Main

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 →

Halva Pudding

individual halva puddings with chopped pistachios and dried apricots

individual halva puddings with chopped pistachios and dried apricots

Halva is a delicious, traditional pudding made with semolina flour, chopped nuts and sweet syrup – it’s charmingly delicate texture is always a wonderful surprise!  Flavored with aromatic cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, halva is the perfect ending to any meal.

The recipe is a simple one, using only a handful of ingredients, and is a dish that’s fun for children to help with too. You can mold it into all kinds of shapes using individual molds or even a large bundt or fluted cake pan. Halva pudding is quick to set up and can be dressed in an endless number of ways. I love topping halva with chopped pistachios and dried apricots or you can sprinkle a little cinnamon or powdered sugar over the top. Its easy to make this dish to suit your particular tastes – you can even drizzle melted chocolate over the top!

Continue Reading →

Greek Peas / Arakas Kokinistos

Greek peas with tomato and dill

Greek peas with tomato and dill

Plump, sweet little green peas swimming around in a sauce of tomatoey, dill goodness – how good does that sound? Add a piece of crusty or grilled bread to help sop up all the crazy yummy soupy extra and you’ve got yourself one of the tastiest and simplest meals in Greek cooking.

Greek peas are phenomenal and hands down our absolute favorite way to enjoy peas. They’re perfection right off the stove and even a bit better than that a day or two later!  This dish is infinitely scalable and very easy to reheat. In Greece a big bowl of arakas kokinistos is often enjoyed as a meal in itself and Greek peas are also an amazing side dish to Continue Reading →

Grilled Bread / λαδοβρεχτό

warm grilled bread with olive oil, sea salt and Greek oregano

warm grilled bread with olive oil, sea salt and Greek oregano

Grilled bread  or λαδοβρεχτό is probably one of the most wonderful and simplest ways to enjoy a loaf of good bread. I make it right on the grill in summer and early fall and use a grill pan on the stovetop when its too cold to grill. Nice, thick slices are my favorite and just the thing to soak up the few but delicious flavors here. They also hold up well piled high with endless topping options (see list below!)

While the bread is still warm, preferably right off of the heat, generously brush each piece with good Greek olive oil and sprinkle with a coarse sea salt and crushed dried Greek oregano. Could it be any easier? Enjoy just as is, as a side to your favorite soup/stew or topped with Continue Reading →

Roasted Grapes

Roasted red grapes with coarse black pepper, brandy, olive oil, sea salt and thyme

Roasted red grapes with coarse black pepper, brandy, olive oil, sea salt and thyme

An insanely good snack on their own and a beautiful topping to a platter of steaming rice pilaf or salads – roasted grapes aim to please! Grape season in Greece comes all at once and hot and heavy, grapes are everywhere in August. Traditionally the first harvest of grapes was blessed on the feast of the Holy Transfiguration and from there the race was on to find ways to enjoy and preserve this native abundance.

Roasted red grapes – simply a handful of ingredients and a quick blast of hot oven – are one very lovely and very delicious such way. I found this dish on my mother’s island of Evvia. In front of me at lunch was a steaming platter of rice pilaf topped with this huge, gorgeous, bright pink and purple mound of sticky sweet savory red grapes. I was mesmerized! Around me people started, quickly so as not to be noticed, picking off a roasted grape or two from the platter. Our host stirred them into the pilaf right before serving and the entire Continue Reading →

Tourlou Tourlou / Briam

tourlou tourlou of summer vegetables

tourlou tourlou of summer vegetables

Tourlou tourlou, which literally means all mixed up, is really the most wonderfully delicious mix up of vegetables!  Perfect for summer when garden fresh veggies are everywhere, a few simple ingredients and you’re on your way to one of the best traditional vegetable meals in all of Greek cooking.

This dish also goes by the name briam from the Turkish version and is also very similar to the traditional French dish ratatouille. Full of flavor and so satisfying, you can enjoy tourlou tourlou hot right from the oven or the next day at room temperature. Serve as a filling meal or as a tasty veggie side dish to Continue Reading →

Melitzanosalata / Eggplant Dip

melitzanosalata drizzled with olive oil on grilled bread

melitzanosalata drizzled with olive oil on grilled bread

There couldn’t be a simpler or more delicious way to eat eggplant!  Not a fan of eggplant?  Melitzanosalata will knock your sox off and have you waiting for eggplant season to roll around next! This very traditional Greek summer dish is authentically vegan and is so incredibly flavorful you will be so surprised by how few ingredients you’ll need and how easy it is to make.

A couple of medium eggplants, an open flame (a grill ideally but a broiler will do!), roasted garlic cloves, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper – thats it! Slather this yummy goodness over grilled bread, scoop it up with homemade pita chips or put as a side to just about any dish and you will not be disappointed, I Continue Reading →

Marathopites / Fennel Pies

marathopites / fennel frond pies

marathopites / fennel frond pies

Fresh wild greens, aromatic fresh herbs and olive oil all wrapped in a simple dough = handheld heaven! Pites (or singular, pita) are a general word to describe hand held pies of all sorts. The variety of fillings is endless, many many of which are traditionally meat/dairy free. This particular pita, marathopita, comes from the island of Crete where wild fennel runs, well, wild!

