A flavorful appetizer (meze) anytime of the year but, especially delicious during the summertime.
6 Anaheim peppers, seeded and tops cut off
4-6 mini peppers, seeded and tops cut off
8 ounces (228 grams) feta cheese (Dodonis brand cheese is excellent if you can find it)
2 tablespoons plain, whole milk yogurt
1 scallion, finely sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt for exterior of peppers
6 small bread cubes
Preheat the oven to 475 °F, 246 °C.
Carefully remove the seeds from the peppers and rinse and dry them. Save the tops of the peppers.
Place the feta cheese in a bowl and mash it using a fork. Add the yogurt and mozzarella cheese and mix well to combine. Season with black pepper and add the scallions. Mix well until incorporated.
Place the cheese filling in a pastry bag. You can also use a spoon to fill the peppers, but if you have a bag use it as it will make this step much easier.
Fill each pepper almost to the top leaving some room for the bread cube. The bread cube will help prevent the cheese filling from escaping during roasting. Some filling will still come out. Don’t worry! It can be scooped back in after it cools slightly.
Place the stuffed peppers on a baking tray and brush them all around with olive oil. Season with salt and bake for 15 minutes or until soft and slightly charred.
Allow to cool slightly. Gather any filling that may have oozed out during baking and put it back in the peppers.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
1 and ½ pounds potatoes, cubed
Optional: mint, rosemary
Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
3-4 sundried tomatoes (packed in oil), chopped
Garnish: 2-3 tablespoons pine nuts
Optional: 2-4 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt or sour cream
For the dressing:
¼ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place the potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender. About 10-15 minutes. Finely chop the scallions and herbs and set aside.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to combine.
Place the pine nuts in a small pan and toast over medium heat until lightly golden. About 3 minutes.
Strain the potatoes and peel the skin.
While the potatoes are still warm, toss them in the dressing and mix to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Mix in the herbs, olives, and sundried tomatoes.
Garnish with toasted pine nuts and serve.
Optional: To create a creamy potato salad, fold in the yogurt or sour cream and serve.
All of the flavors of summertime in Greece are in this delicious fritter. Use the freshest tomatoes and herbs that you can find for maximum flavor.
1 and ½ pounds tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-5 scallions (green and white parts), finely sliced
½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs
2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Optional: ½ pound feta cheese, crumbled
Vegetable oil, for frying
tzatziki sauce for dipping
In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, onions, scallions, and herbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine.
Add the flour to the tomato mixture and mix well with a spatula until everything is combined.
Mix in the crumbled feta is using.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
This mixture can sit in the refrigerator for a few hours so that all of the flavors marry. It can also be made immediately. I prefer to allow it to sit at least 1 hour for best flavor.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
Carefully drop 1 tablespoon of batter at a time in the oil and fry at least 3 minutes before flipping to prevent the fritter from falling apart.
Cook until golden brown all around. 6-7 minutes.
Set the fritters on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Serve immediately with tzatziki sauce for dipping.
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups basmati rice
2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for chickpeas
Rinse the rice with until the water runs clear. Leave it in a bowl soaking in cold water for 10-15 minutes.
Combine the chopped onion, garlic clove(s), and oil in a pot and cook over medium heat until soft and golden. About 10 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
Add to the pot and season with salt and some black pepper. Warm through.
Drain the water from the rice and add to the pot along with 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and 2 cups of water. Stir.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot with the lid. Simmer 15 minutes undisturbed.
Uncover and fluff the rice.
¼ cup olive oil
½ medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
9 ounces marinated (jarred) artichoke hearts
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried dill
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Note: there will be leftover broth once the risotto is ready. It is better to warm up extra than to run out of hot liquid while making this dish. The leftover broth can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Simmer broth in a saucepan. It must be very hot when added to the rice.
Cook onions with olive oil in a shallow saucepan until soft and translucent.
Grate garlic cloves in the pan and immediately add the rice. Grated garlic can burn if exposed to heat for longer than a few seconds.
Cook the rice over medium heat about 3 minutes or until translucent around the edges.
Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add 3 cups of the hot broth to the pan and simmer stirring every few minutes until liquid is absorbed. About 10 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup of hot broth and stir while cooking until absorbed.
Continue to add hot broth while stirring, then absorbed, until the rice is cooked aldente.
Remove from heat, stir in artichokes to warm through.
Fold in butter, lemon juice, and dill.
Add a little more broth to loosen the texture a bit.
Serve immediately topped with feta cheese. Enjoy!
For the cheese sauce:
4 ounces feta
1/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 roasted red pepper, drained
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
10 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
For the herbed oil:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, grated
ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 177 degrees Celsius.
Combine all of the cheese sauce ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until pureed and smooth.
Cut the pita into about 8 wedges each.
To make the herbed oil, combine the olive oil, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove into the oil and mix well.
Brush each pita wedge with the oil and place on a baking tray.
Sprinkle salt over the pita wedges and bake about 10 minutes or until golden.
Set aside and allow to cool.
Arrange the pita chips onto an oven proof plate.
Dollop the cheese sauce over the chips.
Top with the halved tomatoes, then with the mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle the olives and sliced scallions on top.
Bake in the oven until cheese is completely melted.
This can also be done under a broiler for 60-90 seconds. The chips can quickly burn if you step away and stop monitoring them.
If using the broiler setting, make sure that the oven rack is in the middle of the oven. Placing the chips directly under the flame will cause them to burn.
2 sheets puff pastry
10 ounces baby spinach, chopped
3/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 scallions, finely sliced
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
egg wash: 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 204 degrees Celsius.
Begin by preparing the spinach filling. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, feta, ricotta cheese, dill, salt, pepper, and scallions. Mix well until the spinach is completely coated with the cheeses and all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
Taste and check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Mix in the egg and set the spinach mixture aside.
Roll out each puff pastry sheet large enough so that an 11 inch circle can be cut out of the center. I like to use either a large bowl or a dinner plate.
Save the scraps for another recipe. They stay fresh in the freezer for 2 weeks if wrapped tightly with plastic.
Place one circle on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs all over the puff pastry. These will absorb any excess liquid that is released during baking.
Place 2 scoops of the spinach filling in the center of the circle.
Create a ring with the remaining spinach filling leaving about 1/2 inch border all around the puff pastry.
Do not allow the ring to connect with the filling in the center.
Place the other puff pastry circle on top and seal the edges by pressing down with the tines of a fork.
Place a small bowl (around 5- 6 inches in diameter) over the center filling and press down to create an indentation. Leave the bowl there.
Cut 4 slits all around the pastry. If looking at it as a clock, one slit would be at the 12:00 position, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00.
Cut 4-5 more slits in each quadrant.
Remove the bowl. Pierce the center with the tines of a fork a few times so that the steam releases during baking.
Twist each outer section (the slices) so that the filling side faces up. Take care to not separate the slices from the center.
Brush the pastry with egg wash.
Sprinkle sesame seeds over center and bake 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and golden all around.
Serve with tzaztiki sauce.
Makes 50-60 dolmades:
16 ounces grape leaves from a jar, rinsed, drained, and stems removed
3/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds ground lamb (or 1 pound ground lamb plus 1 pound ground beef)
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
16 ounces water or chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly lemon juice
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, salt, pepper, herbs and mix well. Add the rice and mix until well combined.
Rinse and dry the grape leaves. Cut the hard stem from each leaf. Reserve the smallest and the torn leaves to lay on bottom of pot.
Lay a grape leaf shiny side down and place a tablespoon of rice filling on the bottom end of the leaf, near the stem.
Fold the stem end of leaf over the filling. Fold the sides over and roll up snugly but not too tight. The rice will expand while cooking.
Repeat with all of the remaining grape leaves until your filling is done.
Layer half of the small and torn grape leaves to create a bed for the dolmades in a pot.
Place the dolmades seam side down and very close together over the bed of leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the dolmades.
Place the remaining reserved small leaves over the dolmades.
Pour the water or chicken stock over the dolmades dolmades.
Place an inverted plate over the dolmades to weigh them down and to prevent them from moving around and opening while cooking.
Cover with lid and bring to a boil.
Reduce to simmer and cook about 40-60 minutes or until the rice is tender.
There will still be some liquid in the pot. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes and the juices will be absorbed.
Plate and drizzle some olive oil over them. Serve with delicious tzatziki sauce.
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 fresh garlic clove
3 roasted garlic cloves
1/4 cup tahini paste (or less)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
2-4 tablespoons reserved chick pea liquid
salt, to taste
Garnishes: olive oil, sumac, olives, chopped parsley
Place the fresh garlic love in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add tahini paste with lemon juice and puree.
Add chickpeas and puree until they break down and begin to form a paste.
Add 2 tablespoons of reserved liquid and puree until silky smooth.
Season with salt and cumin powder. Puree.
Taste and add more lemon juice or reserved chickpea liquid to create your desired consistency.
Place in a serving plate and drizzle with olive oil.
Dust some sumac and garnish with olives and freshly chopped parsley.
Serve with warm pita.
Hi, I'm Dimitra and welcome to my blog! Here, I'll teach you just how much fun and easy it is to please a crowd with my versions of Greek classics. Kali Orexi as we say in Greek!