No Widgets found in the Sidebar

If you’ve ever been to a Greek restaurant outside of Greece, you are certainly familiar with the ubiquitous “Greek Village Salad”, aka “Village Salad”.

 Greek Village Salad

The ingredients never vary, whether you are dining in Chicago’s Greektown, New York’s Astoria, or Paris’ St. Michel, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, feta topped with a few Kalamata olives. And of course, the Horiatiki Salata (Village Salad) is a dish that survives adulteration as it cross borders and oceans. So visitors to Greece will find that throughout the country the basic ingredients remain the same from Crete to Kavala. What visitors don’t know is that traditionally the village salad was a summer salad, appearing in Greek households from some time in mid-spring (in the south of Greece) and early summer as you moved north. The reasons are obvious, the first crop of tomatoes and cucumbers generally don’t aren’t ready for harvest, even in the mild south, until mid-April. And in the mountains of central and northern Greece, perhaps tomatoes would not have been ready until May. Of course, with the growth of greenhouses, particularly along the southern coast of Crete, has changed all of that. And now we find tomatoes at the farmer’s markets twelve months a year along with a rainbow of red, yellow, orange and green peppers, and a variety of cucumbers, all grown in hothouses in Crete.

Is this rise in hothouse vegetables a bad thing? That is a question much too large for me to tackle alone, but for myself, personally, I think it is best to stay as close to home with my food sources as possible. There are plenty of sources within a few hours of Athens to keep the city well fed throughout the year, growing what is traditionally seasonal as opposed tweaking with nature to satisfy the marketplace.

So what’s a better choice of salad in the winter in Greece? Eat like the locals eat by choosing a traditional winter Lahano-Karoto Salata (Cabbage and carrots), sprinkled with lemon juice and drizzled in olive oil. Cabbage is a winter vegetable and carrots, harvested earlier in the season, have long storage lives and are plentiful through the winter.

A healthy winter salad in Athens 

Other options? Batzaria, or Beets, with or without skordalia (garlic sauce) make a fine choice for a winter salad. Forget those canned beets of your childhood. Often served with a plate of beet greens, in Greece you’ll find beets with the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess, and when served with a dollop (or two!) of garlicly skordalia you will never even consider a canned beet again.

 Beets and beet greens for batzariaPotato and garlic for skordalia

How about bean salads? Rich in vitamins and high in fiber, they are a healthy, tasty addition to any Greek table. Mavromatika Salata (black eyed peas) and Fava (yellow split peas) make excellent starters, and even vegetarians could build a satisfying Greek winter meal by adding these two dishes to their menu.


For a heartier warm dish look for Fasoladha, bean soup.

 Hearty winter bean soup

So if you are visiting Greece in the late autumn, winter or early fall, stick to traditional by eating vegetables of the season. And don’t forget fruit! Travelers visiting the Argoloid and Nafplion will pass through miles and miles of fruit groves full of a variety of oranges, sanguine oranges (blood oranges), and apples throughout the winter months.

Blood Oranges a Winter Treat

A day trip to this region isn’t complete without a stop at one of the many stalls lining the road selling bags of freshly picked oranges to rival Florida’s best.

By Athensguide

How does a little girl from Skokie, Illinois find herself in historical Athens, leading curious explorers through the winding streets of Plaka, down "pezodromos" to hidden ouzeries for tempting mezedhes and homemade barrel wine? The journey began more than twenty years ago, and regardless of whether the wanderlust comes from the spiritual and culture DNA flowing through my veins, or the alignment of the stars on that cold mid-December day this Sagitterian came into the world, I never seem to tire of exploring my adopted homeland of Greece. Here you'll join me as I explore Athens: be it the back streets of Psirri and Gazi, or through the National Gardens and Zappeio where a family of turtles makes their home, or down wide, treelined Imittou Street in Pagrati, which pulses with Athenian life 24 hours a day. And while Athens has stolen my heart, the rest of Greece vies for my curiousity and wanderlust. My two guys (that'd be the Greek God, Vasilis and our Greek dog, Scruffy) and I can often be found settling in for a long weekend in some charming mountain village, or a quaint fishing port on a nearby island, or learning how Greek vitners are producing wines that rival some of Napa Valley's finests productions, or celebrating a panayeri in Epirus or sharing in the festivities as a family of Cretan sheepherders come together to sheer their 1500 sheep in the spring ... And if you happen to find yourself heading to Athens, consider finding yourself a real home for your stay. Living amongst the locals, be it for 3 nights or 3 weeks, will offer you the chance to experience true Athens, beyond the Acropolis. Choose from one of our 5 beautiful penthouse and historical homes, and who knows, I may be leading you down that winding "pezodromo" to our favorite hidden ouzerie!