The country of Greece, including its islands, boasts prime real estate in the Mediterranean region. This means its cuisine features plenty of vibrant flavours, high-quality local ingredients, fresh herbs and, of course, delectable seafood.
Ready to get well-versed on Greek fare? Then here are five Greek dishes to pique your interest and make your mouth water.
Olive oil, herbs and lamb are just some of the ingredients you can expect to find in Greek cooking. They’re also found in perhaps the most famous Greek dish of all: moussaka, a hearty and comforting casserole consisting of layers of thinly sliced potatoes, aubergines and lamb or beef.
This moussaka recipe uses lamb mince, but no matter what meat you opt to use, there’s one thing you can’t forget: the béchamel sauce. This creamy sauce is generously drizzled on top of the casserole just before cooking, resulting in a creamy golden crust.
Spanakopita is a savoury pie bursting with fresh herby flavours, flaky phyllo dough and a decadent spinach and feta cheese filling you won’t tire of.
You’ll also be glad to know that spanakopita is a doddle to make, as this recipe proves. So, go on and do as the Greek do, which is to freeze your extra spanakopita so you’ll have plenty to hand when you want to wow guests or satisfy a late night craving.
Of the many succulent meat dishes found in Greek cuisine, it’s hard to pick just one favourite. We’ll settle, then, for souvlaki, as it’s easy to cook and yet oh so delicious.
Souvlaki consists of juicy pieces of grilled meat, traditionally pork or chicken, placed on skewers and then marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and aromatic herbs, such as oregano. It’s a delight to eat with some warm pita bread, tzatziki sauce and a side of Greek salad.
Which brings us to our next dish…
As colourful as it is flavourful, and as healthy as it is delicious, Greek salad makes the perfect accompaniment to any meal. It can even be enjoyed on its own as a light lunch.
A classic Greek salad is made up of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, olives and rich feta cheese. This refreshing combination is then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice to create a simple yet delicious dish.
A meal isn’t quite complete without dessert, is it? When it comes to Greek desserts, you’ll be spoilt for choice, but there’s a reason why baklava has made quite the name for itself.
Like spanakopita, baklava is made of layers of phyllo dough, but unlike spanakopita, baklava is also sweetened with syrup or honey and packed full with chopped nuts like pecans, pistachios and walnuts. The result is a buttery and flaky treat to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Making baklava takes a little bit of effort, but the end product is so worth it. Do give it a try if you want a taste of Greece!
Until next time…