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.
Makes 12 rolls:
1 and 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
salt, to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons ground sumac
2 cardamom pods
dash of ground cinnamon
1 cup water
juice of half lemon
1 pound phyllo, thawed at room temperature
about 1 cup, or more of slivered almonds or pine nuts
3-4 large onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoon ground sumac
3/4 cup olive oil
Place the sliced onions in a pot with the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes or until caramelized. Keep stirring so that they don't burn. Strain them in a colander and reserve the oil for later.
Add the chicken to the same pan and brown a few minutes on each side. Also season each side with salt, pepper, and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.
Add the cardamom and 1 cup of water. Cover and cook over medium heat 15-20 minutes or until the broth evaporates and the chicken is fully cooked.
Discard the cardamom pods, chop the chicken and sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons sumac over it along with the lemon juice. Mix well. Add salt if needed. Set aside in a bowl.
Place the cooked, drained onions in a bowl and sprinkle in 2-3 tablespoons of sumac. gently mix it well. and set aside.
This can be served as is over warmed up flatbread. Family style. Garnished with slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts.
To make the rolls:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 177 degrees Celsius.
Take the phyllo out of its packaging and cut it in half before unrolling it.
Drizzle some of the reserved onion oil over two of the strips of phyllo stacking them on top of each other.
Place a teaspoon of the caramelized onions on the bottom part of the phyllo. The part closest to you. Place a tablespoon of the chicken over the onions and sprinkle some almonds on top.
Fold the sides of the phyllo over the filling and roll up.
Place all of the rolls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush the tops and sides of prepared rolls with the oil. Sprinkle the tops with some salt.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden all around.
Serve with tahini sauce or tzatziki.
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Makes almost 2 cups:
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 clove garlic
1/4 - 1/3 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
2-3 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt (optional)
pinch of ground sumac (optional)
salt, to taste
Stir the tahini paste well before measuring it. The oil tends to rise to the top of the container.
Place the tahini paste in a mixing bowl along with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix well.
The mixture will begin to thicken and sieze up. Don't worry!
Grate the garlic into the sauce and add enough warm water to mix it into a smooth paste. Add as much water as you like to achieve your desired consistency. Thick tahini sauce is great if using as a sandwich spread. Thinner tahini sauce is great for drizzling over foods or as a dressing.
When desired consistency is reached, taste for seasoning. Add more lemon juice and/or salt.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley. Sprinkle some sumac over the sauce and serve.
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup Pesto Sauce
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound halloumi cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 204 degrees Celsius.
Place the thawed out puff pastry on a work surface dusted with some flour. Roll it out in either a square or a rectangle. About an inch bigger than it is. If rolling it out into a rectangle, it should fit snug inside a half sheet baking pan (16.5 x 11.38 x 1 inches)
Place the puff pastry in a half sheet baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Using a knife, scour it all along the border (about an inch) to create a crust. Poke holes using a fork all throughout the inside of the border that has been created. This will keep the inside from rising while the border forms into a puffy, flaky crust. Creating a beautiful tart.
Place the sliced tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Toss to coat.
Slice the halloumi cheese into squares double the size of the tomatoes.
Spread the pesto sauce along the inside of the tart.
Create a row of tomatoes. Layer the halloumi next and continue until the inside of the tart is filled with halloumi and tomato slices.
Note: If you notice that the Haloumi cheese is running out, cut some of the larger pieces in half.
Sprinkle the pine nuts over the halloumi and tomatoes.
Brush the border of the pastry with the juices from the tomato marinade.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
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!