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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 →

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 →

Apple Cake / Milopita

light, moist, traditional Greek vegan apple cake!

Milopita (Μηλόπιτα) or apple cake is traditionally enjoyed for breakfast in Greece. So moist, chock full of sweet, juicy apples and spiced with cinnamon and cardamom, milopita is a delicate breakfast or dessert that will become a fast favorite in your house!

This simple to bake recipe is a great way to use up apples that might be a little too bruised or old to eat on their own. And you can choose to mix in chopped walnuts or golden raisins for an apple cake with even more Continue Reading →

Koulourakia / Wine Cookies

koulourakia / wine cookies

These cookies will never last more than a few minutes in any cookie jar. They’re crunchy outside, soft inside and the perfect partner to coffee or tea. Our Yiayia, my father’s mom, started her day with these almost every morning. I can still see her at the kitchen table as we came down the stairs for breakfast, dipping a koulouraki into her coffee cup. I can see her there as if it were yesterday.

Koulourakia are simple and quick to bake up and so much fun to make!  The dough rolls out easily into a variety of shapes and it’s a job even little hands can do well. Cardamom, cinnamon and orange zest make these cookies so aromatic and full of flavor, they’ll become your favorites in no time! Mix up a big batch and refrigerate Continue Reading →

Chickpea Fritters (Revithokeftedes)

revithokeftedes or chickpea fritters

revithokeftedes or chickpea fritters

So satisfying, crispy, ‘meaty’ and aromatic with so many ways to enjoy these traditional chickpea fritters you’ll find them well worth the bit of extra effort. Revithokeftedes are perfect with a side of horiatiko chopped salad or wrapped up in pita bread with tahini lemon sauce and sliced tomatoes – chickpea fritters are a winner every time!

This scrumptious recipe takes about 4 hours total to make and because its often difficult to carve out that much time in the kitchen, I often make it in stages.  The most labor intensive (and my favorite!) part is getting the skins off the chickpea and I’ll share my speedy technique so you can Continue Reading →

Rice with Fithe and Vegetables (Ρύζι με φιδέ και λαχανικά)

'fancy' rice

‘fancy’ rice

A simple and delicious, traditional way to dress up rice. When we were little we called it “fancy rice” because the broken bits of tiny thin noodles and bits of beautiful orange carrots just seemed to make it special. It’s a meal in itself or a lovely side dish and perfect served hot from the stove or room temp for lunch.

This recipe uses authentic fithe noodles. These are very ,very thin pasta noodles dried in the shape of small nests. You can find authentic fithe noodles at Greek and Middle Eastern markets and a good Greek brand is Misko. Goya also makes a good option (fideos/fide noodles) that you can often find in larger grocery stores in the International foods aisle. If you can’t find the real thing, try substituting angel hair  or vermicelli Continue Reading →

Finikia / Melomacarona

finikia are traditional Christmas cookies

finikia are traditional Christmas cookies

These sweet, crumbly, so tasty treats are made traditionally at Christmas time in Greece but, truth be told,  I make them all year round.  It’s so quick and easy to whip up a batch, finikia may just become your go-to Greek vegan cookie!

A few simple ingredients are all you need and they’re all things you probably have in the kitchen right now. Bonus, the dough keeps refrigerated for up to two weeks in case you want to bake a quick panful when friends drop in. The syrup can be made with either honey or agave nectar and is authentically flavored with cinnamon stick and orange peel.  Sprinkle with Continue Reading →

Hosafi (Apricot Compote)

Hosafi is a sweet, delicious treat brought to mainland Greece by refugees from Pontos in what is now Turkey. The flavors of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom seeds together with peachy, juicy apricots are an amazing combination.

This dish was often made in winter as a way to use dried fruits like apricots and raisins that were harvested in summer and hosafi is still a popular New Year’s treat today for Greeks hailing from Cappadocia.  Summer sun in every Continue Reading →

Potato Salad with Leeks and Dill

the perfect summer afternoon lunch!

the perfect lunch or light dinner!

Just four ingredients in this quick, simple, full of flavor summer salad – sautéed leek,  fresh dill, olive oil and potato.  A squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a turn of fresh ground black pepper and I’m in heaven!

Leeks are used everywhere in Greek cooking and you’ll find them in everything from pies to soups to salads. In this recipe, the mild, gently sautéed leeks complement the potatoes without overwhelming them as onions sometimes do in potato salad. You’ll notice the difference immediately. Leeks can be Continue Reading →

White Beans with Greens (Φασόλια με χόρτα)

white beans and swiss chard

white beans and swiss chard

A perfect dish for summer greens and an authentic meal enjoyed all over Greece. Swiss chard, beet greens and vleeta/amaranth all are good choices for this recipe. It’s just as delicious warm from the stove or packed in a picnic lunch and good to the last bean!

Northern white beans are my favorite in this dish with their creamy, meaty texture. Fresh dill, tomatoes, onions and garlic round out the simple ingredients and give you a tasty, traditional, nutritious meal you’ll love Continue Reading →

Hortopita (Wild Greens Pie)

hortopita / wild greens pie

hortopita / wild greens pie

Hortopita or Wild Greens Pie is traditionally made in the spring when wild greens are young and tender. In the US, we have access to a variety of greens year round so you can enjoy this hearty, nutritious meal any time.

My yiayia’s favorite combination of greens for this pita, and what I use today, include dandelion greens, mustard greens and spinach. Add scallions, dill and parsley and the aromas of a Greek hillside will fill your kitchen. The flavors balance well so you taste the perfect Continue Reading →

Bobota / μπομπότα (Cornbread)

bobota with orange syrup

bobota with orange syrup

A rustic village so-tasty cornbread, bobota is amazingly versatile in both preparation and presentation. I’ve included a  number of traditional variations in this recipe so you can easily make it your own. It’s the perfect breakfast, dessert or just anytime snack!

When making this recipe for myself, I like to bake in a loaf pan and cut it into long biscotti or paximadi type slices and toast them in the oven to have with coffee. For company or to serve as desert, I cook it in a 8×8 inch brownie pan, cut into 3x3inch squares and dust with powdered sugar. My mom and her mother both bake it in a round pan, cut like you would a pie and soak it in sweet syrup. Any way you choose, this Continue Reading →

Peach Barley

peach barley with chopped pecans

peach barley with chopped pecans

This delicious dish hails from the peach orchards of northern Greece. Growing up, we often had a bowl for lunch on hot summer days. It was cool from the fridge, full of sweet peaches and honeyed chewy barley  – almost like eating desert and always a treat!

One taste and you’ll see what an amazing flavor combination peaches and barley make in this authentic Macedonian village dish. A touch of honey (or agave), a bit of orange juice, a dash of cardamom, a few sprigs of fresh mint and a pinch of cinnamon make this simple recipe so delightful Continue Reading →

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

roasted brussel sprouts

roasted brussel sprouts

Yay for brussel sprouts! If you’re not a fan of them already, this recipe is sure to get you on board with brussels. Very simply, roasting is the secret to loving this vegetable.

These crispy outside, meaty inside, crunchy, salty mouthfuls of Greek vegan goodness will make you forget all about the sad, over boiled, soggy, sulphury brussel sprouts of the past. So quick and easy to make, you’ll Continue Reading →

Okra (μπάμιες)

okra in light tomato

okra in light tomato

Oh how I love okra! Tender, sweet with a big piece of crusty bread to sop up the garlicky good sauce and you’ve got yourself a Greek vegan good meal.

This recipe gently braises the okra. It’s a simple, no fuss method that allows the okra to stew slowly until they’re melt in your mouth perfect. Late spring and early summer is okra season here and I always keep my eye out for them to first appear at my favorite farmers market. They do pop up Continue Reading →

Savory Onion Pancakes / Kremidotiganites

savory onion tiganites

savory onion tiganites

Savory pancakes are a staple in Greek cooking. A light batter with assorted vegetable fillings make these delicious, traditional tiganites (fritters) a satisfying meal or a delicious, nutritious quick snack.

