This Greek salad relies on cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions, feta, and a tangy white wine vinaigrette, like the Mediterranean classic. But in a twist on the traditional, it lets the cukes, peppers, and onions linger in the dressing a while first to lend them a pickle-ish oomph.
Adapted from Sonoma Press | The Mediterranean Table | Sonoma Press, 2015
Marinating cucumbers, onions, and banana peppers infuses them with the flavor of the herbs and vinegar and mellows the bite of the onions and peppers.–Sonoma Press
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano preferably Greek
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 to 3 medium (about 9 oz) Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber sliced thinly
- 1 medium (5 oz) fresh hot peppers* or bell peppers
- 1 medium red onion halved and sliced into thin half-moons
- 1 pint mixed small heirloom tomatoes halved
- 2 ounces feta or aged goat cheese
- Handful kalamata olives (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the cucumbers, peppers, and onion and toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
- Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Crumble the cheese over the top and toss on the olives, if using, and serve immediately.
*What kinds of peppers should I use in my Greek salad?Use any mild pepper, such as sliced red or orange bell peppers, or other small mild chiles, like banana peppers. Already pickled, pepperoncini peppers are another great option—they have a pretty mild amount of heat, too.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This is a fabulous Greek salad. Crunchy, vibrant, refreshing, and full of great flavors. We enjoyed it very much the day I made it but found that it was even better the next day. The cucumbers and the onion had gotten pickled from sitting in the vinegar.
I used red, orange, and yellow sweet baby bell peppers which I cut into lovely rings. This is going to be a great salad to make all through the spring and summer. I can see it going beautifully with barbecued meats.
What makes this Greek salad just a bit different is that the cucumber and onion are marinated in vinegar. This serves to almost make a quick pickle of them and has the added benefit of taming the raw onion flavor. I marinated my onion and cucumber for about 3 hours but even the minimum 1 hour is going to have a positive effect versus just dressing a salad in the usual way.
The one issue I had was that there was extra liquid from the marinade, so I would suggest that after tossing in the tomatoes, you transfer the salad to a platter with a slotted spoon, leaving the excess vinegar behind. I used brined and marinated tofu instead of goat cheese or feta to make this a vegan salad.
Pucker up because this Greek salad has some zing! The cucumbers and onions sing after soaking in the vinegar, garlic, and oregano. The fresh tomatoes and creamy goat cheese provide a lovely contrast to the crisp acidity.
I let mine marinate for 3 hours before serving. I loved the mellow flavors that had developed by the next day and would probably marinate overnight next time. It’s a mouthful of flavor on its own but equally tasty tucked into a sandwich.
What a lovely summer salad! Crunchy, fresh, and a nice change from my typical Greek salad which has oil in the dressing. The veggies stayed crunchy after the marinade. Perfect make-ahead potluck dish.
There were a few leftovers which were still terrific the next day.
I love Greek-style salads of all sorts and this make-ahead version is no different. I was surprised at how much I didn’t miss olive oil in the marinade and pleased at the directions to add tomatoes and feta last, just before serving, so both keep their flavor.
I used equal weights of cucumber and banana-shaped yellow sweet peppers which was a nice balance. I only used half of my medium onion because I didn’t want a strongly oniony salad. Next time I make this I’ll double the garlic and oregano for a heftier punch, and maybe throw an olive or two onto each serving.
I served it on its own at first, then with lunch wrapped in flour tortillas with tapenade, cannellini beans, and wheat berries. This was great, too.
Greek food is becoming very popular in my neck of the woods for a good reason. Fresh and simple ingredients that are easily accessible. This is the perfect summer salad to accompany anything on the grill.
If there are any leftovers, they hold up well in the fridge and can be eaten as is or, as I did, in a pita. All of the ingredients are readily available in most supermarkets with the exception of Greek oregano, which I had a little of, and mixed with the regular store-bought type.
I let my mixture marinate for more than 24 hours and the cucumbers were still crisp and the red onions were perfect. I didn’t add peppers because the type that I bought were “scald your lips” hot! So glad I didn’t put them in with the other ingredients.
About 30 minutes before serving, I added the small heirloom multi-colored tomatoes and feta cheese, and a handful of Kalamata olives for extra color. Normally I’d add olive oil to this but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t missed.
I served it at room temperature as a side dish to wood-grilled lamb chops and rice pilaf. Was a great Mediterranean-style meal.
The prep time was about 10 minutes and the same for the completion. Easy to make ahead.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I love Greek salad and most things Mediterranean so I couldn’t wait to try this recipe. This definitely falls into the category of “recipes that you can tailor to suit your personal tastes and it’s tough to mess it up.”
The frugal side of me doesn’t like buying special ingredients for recipes when I can make easy substitutions using what I already have on hand so I used regular oregano, standard grocery store cucumbers, red bell peppers instead of banana peppers, and feta cheese. I was very happy with the results. I added a healthy dose of Kalamata olives because I just don’t think a Greek salad is complete without them.
I marinated my salad for 1 hour and then, after the initial meal, I enjoyed leftovers the next couple of days with satisfactory results. I ate this as an entree salad with grilled chicken, as an accompaniment to grilled steak, and stuffed in a pita for lunch. I also think it would be great served over cooked quinoa.