Main

Chocolate Date Nut Bites

chocolate date nut bites

chocolate date nut bites

This recipe came from my Yiayia’s leftover date/nut baklava filling to which she added a spoon or two of carob powder for us kids as we hovered over her mixing bowl. Don’t laugh but I was eating a Kit Organics bar one day when in a rush to eat something not totally terrible for me and had the most wild tastebuds-deja vu that I had eaten this before.  The taste memory was foggy at first and then it came flooding back over me –  individual spoons of that incredible date nut baklava filling. Well, ladies and gents, here it is for you all in bite form – addictively positively wonderful in every way. Continue Reading →

Bulgur Salad / Pligourisalata

bulgur salad

bulgur salad

So incredibly simple to prepare, you’ll be floored by how amazing this traditional Greek bulgur salad tastes!  Similar to the Middle Eastern dish tabouli, and in Cyprus actually called tambouli, – this dish is a flavor packed, nutritional powerhouse. Light, fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables, a simple dressing of just lemon juice and olive oil all mixed with hearty bulgur (pligouri/πλιγούρι in Greek or cracked wheat), bulgur salad is another fantastic example of traditional Greek salads that make an amazing meal!

Some packages of bulgur will recommend that you boil your wheat but there’s really no need.  The traditional prep of bulgur is to soak and not boil the grains for about an hour.  Once soaked, you can leave the bulgur aside for 24-48 hours until your ready to use it – a nice window Continue Reading →

Sesame Cookies

traditional Greek sesame cookies

traditional Greek sesame cookies

Sesame cookies (σουσάμι μπισκότι) are a light, tender, cake like, nutty, just lightly sweet, positively wonderful treat and they’re enjoyed all over Greece.  You’ll find these in bakeries in every region of the country and, of course, throughout the Greek diaspora.

These cookies are enjoyed especially during the lenten season as they are made without olive oil and appropriate for even the most strict fasters.  So good and so easy you’ll love them year round – and less than 45 minutes from start to finish! Continue Reading →

Baklava Saragli

saragli (rolled) baklava

saragli (rolled) baklava

Saragli (accent on last syllable) or rolled baklava is a style of baklava that come from the Greeks of Constantinople. This recipe calls for the traditional Greek walnut filling but feel free to use the chopped nuts of your choice. You will go NUTS over these 🙂 🙂

Super simple to roll – a half inch diameter wooden or metal dowel is perfect for rolling your saragli. Just be careful not to roll too tightly as a light touch works best here. And try scoring your rolls on a diagonal, that way the cut pieces have a little more visual interest when plated as above. If you cut each roll approx 4 times you’ll get 4 perfect pieces and 2 end pieces. Growing up, the end pieces always went to us kids because they’re not quite as pretty but no worries – they’re every bit as tasty!
Continue Reading →

Revithia sto Fourno / Baked Chickpeas

revithia sto fourno / baked chickpeas

revithia sto fourno / baked chickpeas

Revithia sto fourno, baked chickpeas, is something everyone MUST make at least once – it’s just that good. Using only five of the most ordinary of ingredients, this positively perfect authentic, rustic peasant dish is a cinch to make for the modern home cook.

Two big time-savers include subbing in canned chickpeas (good quality, of course) for dried and making your caramelized onions up to 4 days ahead. Fresh chopped rosemary, olive oil and salt/pepper round out your shopping list for this one so seriously, give it a try – YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. i promise! Continue Reading →

Pasta Flora – Traditional Greek Jam Tart

pasta floraPasta flora? No, The Greek Vegan hasn’t gone Italian – pasta flora is a delightful traditional jam tart and one of the most delicious, authentic sweet treats of Greece! A light, cookie-like crust with jam filling, this positively lovely dessert is found in Greek bakeries all over the world and can be on your table in less than an hour using ingredients in in your kitchen right now. Ready? Set? Go!! Continue Reading →

Lefki Fasolada (White Bean Soup)

a beautiful bowl of traditional Greek bean soup - lefki fusillade

a beautiful bowl of traditional Greek bean soup – lefki fasolada

Fasolada, or white bean soup, is a HUGELY popular – and authentically vegan – dish in Greece and throughout the Greek diaspora. Creamy white beans, sweet carrots, delicate celery and bright parsley in a light, delicious broth – it’s just the perfect comfort food and there’s never a single bean left behind!

