Horiatiki Salad & Chicken Souvlaki – Perfect Summer Dinner

I developed my love of horiatiki salads and chicken souvlaki when I visited Greece on a month long Europe romp with my 3 college bf’s over 15 years ago (we were actually there at this very time in 1998!). We visited France, Italy, Spain and Greece and as much as I love pasta, nothing beat the Greek cuisine. The vegetables in the horiatiki salad (a Greek salad minus the lettuce) were so fresh and delicious, the perfect combination of crunch and vinegar and feta. Mmmmm. And PS, in Greece (or maybe it was just Ios, the little island that also had salt water coming out of the sinks/showers), they serve their gyros with French fries inside. Amazing.

I am honestly in disbelief that I have never recreated this entire dinner. I’ve done the salad plenty of times, but never added the souvlaki. Well, after a little bit of research to find the perfect chicken souvlaki recipe, I found this little gem on Epicurious. Definitely going in the regular rotation. So easy, quick (other than the marinating time), and flavorful – just plain delish. I served with some pita and tzatziki from my neighborhood Greek restaurant, Nikos Gyros, because any tzatziki I make will never be as good as theirs. I had my friend Courtney for dinner, we both had seconds, total winner.

Horiatiki Fixins

Marinating ChickenHoriatikiChicken Souvlaki

Chicken Souvlaki

courtesy of Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1.5lbs
  • wood skewers

Preparation

  1. To start the marinade, first crush the garlic and finely chop the oregano. In a dish large enough to marinate the chicken, add the garlic, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil and add the oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Cut all of the chicken into approximately 1½-inch cubes.
  3. Place the chicken into the marinade and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
  4. Prior to cooking, make sure to soak the wood skewers in cold water for at least 2 hours.
  5. To cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 375º degrees (or you can grill).
  6. Slide 3 or 4 pieces of meat onto each skewer.
  7. If baking in the oven, cook for about 10 minutes, turning once, or until cooked through. You might need to broil for the last few minutes to get the meat nicely browned.

Horiatiki Salad

  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and sliced into half moons
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced into slivers
  • Feta cheese, crumbled, as much or as little as you like
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • For the dressing – olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped fresh oregano, salt & pepper – I like to go about 50/50 for my oil/vinegar ratio, I definitely like my dressing on the tart side. I eyeball all of this and don’t measure, but you can’t go wrong if you taste it along the way and make it how you like it!

The great thing about the horiatiki salad is you can’t really mess it up. Especially in the summertime, when all of these are in season (especially tomatoes!) and their most delicious. Pick some or all of these veggies, maybe get crazy and do a red pepper instead of yellow. Even crazier? Add avocado. If you don’t like onions, screw em. Bonus, this salad is even better the second day. Enjoy!

 

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