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Tags:Greek Village Salad, by Yiorgo Aretos recipe,cheflive,greek village salad,yiorgo aretos
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Hello, welcome to Down To Earth, I'm Chef Yiorgo, real recipes for real people. I owned Sonio’s Café here in Las Vegas, popular local restaurant.
Today we’re going to be doing a bunch of different recipes that are quick, simple, easy, fun and fresh. We’re going to do a Greek Village Salad called the Horiataki so let’s get started.
The first thing we’re going to do today is we’re going to turn the oven on to 400 degrees, get it nice and hot for the pork chops that we’re going to do later. Let’s jump in to the Horiataki.
Now a salad in Greece is a little bit different than a salad in America. Salad in America, you have a lot of vegetables, you have a lot of lettuce. We have in Greece too, but Greek people like to eat their salad a little bit differently especially the Horiataki. Now, the Horio in Greek means village and what we’re going to do today is a sample of the traditional Horio salad.
We’re going to start today with some Roman tomatoes and you can use pretty much any type of tomato that you have. I prefer Roman tomatoes because they tend to be a little sweeter especially this time of the year. They’re coming right off the vine and you can see when you pick the Roman tomato you want to make sure that you got a nice red color to it. It shouldn’t be very pale, it shouldn’t be very green, and it should be very firm to the touch.
We’re going to start today, make sure you wash them, of course. We’re going to start today by slicing of the tips, and the idea with this is to make bite size pieces, pieces that you can walk by and just grab off for the plate. In Greece, when you’re eating a Horiataki typically it’s a pre-course to the main meal. And you’ll leave it out on the table. Everybody in the house will come by and they’ll pick off a bit, and grab a piece here and there while they’re doing their activities or working.
Now, I'm going to slice this one just so you can see the inside of the Roman tomato. You want to make sure that it’s nice and firm there. You want to make sure that the seeds aren’t very droopy and that’s when you feeling it that’s what you’re looking for. And we’re not going to use that. We’re going to slice this into very thin slices. You don’t want them to be very thick. You don’t want the flavor of the tomato that are overpowering in the salad because we have a lot of the fun ingredients that we’re going to put on top of this. So you want to make it about this thin. You can just pick up and pop in your mouth. We’re going to cut all those like that.
Now, the flavors of the Horiataki can differ from village to village. My village happens to be simple village and we only have a few ingredients that we’re going to put together here from the garden. However, you can use any of the garden fresh vegetables that you have such as cucumbers which we’re not going to use today. Those are also popular in Greece and in Greek cuisine. We want to grab a plate that’s large enough so that the tomatoes are not overlapping just a little bit. I spread them evenly around the plate. They don’t have to be too much close about it because they’re all going to be eaten anyhow. I’ve got a nice layer of them.
Next step, you want to pick some Feta cheese. Now, there are a lot of different types of Feta cheese that are available in the market. I prefer to use for the Feta cheese. There is domestic Feta cheese. However, it doesn’t have the same flavor and therefore I prefer to use an imported Feta cheese. Now, the Feta cheese that I'm using today, I’ve already dried out. I’ve soak the juice out of it.
Some people like to use it. You can drain it. You don’t have to drain it. Today we’re going to drain it. The reason that we’re going to drain it, that we have drained it is because we have a lot of other oils and stuff to put on top of it. I'm just going to pour about four ounces onto the top. I like to crumble. If you don’t want to crumble or if you can’t find crumbled, you can use whole Feta cheese as well. I would cut it into slices that are again bite size, easy to put into your mouth. You don’t want to be cutting it just typically isn’t the type of the salad that you’re going to and taking the knife to either. That’s something that you want to stab the fork into and I’m done with.
So the second layer is a layer of Feta cheese. Now at this point, you want to grab some olive oil. Now, I prefer to use virgin olive oil. Some people like to use extra virgin olive oil. I had pretty cook with extra virgin olive oil, but on my salads I like virgin. It has a much bolder flavor.
The olive oil, if you’re using a bottle you want to make sure that you’re not pouring it so heavily over the top that if becomes a predominant flavor. The idea here is just a drizzle. Just enough to coat the tomatoes, to coat the Feta cheese, drizzle it on the plate and the idea actually is to give it enough moisture, so that when we put the other ingredients on top, the spices and the dry spices on top, that they stick. I'm also going to use some dry basil. Now when I cook with Italian food or I'm making Italian dishes I prefer to use fresh basil. When I cook Greek foods, I tend to prefer to use dry basil, and the reason for that is that the dry basil tends to soak up with vinegar and the oil better than the fresh basil does.
I'm going to take about a tablespoon and we’re going to spread it right on the top and feel free to be liberal with this. This is the predominant flavor in the dish. I'm also going to take some ground pepper and if you’d like to use fresh ground pepper that’s fine as well, just take you a little bit longer to do it. I'm going to take again this time about a teaspoon, and we’re going to drizzle that on top as well.
Now, balsamic vinegar, there are many different kinds of balsamic vinegar available. It doesn’t matter what kind to use. We’re going to use straight, simple everyday. Something you can find in a grocery store balsamic vinegar. There are flavors, there’s fruit, there’s pears, there’s berries, all of those taste fine with this especially when you’re using the Roman tomatoes because they are so juicy. They are so fresh and fruity for this. This is just the basis and I think the flavor speak for itself. Again, with this you’re going to do just a light covering. Balsamic vinegar tends to be much stronger than regular vinegars, so you don’t want to use as much as you would. If say you were putting together just a toss salad with some red vinegar. This flavor is going to jump out of it. It’s going to mix with the Feta cheese and it’s going to be very strong because you want to make sure that you layer it just enough to your taste. What I use right there was probably just about over three or four tablespoons. If you prefer it to be a little bit stronger have a little more bite feel free to spread it out.
Now, I also like to use Peter bread with this. If you prefer different type of bread, different types of bread work just fine as well. I prefer the Peter because it’s so nice thin bread and it soaks up the balsamic vinegar and the oil very wellness dish. I’ve cut mine into slices, and I'm going to cut them a little bit more again bite size is the idea with this dish. Just about this big.
Now I'm going to lay them on the side of the dish so that people can come by and grab them as they please, and we’re going to have a couple of green onions. You only need two. If you prefer a stronger flavor feel free to add some more. This is for color and it’s also for flavor. I'm going to cut them just in half. And we’re going to lay those right across the top burger.
We’re going to finalize the dish, put some Kalamata olives. Again, very much like the Feta cheese, there’s a lot of different types of Kalamata olives that’s available in the stores. If you can find imported Kalamata olives I definitely suggest that you do. There’s something about the flavor that is just different than the domestic Kalamata olive. However, anything will do as long as it’s Kalamata, and I place those around the side as well. And then, I put right on the top. Not a secret, when you’re cooking with any type of a Mediterranean food especially Greek food and especially when you’re cooking with Kalamata olives.
I love the juice, the juice is a secret to a flavor and if there is any juice left over, drizzle right over the top of that. They really bring the flavor of Feta cheese out, and that is a simple, quick, easy, down to earth Horiataki, Greek Village Salad.