Lefki fasolada (λευκή φασολάδα) is the variation featured here, traditionally made without tomato. For me, the soup tastes sweeter and really, more flavorful when the tomato is absent. The veggies and herbs are really allowed to shine and shine they do. The prep for lefki fasolada couldn’t be simpler and with just a handful of ingredients probably in your fridge right now, this rustic, peasant dish will show you exactly how simply perfect a simple soup can be. Continue Reading →

Apple Spoon Sweet

apple spoon sweet

traditional apple spoon sweet / milo glyko

Apple glyko or spoon sweet is one of the most delicate and flavorful of spoon sweets in Greek cooking. Something about vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks with tart sweet apples just works – and works really well! These authentic preserves are simple to make, a fantastic treat to eat and ready in just 30 minutes.

Bonus for this authentic recipe: apples are easy to find most everywhere and certainly easier to find in the US than quinces or sour cherries, two of the most traditional spoon sweets. The apples most often used in Greece for this dish are small, tart apples called firikia. Not having access to firikia here in the Northeast US, I most often use jonagold or granny smith apples.  A nice tart apple with just a bit of sweetness is ideal so feel free to use whichever local varieties fit that bill!  Continue Reading →

Stuffed Tomatoes

traditional Greek stuffed tomatoes

traditional Greek stuffed tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes are another in the delicious line of traditional Greek stuffed vegetables, or gemistes. This recipe also features the very Greek use of sweet, dried fruits in savory dishes.

Currants, toasted pine nuts, fresh herbs and fluffy rice fill these tomatoes to the brim with so many wonderful flavors – they’re the most perfect meal imaginable! And once you see how simple stuffed tomatoes are to make, they’ll be

Continue Reading →

Skordalia

traditional skordalia with beautiful beet salad

traditional skordalia with beautiful beet salad

Skordalia is one of the most traditional dishes in all of Greece. It’s so so simple to make with a just few everyday ingredients and remarkably delicious – if you haven’t already, this one is a must-try!

Often described as Greek garlic mashed potatoes, traditional skordalia is much more than that. Creamy, ‘buttery’ potato goodness with the pop of mashed raw garlic folded in – it’s indescribable really. And skordalia is in no way overwhelmingly garlicky, just almost peppery with that bite of raw garlic coming through the velvety potato.

Have only 1 russet potato and a few cloves of garlic in the house? Then you’re about 15 minutes away from crazy amazing skordalia! Spread it on EVERYTHING or pair it with it’s bestie, a simple beet salad / pantzaria salata. However you choose to enjoy it, you’ll love every Continue Reading →

Kolokithokeftedes / Squash Fritters

traditional Greek squash fritters / kolokithokeftedes

traditional Greek squash fritters / kolokithokeftedes

Kolokithokeftedes are light and crispy and so jam packed with flavor, these traditional fried squash patties that will have your tastebuds singing happy happy songs!

Zucchini squash, onions, potatoes, carrots, lemon zest and a sprinkle of nutmeg come together in the most delightful combination. The whole lovely veggie mix is bound together with a go-to ingredient Greek cooks have been using for hundreds of years and that is just now catching on in the US, can you guess what it is??   Continue Reading →

5 Fantastic Greek Cocktails

Tears of Chios Mastiha Cocktail

Tears of Chios Mastiha Cocktail, Adapted from GB Rooftop Garden in Athens, Greece  and Jules Catering by Jacqueline Anderson

Summer is just the time to kick back and sip cool cocktails with friends. In that spirit, we’ve gathered together five of our favorite Greek cocktail recipes to share with you! Continue Reading →

Traditional Greek Marzipan / Amigthalota

Amigthalota is the traditional Greek version of marzipan. This delicate almond sweet is often served at weddings and baptisms with their perfect pear shapes and snowy cover of powdered sugar – as beautiful as they are delicious. So simple and quick to make, you’ll find yourself finding all sorts of things to celebrate 🙂

Five ingredients and twenty minutes are all you need to whip up a batch of your own. Almond extract and rose water give the marzipan center the most wonderful fragrance and a whole clove tops each pearl white pear making this an aromatic as well as incredibly tasty treat. One bite through the just ever so lightly crisp outside into the dense, chewy, almondy amazing center and you’ll be hooked – they’re just that good! Continue Reading →

