Five years ago today, my husband and I were in Santorini, Greece with our six-month-old firstborn in tow to celebrate the wedding of two of our best friends (That’s the happy couple in the picture!). Only for these two would we travel halfway around the world as first-time parents with a still-nursing, not-yet-crawling baby in arms! And so we did. And it was one incredible trip.
We flew into London and spent a few days there before flying to Santorini (one of the Greek Islands). We loved Santorini and took part in just about everything the small group gathered for the wedding celebration had planned. This included, as I recall, a LOOOOONG hike down a STEEEEEEEEP hill accompanied by donkeys to the coast so that we could take a boat out to a smaller island formed by a volcanic crater. We hiked up the hills of that island (baby asleep in the Baby Bjorn!) and took in the incredible view from the top before hiking back down.
On the evening of the wedding, we walked in procession through the cobblestone streets to a tiny hilltop church where the ceremony was (unexpectedly!) conducted entirely in Greek. Then we processed back to the reception site, tourists smiling upon us, as we arrived with our small contingent at the most intimate and beautiful restaurant terrace, where each chair was positioned to have a view of the perfect sunset that evening. It was a night that I’m sure no one present has forgotten.
So as we wish our dear friends a Happy 5 Year Anniversary, I share with you this recipe for an authentic Greek Salad. I developed this recipe to replicate the salad I DEVOURED our first night on the island. I have never tasted anything so fresh, so simple, and so perfectly balanced. I make this all the time when tomatoes and cucumbers are in season (and sometimes even when they’re not!). It’s perfection on a plate…and it always brings back fond memories of that very special trip.
4 medium heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 small cucumbers, cut into same size pieces as tomato
1 green pepper, cut into same size pieces as tomato and cucumber
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced, each slice cut in half
16 kalamata olives
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 slices of good feta from the thin end of a block (1/4″ thick)
2-4 Tbsp. good fruity olive oil
Sprinkle of dried oregano
Chop the vegetables and toss with olives in a bowl. Season with pepper. Divide among four salad bowls. Top each bowl with a slice of feta, sprinkle of oregano, and drizzle (1/2 Tbsp. – 1 Tbsp.) of olive oil. And that’s IT!