The perfect lunch, snack or even breakfast and very child friendly – marathopites (μαραθόπιτες) use only the leaves or frilly fronds that grow on thin stalks above the fennel bulb. Here in the Northeast US its often difficult to find fennel bulbs with a beautiful bushy bunch of fronds attached as they’re usually trimmed for supermarket shelves.  They can, truth be told, get a bit unruly. Then comes July at the farmers market and fennel is at every stall, displayed in all her leafy glory. This is the time to make, eat and freeze for non-fennel seasons, marathopites! Continue Reading →

Apricot and Almond Cake

apricot almond cake

apricot almond cake

The sunshiny sweetness of fresh apricots is baked into every bite of this amazing cake! Just the thing with coffee or tea, its another wonderful recipe that incorporates the tradition of Greek baked fruits.   This light, delicious cake showcases fresh apricots that are baked to sticky sweet golden perfection. You’ll end up eating quite a few fresh or baked apricots just on their own Continue Reading →

Grilled Corn Salad

grilled corn salad with bell peppers, red onion and fresh dill

grilled corn salad with bell peppers, red onion and fresh dill

Street vendors sell grilled corn everywhere in Greece during the summer. Crazy salty and steamed inside their husks, you wouldn’t believe how good they taste. This recipe uses grilled corn in a quick, easy, amazing summer salad – just over half an hour and you can be tucking into a bowl!

So good for lunch or dinner, this simple, delicious recipe uses oven-grilled corn cooks up perfectly every time and cooking corn this way also makes Continue Reading →

Roasted Potatoes

Greek roasted potatoes with lemon, garlic, rosemary and oregano

Greek roasted potatoes with lemon, garlic, rosemary and oregano

Crispy golden brown outside, light, fluffy, lemony inside you’ll love this authentic roasted potato recipe – and you’ll never believe how simple it is to make.  Enjoy these warm from the oven or just at room temperature, there’s just no wrong way to eat them!

Greek vegan amazingly flavorful and filling, roasted oven potatoes are a fantastic choice for any meal and are absolutely as delicious the next day for lunch.  Lemons, garlic, big baking potatoes, Greek oregano, fresh rosemary and of course, olive oil – ordinary ingredients that make an extraordinary dish. You’re only an hour away from amazing!

Continue Reading →

Spanakopita

spanakopita

spanakopita

Spanakopita or spinach pie is probably one of the best-known of all traditional Greek dishes and hands down one of the most delicious. Its traditionally made without cheese so, bonus, authentically vegan too!

A handful of simple ingredients – fresh dill, mint, peppery chopped scallions, gorgeous green leafy spinach and you’re good to go. Wrap it all up in flaky fillo dough and you’ve got one of the easiest and most delightful foods in all of Greek cooking. This recipe will have spanakopita on your table in under an hour. Give it a try, you’ll Continue Reading →

Fried Squash

golden fried squash

golden fried squash

Crispy, golden outside – tender, meaty inside, fried squash is so simple and so delicious you’ll never look at zucchini without drooling again! These make an amazing meal all on their own or pop them into a piece of pita bread with a little tahini lemon sauce and you have the perfect sandwich. You’ll find so many Continue Reading →

Black Eyed Beans / Μαυρομάτικα

black eyed beans with celery and thyme

black eyed beans with celery and thyme

This classic Greek dish is a lovely, light soup with the perfect bean flavor-pairing of celery and fresh thyme. Also known as ‘louvi xero’, black eyed beans (μαυρομάτικα) swimming in bowl of delicate tomato broth is one of the most delicious bean soups you will ever enjoy.

A few simple ingredients with  quick prep and you have this one-pot-wonder on the table in 30 minutes. Just cover your dried beans with water to soak in the morning and they’ll be ready to pop into your recipe in the evening.  Fast, easy, amazing is this authentic and so very tasty Continue Reading →

Baklava for Beginners

baklava for beginners

baklava for beginners

This amazing baklava recipe is for all of you who’ve written in asking for a beginner’s guide to baklava. Anyone, regardless of their Greek cooking experience, can make these perfectly every time – no unwieldy sheets of filo, an infinitely scalable recipe, just a few flavor packed ingredients and all ready in just 30 minutes or less – win, win, win, win (you get the idea!)