Bulgur Pilaf / Πλιγούρι πιλάφι

traditional Greek toasted bulgur pilaf

Bulgur has recently become the new ‘it’ whole grain here in the US and it’s about time too. In Greece, people have been enjoying it for eons – well, at least millennia!  A nutritional powerhouse, bulgur is very tasty and boils up quickly with a unique cracked wheat texture; perfect for a light pilaf. This recipe for bulgur pilaf includes the traditional (and delicious!) standard vegetable mix-ins but the possibilities are endless and you’ll find info below to help you create variations of your own too!

So simple to cook up with very easy prep; you can have this nutty, bright, one-pot-wonder on your table in a little over half an hour. Try the recipe exactly as it is here with carrots, green peas, coriander, fennel seeds, fresh thyme and a pinch of cloves or go ahead and let your tastebuds  Continue Reading →

Greek Potato Stew / Patates Yahni

Greek Potato Stew / Patates Yahni

Made with just 5 ingredients with one pot in just under an hour, this traditional Greek potato stew (πατάτες γιαχνί) is rustic potato perfection. Red ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley, sweet red onions, minced garlic and yellow potatoes simmered in olive oil combine to create one of the simplest, most authentic and amazingly delicious Greek dishes you will ever enjoy! Continue Reading →

Top 5 Greek Olive Oils for 2015

ny inter olive oil competition image

The New York International Olive Oil Competition just named its 2015 picks for best Greek olive oils!

The prestigious and intensely competitive playing field consisted of  700 different olive oils from 25 countries. Entries were evaluated by a jury of international experts and of these 700,  35 olive oil brands entered by Greece were judged “world’s best” with 19 Gold and 16 Silver awards!

This global recognition just goes to prove what you and I have known all along – Greek olive oil is top shelf and deserving of its place on the world stage.

We’ve listed the top five organically produced, Gold award winners for you Continue Reading →

Greek Beet Salad / Pantzaria Salata

traditional Greek beet salad

traditional Greek beet salad

This beeeutiful traditional beet salad will have you fighting for seconds it’s so good! Gorgeous earthy boiled red beets, tiny tiny minced garlic pieces, flecks of fresh mint and parsley, Greek olive oil, red wine vinegar, ground coriander, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper combine to make a mouthwatering main course and the perfect side dish to just about anything – as delicious as it is lovely and incredibly easy to prepare.

Pantzaria salata is served all over Greece and is most often paired with a plate of skordalia (Greek garlic smashed potatoes). Truthfully they are amazing together but I also love beet salad all on it’s own with a big piece of crusty bread. So flavorful and satisfying, the authentic Continue Reading →

Sfakian Sweet Rusks

Sfakian Sweet Rusks – paximadia

My aunt would make this sweet bread (artos) for Great Vespers services when we were young. Five loaves would go to church and one small loaf stayed at home for us.  She would slice up the small home loaf and toast the slices in the oven until dried through and super crunchy.  Then we’d slather them with Merenda (Greek hazelnut spread similar to Nutella) and very happily munch through every slice!

You can enjoy these sweet rusks today, store bought and straight from Greece, or make your own – a wonderful rainy Saturday recipe! These sweet rusks are delicious on their own with a hot cup of coffee or topped with your favorite jam or Greek honey and the perfect afternoon snack. Traditionally from region of Sfakia on the island of Crete but enjoyed throughout Greece and the Greek diaspora, you will fall in love with this authentic, simple Continue Reading →

Olive Spread / Pasta Elias (πάστα ελιάς)

IMG_0425

Chunky, meaty, salty olives with sweet fig jam, nutty garlic, tangy vinegar and a bit of licorice fennel – there are so many flavors going on here you will go crazy for this authentic olive spread!

Olives, roasted garlic and fig jam are the three musketeers of this traditional favorite Greek olive spread, pasta elias (πάστα ελιάς) . You can find everything you need at your local market’s antipasto bar and assemble at home or do it all on your own. Either way, this recipe is super quick and easy to make and INSANELY delicious Continue Reading →

Kourambiedes

nistisima kourambiedes - sugar covered cookies

nistisima kourambiedes – sugar covered cookies

These snowy white, crazy yummy cookies are so quick and easy to bake up, they’ll amaze you with every bite! This recipe is for the nistisima (or vegan) version of kourambiedes, slightly different but just as authentic as the more well known butter cookie version.

