The insalata grika is a salad typical of the griko culinary tradition of the Salentine peninsula in Puglia, Italy. The griko villages of the Salento have strong historical links to Greek culture and a local dialect based on Greek was spoken in the area for centuries.
Nevertheless, this an Italian rather than a Greek salad, this recipe coming from the griko village of Martignano in the province of Lecce. With the addition of fresh primosale (first salt) pecorino cheese and a slice of puccia (homemade bread), it is a complete and balanced dish typical of both cucina povera and the Mediterranean diet.
It is claimed that the insalata grika is a complete single course that contains a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-cholesterol factors. It is said to have anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties, to prevent heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, and to promote the secretion of gastric juices and digestion.
There are no amounts given for the ingredients in this recipe, everything is quanto basta (to taste) although the accompanying image should provide some guidance if required. Simply chop and mix the ingredients: as usual, fresh, seasonal and local is best.
* Salad tomatoes (ideally the Morciano di Leuca variety)
* Minunceddhe (meloncelle, a type of cucumber, ideally the San Donato variety)
* White onion
* Wild rocket
* Black olives (ideally the Cellina di Nardò variety)
* Pickled capers
* Primosale pecorino cheese
* Extra virgin olive oil