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It’s no secret one of the sublime pleasures of spending time in the Greek Islands is to enjoy the healthy lifestyle. Sunshine, swimming, relaxation and of course the incredibly, healthy cuisine. It’s a laid back culture and this is reflected in the food. Nothing too complex. Just simple, healthy food, including a Greek village salad.
Salad is a staple, served at every meal, it is hard not to eat well in the Greek Islands when you have a healthy salad at least twice a day.
And you’ll notice I haven’t called it Greek salad. That’s what it’s called outside of Greece. Apart from some of the more expensive hotels catering towards tourists, we never saw “Greek salad” on the menu, it is called “Village Salad”, so for descriptive purposes a Greek Village Salad!
So as you eat your way around Naxos, one of our favorite activities, you can try many versions of a Greek Village salad, no two are the same. We suggest trying some of the local tavernas as a great way to experience the real, Greek culture. A Greek village salad, some village wine and some fabulous grilled seafood, lamb or pork set in some of the most gob-smacking scenery you will ever see. Welcome to Naxos!
Great Tavernas in Naxos
Last week we featured our favorite tavernas from Naxos Town. Today we cover some of the great tavernas outside of Naxos Town. We also claimed, Naxos was our favorite Greek Island. Here are some more reasons why.
Naxos is a large island. There are many accommodation options outside of Naxos Town and there are quaint seaside and mountain villages. We stayed in Naxos for a week and hired a car so we could discover some of the villages off the main tourist track, so to speak. They all contain tavernas where you can relax for a fabulous, long, lazy lunch, as you can see on some of the nearby pictures. We also found Naxos to be considerably cheaper compared to the more famous islands of Mykonos and Santorini.
All of these Naxos tavernas feature their own versions of village wine. This is a great concept where villagers pool their grape harvest and produce village wine for all to enjoy. All of these tavernas outside of Naxos Town feature their own wine, as did some in Naxos Town. It is usually pretty good and it is inexpensive, with a liter usually costing anywhere between 3 and 8 Euros! Very affordable.
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Here are 3 of our favorite tavernas outside of Naxos Town. You really need a car to access them:
- Ntoyzenia, Fresh Seafood Tavern in Lionas, Naxos. It is on the other side of the island from Naxos Town. Set right on the seaside, we had this place all to ourselves. The owner was a delightfully friendly fellow. We enjoyed a huge cheese platter with breads and a selection of local cheeses, sausages,and 2 grilled whole fish. The fish and sausages were grilled over an open fire, The fish was just superbly fresh and tasty. It was accompanied by a jug of village wine and salad. This was way too much food for two people! The scenery was lovely right on the beach. As we encountered at a lot of places, our host at the taverna gave us something complimentary. The Greeks are excellent hosts and always offering you something to try or something from the house in this case it was an extra jug of wine So we relaxed and enjoyed the view. Total was 37 euros and this meal could have fed 4!
- The Net, Matsouna Beach, Naxos. Another magnificent, seaside tavern. We were basically seated on the beach. We enjoyed grilled calamari, village salad, village (rose) wine, and grilled pike. Here the complimentary items from the house was dessert and after dinner drinks. We had 2 different types of panna cotta accompanied by mandarin and lemon-flavored raki (excellent – made by the restaurateur’s grandmother). The seafood was fresh from their boat and was just brilliant. Cost was 30 euros. This was an incredibly relaxing experience.
- Matina & Stavros, Koronos, Naxos. For something a little different we recommend this magnificent, mountain-side taverna. It was drop-dead gorgeous and you had to pinch yourself that you were not in a dream. To reach the taverna, you walk down into the village as there are no roads open to traffic (magnificent). We enjoyed lamb casserole with peas, carrots and potatoes, goat with beans (spectacular), village (rose) wine and village salad. Cost was 30 euros for 2. Whilst having lunch some donkeys were led right past our table. Here the complimentary items were dessert again. This time it was what are known as spoon sweets. These are preserved fruits with a thick jello-like consistency. They come in a variety of flavors depending on what is grown in the village.