The oh-so-delicious authentic filling is one my Yiayia (and her mom before her) used when they wanted to make a special treat for someone during fasting periods of the year.  Warmed tahini is used in place of melted butter to bind the nut filling and is just the perfect complement to the traditional flavors of cinnamon and toasted walnuts. A bit of lemon zest and a squeeze of Continue Reading →

Chickpeas and Rice / Pεβίθια και Pύζι

chickpeas and rice with lemon wedges

chickpeas and rice/pεβίθια και pύζι with lemon wedges

Creamy chickpeas, garlicky light tomato sauce and a pinch of smoky sweet cinnamon make this simple, traditional dish divine. A handful of ingredients, 35 min to prep/cook and you have a hearty, healthy, incredibly flavorful meal on the table. This dish is also perfect to take for lunch as its just as yummy at room temperature. A true one-pot-wonder, chickpeas and rice will become Continue Reading →

Carrot Keftedes

carrot keftedes with lahanosalata/cabbage salad

carrot keftedes with lahanosalata/cabbage salad

Keftedes are probably one of my favorite kinds of food – crispy outside, light oh-so-flavorful inside small fried (or baked) fritters of yumminess.  You can make them with all sorts of ingredients from meat to just about any vegetable.  I happen to love carrot keftedes best!

Roasting the carrots in this recipe really intensifies their flavor and sweetness and though many vegetable keftedes are made with eggs or cheese, they’re not missed in this traditional vegan (or Lenten) version. And carrot keftedes are a great way to use up stored winter carrots as well as older, less pretty carrots too. Continue Reading →

Ladopsomo / Fried Bread

ladopsomo / fried bread

ladopsomo / fried bread

A seamstress who worked for my father many years ago would bring me ladopsomo when she knew I was coming in to the store. Wrapped in aluminum foil and sprinkled with white sugar, I would be licking my lips the minute I spied that small silver packet next to her sewing machine!

Ladopsomo is simply fried bread and a more delicious result of a handful of plain ingredients there never will be.  Most countries have a version of fried bread or fried dough.  In Greece, it can be served as a side to savory or sweet dishes or stand on its own as the perfect snack. Ladopsomo is light, fluffy Continue Reading →

Cabbage Soup / λαχανόσουπα

cabbage soup / λαχανόσουπα

cabbage soup / λαχανόσουπα

This is one of the most satisfying vegetable soups you will ever have.  Cabbage soup is a traditional winter dish in Greece, though I  enjoy it year round! The cabbage is sweet, the dill and thyme so flavorful, and the chopped zucchini, carrots and potatoes make it a complete meal in a bowl.

The trick is to first sauté all the vegetables, including the cabbage, before adding the water to your soup.  This gives you a much more intensely flavored, layered, robust finished dish. This is a one-pot-wonder and so simple to prepare you’ll be Continue Reading →

Braised Leeks

braised leeks

braised leeks

Leeks are Greek to me!  They’re everywhere in Greece and in Greek cooking.  Braised leeks are my favorite way to make them because its one of the few recipes where the leeks are allowed to stand alone and really shine.

Just a few ingredients including white wine, lemon and thyme and you have tender, sweet, beautiful braised leeks on your plate in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Quick, easy, lovely Continue Reading →

Tahinopita / Sesame Cream Cake

tahinopita / sesame cream cake

tahinopita / sesame cream cake

Tahinopita (ταχινόπιτα) or sesame cream cake is a delicate, traditional treat for Lenten periods of the year in Greece.  This cake bakes up light and high with walnuts and golden raisins, dusted with a bit of powdered sugar.

Perfect for breakfast with coffee or tea, tahinopita is equally delicious for an afternoon snack or tucked in a lunchbox. Its just ever so slightly crumbly and cuts neatly into slices that Continue Reading →

Greek Dinner Around the World

GD blog coverOn January 15th, Greek food lovers from all over the world gathered together to share and enjoy a delicious Greek dinner over one virtual table. Organized by Keri Douglas and Katie Aliferis, this historic and hugely successful virtual event included tables, food and friends from over 50 cities, in 14 countries, on 4 continents for 1 amazing dinner.

Dinner began with wine and spirits including  a blood orange and fennel ouzo shot from California Greek Girl, a traditional Greek tsipouro from Marjory McGinn and a gorgeous Continue Reading →

Giant Bean Salad

lima saladThis light, lemony, peppery, creamy bean salad is a joy to eat and so quick and simple to prepare.  For a pretty and delicious first course or perfect lunch, fill a large tomato with giant bean salad or just enjoy with a piece of good, crusty bread. Giant bean salad is one of my very favorite meals and I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!
Ground anise, mustard seeds and chopped scallions are a sensational flavor combination here.  With a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten things up and a good olive oil to bring everything together – you just Continue Reading →

Loukoumades

loukoumades with sweet syrup and chopped walnuts

loukoumades with sweet syrup and chopped walnuts

Light, airy, puffs of fried dough drizzled in sweet syrup and sprinkled with chopped walnuts – have I got your attention yet? Loukoumades are AMAZING, its that simple.

As a child, I asked for these every year on my birthday.  First my Yiayia made them for me and after she passed away, my dad took over and now I make them for my birthday guests.  These are a bit of a special occasion desert  but I will admit to making them Continue Reading →