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Maria Loi’s Village Salad (Horiatiki Loi)


Serves 3 to 4

Horiatiki salata is the iconic Greek salad everyone knows and loves. Perfect for lunch, dinner, or a snack in between, this salad fills you up without weighing you down.


2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 medium red onion, sliced or cut into pieces

1 green bell pepper, julienned

¾ cucumber, halved and sliced

¼ cup pitted kalamata olives

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dry wild Greek oregano leaves

Dakos, as needed

Red wine vinegar, for dressing

Olive oil, for dressing


1. To make the dressing, combine 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar with 1 cup of olive oil in a resealable container, and season with salt, pepper, and Greek oregano to taste. Shake vigorously until emulsified.

2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and olives.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Drizzle the dakos with the salad dressing, then add to the salad bowl.

5. Toss with a small amount of the dressing until coated, or if preferred, serve dressing on the side.

6. Top with feta, sprinkle with oregano, and serve immediately.

Cook’s notes: • Dakos are Greek barley rusks that are sold dried and are often used in Greek cooking as a textural component; they are a great source of fiber, and an essential part of the Cretan Diet, the basis for The Greek Diet and Mediterranean Diet.

• While you may substitute well-toasted pieces of dense, whole-grain or multigrain bread in a pinch, the barley rusks are better. If you cannot locate them in a local shop, barley rusks may be ordered online.