This unique vegetarian Greek salad is healthy and nutritious. It’s made with ancient Greek sesame bars called Pastelli that are easy to make at home.
This Greek Pastelli Salad is my first savory recipe on the blog! It’s based on my ancient Greek Pastelli recipe, which is simple to make at home. This easy vegetarian salad with Pastelli only requires a few ingredients and is really healthy, too!
Traditional Greek salad, Horiatiki, has feta cheese with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, olives, and occasionally a few other vegetables. This salad, though, is a bit different. It has a few vegetables, but it doesn’t have any feta cheese. Instead, it includes a combination of sweet and savory flavors, as it contains pastelli and a sweet and sour honey mustard vinaigrette dressing. Together with the mixed greens, the pastelli adds a unique flavor!
What is Pastelli?
If you’re not familiar with Greek cuisine, Pastelli (pronounced pa-STE-lee) is a healthy bar made with sesame seeds and honey. It dates back to ancient Greece and is even mentioned in a few ancient Greek texts, including Homer's Iliad. In Greece today, you can buy a variety of pastelli bars, but you could easily make pastelli at home yourself! I have a complete step-by-step post about how to make pastelli at home. It really is easy to make and all you need are 2 ingredients: sesame seeds and honey. To make it yourself, check out my post How to Make Ancient Greek Sesame Bars - Pastelli !
If you want to buy pastelli bars, make sure you get the softer ones as the hard ones wouldn’t be ideal for this salad.
What does this Greek Pastelli salad taste like?
This salad is sweet and tangy at the same time! The oranges and pastelli add a nice sweet flavor which blend really well with the mixed greens and the dressing. The pastelli also gives the salad a nice crunchy texture.
How to enjoy this salad
This Greek Pastelli Salad is one of my favorites! It’s great on its own for lunch, but it can easily accompany main course dinners, too! It pairs well with Greek pita bread or any Greek meal!
What you need to make Greek Pastelli salad:
Mixed salad greens: I use radicchio, arugula, regular lettuce and red leaf lettuce, and some baby spinach.
Fruit: I use oranges and some dried cranberries.
Onions: I use red onions, but you could use white ones, instead. I think the red ones are more flavorful for salads and they add a nice hue, too.
Tomatoes: I use Greek sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil.
Pastelli: The star of the show! I use my homemade pastelli cut into cubes to top the salad, but you could use store-bought, if you prefer.
Vinaigrette dressing: I make a really simple dressing with Greek honey, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and a little mustard.
Add-ins & Variations
There are lots of different variations you could play around with to make this salad unique! Here are a few ideas:
Fruit: Pomegranate seeds (arils) are absolutely amazing with this salad. I always add some pomegranate seeds when they are in season. They give a nice, yet subtle sweet flavor and crunch that I love! They also make the salad really colorful!
Nuts: Walnuts would go great with this salad and they would also add a nice texture, too. Honey-roasted peanuts would also pair well with this salad!
Cheese: Although I’m not a huge fan of feta paired with anything sweet, there are many people who love it! You could add some crumbled feta or goat cheese for a much tangier salad.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can this be made ahead?
You can easily make the dressing ahead and keep it in the fridge. However, I wouldn’t make the entire salad with the dressing ahead of time as it would get a bit soggy. Like most salads, this would be best made right before serving.
What other ingredients can be used?
I always use Greek olive oil because I think it blends perfectly with the other ingredients, but you could use others as well, like sunflower oil or canola oil. Of course, you could add your favorite salad oil, instead.
HOW TO MAKE GREEK PASTELLI SALAD
This is one of the easiest salads I've ever made as there isn’t much preparation.
First, prepare and cut the oranges, the sun-dried tomatoes, and the pastelli.
Add the mixed greens to a large salad bowl. Add the oranges, tomatoes, and pastelli and toss everything together.
Then, add all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar, put the lid on, and shake.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
And that’s it - it’s ready to be served!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Using a jar for the vinaigrette dressing instead of a bowl is so convenient! I just put all the ingredients in the jar, close the lid, and shake! If you want to save some dressing or have any leftovers, you just cover it with the lid and put it straight into the refrigerator! No need to clean any bowls or whisks!
- I often use pre-washed mixed greens for this salad for convenience. If you’re using fresh greens, I suggest blotting them with a towel to absorb as much water as possible after you wash them. Then place the greens on a clean kitchen towel and let them air dry until you’re ready to use them - I usually let them air dry for about half an hour. I find this helps to prevent the greens from getting soggy once I add the dressing.
MORE HEALTHY RECIPES
Let me know how this Greek Pastelli Salad turns out for you in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you!
Greek Pastelli Salad (Healthy + Easy)
For the salad
- 1 packet salad mix (7 oz / 200 g) with radicchio, arugula, baby spinach and lettuce, pre-washed
- 2 oranges, cut into segments or small pieces
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
- ¼ cup (40 g / 1.4 oz) dried cranberries
- 3 oz / 100 g pastelli, cut into cubes (See Recipe Notes below for the link to the recipe)
For the Vinaigrette Dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl and toss everything together.
- To make the vinaigrette dressing, add all the ingredients to a jar, put the lid on, and shake very well.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
- Get the recipe for homemade Pastelli here.
- If you’re using fresh greens, I suggest blotting them with a towel to absorb as much water as possible after you wash them. Then place the greens on a clean kitchen towel and let them air dry until you’re ready to use them - I usually let them air dry for about half an hour.
- The vinaigrette dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.