Dateline Athens: Politiki Salata (Πολίτικη σαλάτα)

By Resident Chef: Harvey Pincis



Yours truly is in Greece and researching food in the North Med. It is a bit nippy, compared to Q8, but not so bad really. I met Kostas Rekoumis on my travels in Athena, pictured above and enjoyed a great Byzantine salad.

Greeks will often make cabbage salads in the cold months and the most popular one being the “politiki salata”. Once again “politiki” refers to a Constantinople dish and this salad is just one of the many to be enjoyed by Greeks in all corners of the country.

The trick to making a good slaw or politiki salata is to get some of that raw flavour out of the cabbage and the best way to do that is to concoct a “quick pickle”. A simple salad but one that can easily disappoint if it’s served overly dressed or soggy. Add sugar, salt and vinegar and allow the salad vegetables to cure. After about 15-20 minutes drain the salad and actually squeeze handfuls of the salad to remove excess liquid (and salt and sugar).

The result is a salad that had a proper sweet and sour balance and it’s remarkably still crunchy. Use sea salt, quality wine vinegar and only the best extra-virgin olive oil…Greek!



(serves 4)

4 cups of shredded white cabbage

1/2 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup thinly sliced red pepper

1/2 stalk of celery, diced

1 tsp. of sugar

1 tsp. of fine salt

1/4 cup vinegar

approx. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Juice of a lemon – here they are just out of this world!



Place the shredded cabbage, carrot, red pepper and celery in a bowl with the sugar, salt and wine vinegar and toss. Allow to cure for 15 minutes (or a bit longer).

Now take handfuls of the salad and place in a strainer and squeeze-dry of excess liquid and place in the bowl. Continue to squeeze the remaining salad then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and toss.

Adjust seasoning with salt, wine vinegar and lemon, toss once again and serve immediately.









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