I have found that good dried Greek oregano is the key to successfully making many Greek dishes taste authentic. Store bought dried oregano and Italian oregano just do not taste the same. We are lucky enough to get a fresh harvest each year from my father-in-law’s childhood friend. He plucks it from the hills near his home.

The oregano is already quite dry from the Greek summer sun. After bringing home our fragrant bundles, we take turns rubbing our hands together over the small branches detaching the harvest which sprinkles down into a large pan. Next, we portion it and bag it and take it home. Sounds like an illegal activity! More than once, I have been worried about a suspicious suitcase search to reveal my ziplock baggies of the fresh, pungent herb.

Horiatiki is a common fixture on the Greek table. In the neighborhood gardens in Corfu, you find a majority of tomatoes, some peppers, zucchini, eggplant. Fresh plucked tomatoes and green peppers are tossed with red onion, feta and olives. Tossed with oil, vinegar and oregano, the result is one of hte most healthy, refreshing summer side dishes to be found.

Horiatiki – Greek Peasant Salad
I like to eyeball the portions to my liking. Below is a basic guide.

1-2 firm, red tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 cup feta cheese chunks (try to find Greek feta)
10-15 kalamata olives (If you buy jarred, I find full olives with pits are firmer and better)
1/4-1/2 red onion, sliced
1 green pepper, cored and cut in chunks
Greek oregano
quality olive oil
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper


Put all ingredients through red onion in a bowl. Sprinkle with oregano and toss with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.