta is baking, prepare the salad: cut the tomatoes in different shapes and sizes and place them into your serving plate. Cut the cucumber to your liking (I like ribbons) and fold them into the salad too.
Add the olives, season with salt/pepper, grate the other half lemon over and prepare your dressing. Now, the dressing can be anything from a simple olive oil and lemon juice to some more advanced dressings like this one from one of my favourite Greek chefs.
When feta is roasted, take out and let it cool 2-3 minutes to set. Cut in cubes and spread over the salad. If you're not using roasted feta, just cut your feta block in little cubes, dot them across your salad.
Pour the olive oil, or dressing, and scatter with mint or parsley leaves.
Serve with bread so that you can dip the remaining oil blend with tomato juices. A classic Greek favourite grant finale!
Below you will find my favourite authentic products (affiliate links) I used to cook and shoot this recipe. If you can't see the content, please deactivate your ad-blocker and refresh the page :-)
Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cretan oil is undoubtedly one of the most virgin Olive Oils in the world. Be it the Cretan climate, the skills of Cretans delivering exceptional extra virgin oil over the centuries, or both, this is one olive oil you should be giving a try. During my visits to Greece, I used to bring a 3L pack of Cretan (or Spartan) oil over to the UK but I stopped as soon as I realised how good Amazon's price is (not to mention the space I saved in my luggage)! I use this oil for all my recipes, savoury or desserts.
When I lived in Greece (almost 35 years of my life), I never had the chance to try any other olive from any Meditteranean country. Reason being, the abundance of olives in Greece. Even if you wanted to, there were no olives imports from another country. Come forward some years and I live in the UK where you can try olives from different countries. Well, after a long trial and error adventure with olives from all over the Mediterranean basin, I came down to the realisation that the most balanced, juiciest and fully flavoured olives are Kalamata and Halkidiki plus some types of Turkish olives that they come pickled with herbs and spices. It might be my personal taste and East Med developed palate but Kalamata is my nr.1 choice and worth every penny. Below are some great Greek products (exported) that I appreciate and recommend: