Summer hides endless delicacies and because we love everything delicious and seasonal, we have prepared a list of appetizers, salads, so delicious that you will not know which one to choose first. There are some foods in the Greek cuisine which in our minds we have inextricably linked with the summer months. These are the foods that we can enjoy in a courtyard overlooking the sea with ouzo or make them at home filling it with aromas of Greece.
Below we will present 10 of our favorite Greek summer dishes that will tingle your taste buds. Enjoy!
A dish that is completely linked to our summers, brings us memories from our childhood summers when we would return from our morning swim and find the freshly baked yemista on the table waiting for us to eat them almost straight from the pan. Tomatoes are extremely summery and together with peppers, eggplants, and zucchinis, they compose our favorite stuffed vegetables. The authentic political recipe requires the addition of pine nuts and raisins. Nowadays, they are made with rice and minced meat in the oven or, for those who follow a healthier diet, the stuffed ones can be cooked with oatmeal and aromatic herbs. Essential ingredients that should not be missing from our recipe are olive oil, mint, and parsley.
Surprisingly, despite its ‘rich’ recipe, this food is considered to be one of the most summery ones, especially when consumed cold. The ‘homeland’ of moussaka is not historically established, as it is a dish that is found in various forms throughout the Balkans, in the countries of the Middle East, Central Europe, Turkey, and Greece. What we do know for sure is that the Greek version of moussaka appeared in 1910 with the release of recipes by Nikolaos Tselementes, who added béchamel to the recipe of French origin.
Also known as “Imam Baildi”, this delicious eggplant dish is said to have taken its name when an imam who tried it for the first time lost consciousness – ‘Baildi’ in Turkish means ‘to faint’. The recipe went through the years of Turkish rule in Greek cuisine, as well as in Albanian and Bulgarian.
Tourlou, sympetherio, sofegado, ratatouille, briam. Lots of names, one result: a delicious dish with a variety of boiled vegetables and the wonderful tomato sauce. Some believe it was invented between 1720-1861 in Nice in southern France and from there it switched to Mediterranean cuisine, while others claim that the French copied the Catalan Samfaina, a dish that accompanied fish. In any case, briam appears in Turkish traditional cuisine and, in conclusion, in Greek.
Briam is one of the best summer dishes, made from fresh vegetables. As long as we have a few eggplants, a few zucchinis, a few peppers, a few potatoes, and most of all plenty of tomatoes! The tomato has a catalytic position in the briam and is the one that binds all the other vegetables together. It cooks very easily and quickly. In a large pyrex put all the vegetables in layers (putting the onions first and the tomatoes last) and at the end add the olive oil and the various spices. Enjoy it on your balcony accompanied by feta and fresh bread.
This wonderful combination of rusks, grated tomato, and mizithra or feta has its roots in Crete and derives its name from the homonymous rusk, which dominates the plate and was the daily substitute for bread for the inhabitants of the island. Dakos is a typical dish of Cretan cuisine, which can be made in minutes with minimal ingredients and without the need to use an oven or pan. Just soak the rusk and drain it well. Put the tomato on top and after the mizithra, add a little salt, pepper, and oregano. You can garnish it with a few olives and do not forget to add olive oil and capers.
Cool, juicy, filling, rich, absolutely summery. The Greek salad has accompanied the delicacies of the Greek table for decades and is a trademark of abroad. There is no definite source for its origin, but knowing that the tomato came to Greece sometime in the 1800s and that in 1900 an economic immigrant to America tried to put some of the ingredients that make it up on a plate, mixing them, we can guess how It was in the early 20th century that the Greek salad entered Greek cuisine.
Yiourvelakia with Lemon and Egg Sauce
The ‘meatballs on board’, as people jokingly describe this delicious (drowned in lemon and egg sauce) dish are found first in Turkish cuisine (yuvarlak, or yuvarlak köfte) and then in Cypriot and Greek. Characteristic of them, in addition to the rich lemon and egg sauce, the special way in which the minced meat is made, consisting of rice or oatmeal, onion, parsley, oil, salt, and pepper.
Click here to view our very own chef making the most delicious Greek dip, tzatziki!
An essential dip to the Greek table. The popular and spicy tzatziki goes well with most Greek dishes. Furthermore, Greeks consume tzatziki in generous doses and they accompany it with freshly baked bread. Surprisingly enough, its roots go back to ancient Greece. Back then the ancient Greeks called it ‘Myttiko’ and had – more or less – the same ingredients as today. In Byzantium, they put chopped olives, egg, and white cheese and gave it the name Jakisto. While later the Turks adopted it and named it cacık. This is how the word ‘tzatziki’ reached us.
The Greek famous dish has its roots in ancient Greece, called ‘kandavlo’. The ancient Greeks served it with some form of pie, cheese, dill and combined with some kind of broth. The wrapped version began to spread in the 1940s and 1950s. Mainly they appeared in refugee areas of Athens, such as Drapetsona, Nikaia, and Korydallos.
Grilled Octopus and Squid
Seafood is the protagonist of summer. We may have combined them with the beach tavern by the sea. However, we can cook them very easily at home in a healthy way on the grill. After you marinate the octopus or the fresh squid with fresh olive oil, put them on the oven grill. Check the oven regularly so that you do not overcook them. A prerequisite for a tastier result is to be accompanied by a Greek salad.
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