Greek Village Salad
And village salad? It’s everywhere. Almost compulsory to eat as they were all magnificently fresh and went so well with the grill of your choice. Like the village wine, the village salad is composed of ingredients fresh to the village and in season, which sometimes includes lettuce and always includes large slabs of feta.
Not correct you say? Greek salad doesn’t contain lettuce? Well that wasn’t our observation. Most village salad did indeed contain lettuce and it was very good. The locals ate the village salad and it contained whatever was in season or on hand.
So in honor of the great salads and meals we enjoyed on Naxos, here is our version of the classic, Greek village salad, including lettuce.
The salad will work beautifully with any Greek main course or try it with:
- 2 cups lettuce leaves mixed varieties or single
- 1/4 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves only
- 1 cup rocket leaves
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1 bell pepper (capsicum), green ribs removed, sliced horizontally
- 2 tomatoes medium, quartered
- 2 cucumbers, lebanese sliced
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1/2 cup olives Kalamata, stoned
- 1 onion, salad (red) sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp dill roughly chopped
- 6 ozs cheese, feta in 1 or 2 pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar of Modena
- 2 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp salt, ground sea
- Arrange the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss. Place the garnish ingredients, except for the feta, on top of the salad ingredients.
- In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and garnish (reserving a small amount) and lightly toss. Place the feta on top and then add the reserved dressing over it.
You have brought back lots of memories of travelling in the Greek isles! I am not a cucumber fan and my friend doesn’t do tomato so we shared Greek salads everywhere! Beautiful salad
Jayne. The salads from there are legendary. We loved the big chunks of feta. And always super fresh. Thanks for your comment.
Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers
You have just transported me there with this salad thank you! Thanks also for sharing on YWF.
Vicki, it is a tremendously beautiful place to visit. And the food was wonderful. Thanks for your comment.
Greece has long been on my “would love to visit” list and the food is very much part of it. This salad sounds so much nicer than any of the Greek salads we get served here in the UK. Love oregano.
It is a great place for food. So simple and healthy. I always buy dried Greek oregano from delicatessens in those big packets, where you get whole stems. Very strong and great value. Thanks for your comment.
Sara | Belly Rumbles
You can always tell a true Greek salad with those majestic slabs of feta sitting on top. Simply delicious.
Aren’t they the best. The feta was so good there. Thanks for your comment.
I love love love greek salad and this look so good! Refreshing and delicious!
Yes hard to think of a more popular salad. It’s that chunky feta. Thanks for your comment
Sam | Ahead of Thyme
This salad sounds amazing!! Can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks for sharing!
My pleasure Sam. We always enjoy salads of this nature. Thank you for your comment.
Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
This is great salad and so many great flavors!
It sure is hard to beat Greek-based salads, although the French might have something to say about that. I love the feta. Thanks for your comment.
Rebekah | Kitchen Gidget
Love those slabs of feta! I think this would be a great side dish for the Easter lamb.
Rebekah, you must have read my mind we will be featuring Greek lamb this week! A perfect combination. Thanks for your comment.
Mica @ Let's Taco Bout It Blog
Great recipe. Feta & Cilantro are a great combination of flavors. Can’t wait to try this out!
And easy to make as well. I love the crunch of the ingredients. Thanks for your comment.
Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction
Salads really don’t have to be boring! Just look how delicious this is!
Marsha, I agree. By adding different colors and textures you can end up with a great salad and all good for you. Thanks for your comment.
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
Oh , you make me wanna drop everything and head over to Greece. Looks fab.
Indeed! But at least you can make this one from home. Not quite as much fun but tasty at least. Thanks for your comment.
Cristie | Little Big H
Gee that looks so good and I have just about all of those ingredients in my fridge right now – that never happens!
Go for it Christie. Easy to make and great taste and crunch. Thanks for your comment.
Kate @ VeggieDesserts
Ah, this takes me right back. I spent a few month staying around the Greek islands and had such a good time. The feta salads were sooo delicious.
Kate. Yes the feta is the star of this salad and I love how much they use. Feta is also a little better for you than some other cheeses. Thanks for your comment.
How fantastic does this sound! I love me a good Greek salad, I do, and your recipe sounds super!
Thank you Elizabeth, I hope you enjoy it. I love the crunch of it! Thanks for your comment.