Main

Archive | Side Dishes

These dishes can be served alongside a main course, as a first course or all on their own. Kali Orexi!

Stuffed Grape Leaves / Dolmades

Traditionally Greek, authentically vegan, everyone’s favorite – dolmades!

Dolmades, or stuffed grape leaves, are one of the most iconic of Greek dishes. I can eat them for breakfast lunch and dinner!

Thing is, we’ve always had a bit of a running debate about the name in my family. My mom’s side of the family calls them dolmades as do most Greeks. My dad’s side, with his dad hailing from Smyrna, use the more Turkish name of Continue Reading →

Rice Pilaf

traditional Greek rice pilaf

This platter of golden, fluffy, perfect pilaf is so simple to make and positively lovely to eat. Often served as the show-stopper at weddings back in the day when rice was very expensive, pilafi was a dish reserved only for the most special occasions. Even now, when rice is readily available and very inexpensive, this humble dish will wow you every Continue Reading →

Greek Lentil Salad

traditional Greek lentil salad

So much more than a simple salad, this complex (to taste, not prepare :)), layered, amazing combination of flavors takes the humble lentil to incredible heights!

Think earthy, hearty lentils with smoky roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes with bright pops of lemon, red wine vinegar and fresh mint mixed with salty olives, peppery red onions and crisp fennel. There’s a whole lot going on in this rustic, traditional dish and you’ll love every bite of it 🙂 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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

traditional, authentically vegan Greek 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 →

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 →

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 →

Fried Giant Beans

fried giant beans

fried giant beans

Buttery, creamy inside, crispy, salty outside – you will never look at an unassuming lima bean the same way again.  The layers of flavors and textures make fried giant lima beans absolutely addictive!

The secret to making these meaty morsels so tasty? Just add your spices to the  Continue Reading →

Pickled Green Tomatoes

pickled green tomatoes

pickled green tomatoes

At the end of every growing season, there are always a bunch of tomatoes that never got the chance to ripen and are hard and green.  I used to relegate these late bloomers to the compost pile but a few years ago, a friend gave me her Yiayia’s family pickling recipe for green tomatoes and not one has gone to the compost heap since!

This is such a quick and easy way to enjoy a vegetable often forgotten.  I love making relish from the pickled green tomatoes and the best part is they pickle very quickly so you can start enjoying them about 2 weeks after putting them up. If you don’t have a garden, you probably know someone who does and is more than happy to share Continue Reading →

Lahanosalata / Cabbage Salad

traditional cabbage salad / lahanosalata

traditional cabbage salad / lahanosalata

Lahanosalata is a traditional, classic winter salad in Greece.  Both the cabbage and fennel are harvested in fall and used throughout the winter months.  Crunchy, fresh and so full of flavor, cabbage salad easily stands alone with a piece of crusty bread or pair lahanosalata with chickpea fritters or falafel for an extraordinary meal.

I guarantee you will never want regular coleslaw again once you’ve tasted this dish. Vegan or non-vegan, the flavors and textures of this simple, so quick to prepare recipe will knock your socks off.  Its enjoyed all over Greece and a must-ask-for if Continue Reading →

Quantcast