Long time lurker on here, but this seems like the perfect 1st post!
This post is in reply to a request from the Ontario board, but mods thought it was better suited for here.....so here it is!
First, I'm gonna say that Greece is Greece, and part of the beauty of eating there is the freshness of produce, herbs, etc. It's hard to replicate, especially since the sights, sounds, and smells are truly unique to Greece.
BUT having said all that, yes, of course, you can make a fantastic Greek salad right here in Toronto. You don't say what kind of salad your Mom enjoyed? Was it lettuce based, or tomato based? That would make a big difference.
Some typical salad you'd find in Greece are what we call the 'Horiatiki' (WHORE-yia-TEE-KEE)--fresh tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, feta cheese, oregano, GREEK olive oil is the usual. For this to work in Toronto and to slightly resemble Greece, please try to use Heirloom tomatoes, English cucumbers (I find the mini ones have best flavour), and please, GREEK OREGANO and GREEK OLIVE OIL. Why? Because they are unique, the best you can buy, and, well, authentic!
The other most authentic Greek salad served in Greece is 'Maroulosalata' (mah-roo-lo-sah-LAH-tah). Basically this is VERY thinly sliced, yes I said lettuce and sliced in the same breath...very dark green lettuce--so this can be romaine, but you can use other dark greens as well, thinly sliced green spring onions, fresh dill (most important part), GREEK olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and feta if you wish. I like Dodoni feta the best.
Whew. Now *I'm* craving a Greek salad....