Sweet white onions and a bit of fresh mint are the perfect filling for these tiganites and I’ll let you in on a secret that will really pump up the flavors- sweat your onions before adding them to the batter.  Sweating, not frying or sautéing, the onions makes them soft and sweet. The savory tastes Continue Reading →

Tahini Lemon Sauce

stuffed grape leaves in tahini lemon sauce

stuffed grape leaves in tahini lemon sauce

Get ready to put this sauce on, well, just about everything! I love it with stuffed grape leaves. Try it on salads, as a veggie dip, on sandwiches – perfect with felafel! Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious. Whip up a batch and you’ll see,  the possibilities are endless.

Tahini lemon sauce is traditionally made during lenten periods as a dairy-free version of avgolemono or egg-lemon sauce. My father added his own twist to this recipe many years ago that I’ll share with you now. By adding Continue Reading →

Pita Chips

pita chips with humus and Boukovo chili oil

pita chips with humus and Boukovo chili oil

Once you taste these, you will never buy a store brand bag of pita chips again! They’re  quick and easy to make and are packed with spicy, salty taste-bud popping good Greek flavors.

Perfect for dips of fava  or humus, I have to admit eating them just as they are – seriously addictive stuff! This is a great recipe to make with children too. Try Continue Reading →

Bourekia with Potato and Leek

potato and leek bourekia

potato and leek bourekia

Bourekia (μπουρέκια) are traditional handheld pies and can be baked or fried and filled with all sorts of sweet or savory fillings. Popular vegan fillings for bourekia include mushrooms, spinach, caramelized onions and this recipe for potatoes with leeks.  The most well known type of bourekia in Greece are not vegan and made with Ansari, a sweet soft cheese, as a base with other fillings but you won’t miss the cheese in Continue Reading →

Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

cucumber salad with red pepper dressing

cucumber salad with red pepper dressing

Roasted red pepper dressing will have you licking your fingers to get every last drop.  The slightly chunky texture of this dressing makes every salad a meal and every bite a tantalizing, tangy taste surprise.

It’s bright color dresses up any dish and the recipe takes only a few minutes to put together. You’ll use it on so much more than salad, just let your tastebuds Continue Reading →

Fig Jam (Μαρμελάδα Σύκο)

fig jam on toast

fig jam on toast

Fig jam is a taste that brings me back to summer in Greece with each bite.  A delicious, sweet flavor combination of apples and pear with it’s own special citrussy twist – fig jam is just fantastic!

Spread on toast, this jam is one of my favorite quick breakfasts. It’s also a simple and lovely desert served in a filo tart shell. Once you make a batch, you’ll find so many ways to enjoy fig jam – that is if you can stop yourself from eating it right out of the mixing bowl! Continue Reading →

Manestra

manestra new coverManestra is a very traditional hearty, rich soup enjoyed all over Greece.  It’s the perfect meal on a cold winter day.  Manestra warms you with the flavors of summer sun tomatoes and fills you with buttery plump orzo. Just to warn you, it’s completely addictive so be sure to use your bottomless bowls for this dish.

This one-pot-wonder is so simple to make, you’ll be so surprised by how flavorful and satisfying it is.  With only 5 ingredients, the quality of your tomatoes, Greek oregano and Continue Reading →

Mushroom Pita

golden brown mushroom pita

golden brown mushroom pita

Our Yiayia would always tell us about foraging for wild mushrooms as she cooked up our favorite mushroom pitas. She said, Greece is a land of mountains and mushrooms love mountains. As she talked and cooked, the kitchen would fill with the aromas of thyme and rosemary and carry our imaginations right up Yiayia’s mountainside with her.

This is such a hearty, satisfying, meal. The mushrooms just soak up the recipe’s flavors like tiny sponges. Simply pair it with a glass of light white wine and

Continue Reading →

Lahanorizo (Cabbage and Rice)

lahanorizo, the unstuffed stuffed cabbage

lahanorizo, the unstuffed stuffed cabbage

Think of this dish as unstuffed stuffed cabbage.  So simple to make, lahanorizo (Λαχανόρυζο) is a traditional recipe of sweet, tender cabbage, fresh dill and thyme. It’s a quick, delicious meal right  from the stove and leftovers are just as good a day or two later.

Served warm, lahanorizo is hearty and perfect for a winter’s night.  A dish at room temperature (or even right from the fridge!) and sprinkled with a bit of fresh lemon juice is just the thing for a hot summer afternoon.   Tasty, healthy, Continue Reading →

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