Made with a combination of almond meal and flour, orange juice and a bit of brandy, the finished cookies are light and high and just ever so slightly crumbly. Kourambiedes are a cup of coffee ad tea’s best Continue Reading →

Gigantes Plaki / Baked Giant Beans

from the oven - gigantes plaki

from the oven – gigantes plaki

Gigantes plaki, or baked giant beans, are about as Greek and about as good as a dish can be.

There are countless variations of this classic dish and the recipe below is our family’s favorite. This recipe calls for parsley, celery, oregano and mint to flavor the delicate tomato sauce and beans. This combination is a bit lighter, brighter and slightly sweeter in taste than other versions with dill, carrot and/or cinnamon. Truth be told though, I don’t think I’ve ever met a plate of gigantes I didn’t like!

Busy schedule? No worries – gigantes plaki can easily be made in parts or stages, I do it all the time. Prep your gigantes (or large lima) beans up to 2 days ahead, make your sauce the day before and then assemble and bake when you’re Continue Reading →

Dandelion Greens / Radikia

dandelion greens with Greek olive oil and fresh lemon juice

gorgeous dandelion greens with Greek olive oil and fresh lemon juice

Horta is a catch-all term for greens and horta vrasta means simply boiled greens.  This recipe features dandelion greens (radikia in Greek) which are certainly very popular in Greek cooking as are their other green friends vleeta (amaranth), mustard greens and chicory. A dish of boiled greens drizzled with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is quite probably one of the most satisfying and really delightful meals you will every enjoy.

Many of us have stories of Yiayia or Papouli going into the yard (or stopping by the side of the road!) with a kitchen knife, digging delicious dandelion weeds from the ground. Packed with nutrients, wild greens have helped to sustain people through many times of scarcity and hunger and have a special place in Greek food culture. They couldn’t be easier to cook up so Continue Reading →

Pomegranates

a ruby, ripe pomegranate

a ruby, ripe pomegranate

Pomegranates are so unique and so sweet/tart delicious – I just love them! Cracking one open, its always a bit of a wonderful surprise to discover the gorgeous glistening ruby red seeds hiding just beneath their hard, leathery skin.

For many people, the pleasure of enjoying these beauties is tempered by the often times messy affair that peeling and seeding a pomegranate can be. I’m here to tell you, there’s no need to fear – The Greek Vegan is here! This post will quickly tell you how to know when a pomegranate is ripe and show you the quickest/cleanest way to peel and seed this fantastic fruit. You can do it, I promise!, and you’ll never be intimidated by a Continue Reading →

Stuffed Peppers / Yεμιστές πιπεριές

oven charred stuffed peppers

oven charred stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers are such a classic Greek dish and traditionally vegan!  Meat was only added to the rice mixture on special occasions and feast days.  Every day stuffed peppers were meatless and, as you’ll see with this recipe, absolutely magnificent!

One of my all time favorite meals, stuffed peppers are a simple, easy to make ahead, healthy, so yummy dish. Green bell peppers are used most often but feel free to shake things up with yellow, orange or red bell peppers for

Continue Reading →

Leek and Onion Tart

caramelized leek and onion filling in light, flaky olive oil tart

caramelized leek and onion filling in light, flaky olive oil tart

Golden brown, savory sweet caramelized leeks and onions piled on top of a flaky, delicate olive oil crust – in every way, awesomeness. This extremely versatile leek and onion pie is delicious for weekday dinner, on the go lunch and is fantastic for parties. Make it as a single pie or individual tarts and even make days ahead. You’ve got a winner here.

Of all our Yiayia’s pitas this was my favorite. Usually she made pitas wrapped in either store bought or more often home made horiatiko filo dough and some were even wrapped in bread dough but her leek and onion pie was special. Baked in a light, flaky butterless, eggless perfect pie crust – these were always a treat. Since Yiayia passed away, I’ve tried so many times to recreate this incredible crust with little success……. UNTIL NOW!!!!!  Continue Reading →

Quantcast