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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

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 →

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

traditional Greek chickpeas and rice

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 →

Traditional Greek Digestive Remedy

lemon water - traditional Greek digestive aid

lemon water – traditional Greek digestive aid

Ever eat way too much at a family dinner or night out? That bloated, slightly queasy, yucky feeling the next day isn’t fun!

Try this traditional Greek digestive aid. Quick, super simple and it works EVERY time!

Just squeeze the juice of one fresh lemon into 8-10 ounces of room temperature water (not cold!) and add fresh mint if you have on hand. Take sips and try to drink it over at least 10-15 minutes.

We love this lemon water detox and know you will too!

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 →

Pickled Red Cabbage

red cab coverI first tasted (and loved!) pickled red cabbage on the island of Chios. Piled high next to a basket of crusty bread, I was hooked from the first forkful. The simple, delicious dish comes from Smyrna (now in Turkey). It was brought over to Chios and the Dodecanese islands by refugees of the Smyra fire after 1922. The spices definitely have that Asia Minor flair and pickled red cabbage was a favorite during the lenten period leading up to Christmas. It’s definitely a festive looking dish!

Red cabbage pickles up super quickly – no waiting a month or more before eating, just a week and you’re ready to enjoy. This traditional recipe is a great Continue Reading →

Tomato Soup / Vτοματόσουπα

served with toasted bread and red pepper flakes

served with toasted bread and red pepper flakes

This traditional tomato soup is the consummate comfort food.  Its creamy and chunky and packed with so many delicious flavors! Simple ingredients and a quick, straightforward prep produce the most amazing results – one spoonful and you’ll be addicted. Get out your bottomless bowls for this dish!

The secret to this incredibly creamy, spoon coating soup – an olive oil roux! So smooth and decadently Continue Reading →

Tahini Walnut Swirl Cookies

tahini walnut swirl cookies

tahini walnut swirl cookies

These walnut pinwheel tahini cookies are so, so good! Filled to just bursting with sweet, crunchy walnuts, these almost bun like cookies rise up high and light to keep all the delicious filling wrapped up inside.  Also easy to make ahead of time as you can mix the dough days earlier and roll out/bake later!

We enjoyed these traditional sweets throughout the year growing up but especially on the first Wednesday afternoon of Lent. I know from family and friends that this is true of and a tradition in many areas of Greece but am not sure of the exact significance and would be very happy to hear if one of you might 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 →

Lagana Bread (λαγάνα)

lagana with rosemary olive oil

lagana with rosemary olive oil

There’s nothing like the aroma of fresh baking bread as it fills the house.  My great uncle would always tell us that during times of famine you could fill half of your hunger with the smell of baking bread even before eating it.

Lagana is a traditional flatbread usually baked for Clean Monday (Καθαρά Δευτέρα) or Kathara Defthera, the first day of Great Lent before Easter. For those fasting most strictly, lagana is made without oil.  For those less strict, olive oil is used and never any dairy products.  Sesame seeds are the most common topping and often fresh or dried herbs are added for Continue Reading →

Vegetable Stew

traditional Greek vegetable stew

This hearty, warming vegetable stew is the perfect way to end a cool autumn day.  Traditionally, Greek vegetable stew is made with peas but I’ve had it with green beans and its just as tasty.  A big piece of crusty bread, a fork and a spoon for the juices and you’ll be in heaven!

Carrots, peas and potatoes swim in a garlicky good light tomato sauce flavored with fresh dill. Fresh dill is a key ingredient here.  If you don’t have any around, put this dish off for another day. Vegetable stew is a great way to use winter vegetables and cooks up in Continue Reading →

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