γεια!! that means hi in Greek. going back to my Greek roots with this one….oh but with a fun twist!! please welcome Vegan Greek Village Pasta Salad! it’s simply a Horiatiki Salata aka Greek Village Salad but ya know, vegan + pasta style.
my whole life i’ve been obsessed with village salads and will order one every chance i get. some are better than others depending on the quality of the produce. also, ya have to get the vinaigrette right or else it’s just blah.
this is based on my mom’s recipe for her Greek salads and it’s similar to most others. just the basics are needed, which holds true for much of Greek cuisine. there’s an emphasis on fresh, whole foods.
sooo a little Horiatiki background!
a Greek salad is usually a summer dish, and since lettuce only grows in Greece during the winter months a traditional ‘Horiatiki’ salad does not include lettuce.
the Greek village salad is not part of the Greece’s long established traditional cuisine. actually, the tomato didn’t become mainstream in Greece until the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century. so crazy because when we think of Greece….fresh tomatoes, especially from Crete.
the village salad is generally made with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese (usually served as a large slice on top of the other ingredients), kalamata olives and dressed with salt, pepper, Greek oregano and olive oil. i also add vinegar to mine!
other common additions include green bell pepper slices or capers, especially on the Dodecanese islands.
to me, there is no greater happiness in life than sitting on the beach on the island of Paros, which is part of the Cyclades islands of Greece, and eating a horiatiki salata.
the memories of visiting with my parents and brother and sharing a delicious, nourishing and fresh meal outside beneath the Grecian sun brings me a joy that is unmatched.
when i think of this salad, i think of the beauty of Greece, cherished family time and the abundance of earthy produce the country has to offer.
at first, i wasn’t going to add any pasta, it was just going to be a regular ole version. i didn’t have vegan feta on hand either, but before i started assembling, i was like, let’s just go all out.
i live so close to a grocery store that sells violife feta cheese, which is vegan! ok, growing up eating feta before i went vegan, yes, i can tell it’s not the same. however, it’s crazy close.
personally, i love the taste and think it’s as good as vegan feta can get, but if you know of another brand, please let me know because i’m so keen to try others.
i have come across some artisan vegan fetas made specifically by a restaurant or cafe i have visited, but have not found any other than violife that’s sold at a grocery store.
pasta and other options
my local grocery store had some Ronzoni Cauliflower Penne, so i was intrigued. it was actually pretty good without an overpowering cauliflower taste, so i’m a fan! here are some other options!
- orzo- my favorite is Jovial Cassava Orzo
- basmati rice
- any type of pasta
you can always just keep this recipe a straight up horiatiki salata and not add anything else! honestly, it’s wonderful either way. your palate really gets to focus on the abundance of fresh flavors.
the flavors are bold too. from the salty kalamata olives, to slightly sour feta and sweet tomatoes, there’s a total party of flavors.
the vinaigrette is best kept simple and traditional. no need to mess with this kind of perfection. you can add red wine vinegar if you would like! my mom likes to add rice wine vinegar to hers. you could also just keep it at olive oil if you would like, but vinegar adds better flavor.
also, the capers are totally optional. personally, i don’t prefer them in this dish but love capers in other things.
i hope that you thoroughly enjoy this recipe and have the most relaxing saturday!!
Vegan Greek Village Pasta SaladCourse: Lunch & Dinner, Pasta, SaladsDifficulty: Easy
1 box cooked pasta of your choosing
1 large green bell pepper cut into small pieces
1 large red bell pepper cut into small pieces
1 large cucumber cut into quarters
1.5 cups tomatoes cut into small pieces
1/3 cup chopped red onion (or however much you want)
1 block violife feta cut into cubes
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 or 1/2 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
- cook the pasta according to package directions and then let it cool down.
- add all of the veggies, olives and feta to the cooked and cooled down pasta.
- whisk the vinaigrette ingredients and pour over the pasta salad. mix well and serve at room temp or chilled. enjoy!