Greek Cooking, Good Cooking

Traditional Greek appetizer recipes
from Samos Island & Greece

Greek food is good, healthy, natural &
delicious
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greekislandtraveler.com
Old Karlovassi Town, Samos Island, Greece
                                                              Greek Cooking, Good Cooking

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                                                             Authentic Greek Appetizer Recipes

    Appetizers play an important role in the Greek social life. In the evenings after work, the
    Greeks gather in the cafés & tavernas for a drink, appetizers (Mezedes) and conversation.
    It's time for relaxation. Greek appetizers can very from plain to very elaborate and may
    include sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives that are served with bread, spanakopita,
    tiropita, dolmades, taramosalata and tzatziki dip (sauce) which is served with bread or pita.
    Here you will learn how to cook good Greek appetizers. It is an exciting pleasure that is
    offered here for you to try. Enjoy!
                                                                   Greek Appetizers - Mezedes

    Spanakopita - Spinach & Cheese Pie

    1 ½ pound fresh spinach (if not available substitute with frozen spinach)
    ¼ cup virgin olive oil
    ¾ cup chopped green onions or 1 medium onion chopped
    ½ pound crumbled feta cheese
    1 cup cottage cheese
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Greek Kefalotiri cheese
    2-3 eggs beaten
    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    Salt & pepper to taste
    1 stick butter melted
    2 tablespoons chopped dill
    ¾ pound phyllo (fillo) dough sheets

    Wash the spinach, chop into small pieces, discard the stem and place in a large bowl. Heat the olive oil in a  
    skillet and sauté the green onions for 3 minutes or until limp. Stir in spinach, dill, parsley, salt & pepper.
    Remove from the heat and place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, eggs, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese,
    & cottage cheese and mix well.
    Brush a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish with some of the melted butter. Brush  4 sheets of phyllo with butter or
    olive oil, fold in half and stack them in the pan. Pour in the filling, spreading it evenly over the phyllo. Lay the
    remaining phyllo on top. Brush the top of the spanakopita  with butter cut it into square serving pieces. Preheat
    the oven to 350F degrees. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the spankopita for 20 minutes
    before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.


    Taramosalata – Caviar Dip

    ½ of 8 ounce jar of tarama (caviar)
    1 small onion grated
    1 egg yolk
    4 slices of bread
    ½ a cup lemon juice or fresh lemons squeezed
    ½ a cup virgin olive oil

    Place the tarama in a blender and whirl in low speed. Add slowly the onions and egg yolk and whirl to mix.
    Remove the crust from the bread and soak the bread in water. Squeeze the bread to dry and add to the tarama
    mixture. Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the tarama mixture and turn the blender at a high speed until
    tarama is smooth. Chill and serve with pita bread and raw vegetables. Makes 1 ½ cups.


    Tzatziki Sauce (Dip) – Greek Yogurt & Cucumber Sauce

    2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    2 cloves garlic finely minced
    1 teaspoon dill finely minced
    Salt & pepper to taste
    1 medium cucumber peeled, seeded, & diced
    2 cups plain strained Greek yogurt

    In a bowl mix well yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, cucumber, dill, and sprinkle salt and pepper if desired .
    Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Serve Tzatziki dip with pita and crunchy veggies. Also serve as a sauce
    with Gyro pita sandwich.

    Dolmadakia  (Dolmades) – Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves

    1 (1 pound) jar grape vine leaves
    1 medium onion finely chopped
    1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup raw long grain rice
    2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
    2 tablespoons chopped dill
    Salt & pepper to taste
    2 medium tomatoes finely chopped or grated
    Juice of 1 lemon & water as needed

    Rinse grape vine leaves in cold running water. Drain them. Sauté onions in a skillet with 1 ½ tablespoon olive
    oil until limp. Add 1 ½ cups of water, rice, dill, parsley, tomatoes and salt/pepper if desired and cook for 10
    minutes or until liquid is absorbed by the rice.
    When filling the leaves keep the shiny side of the leaf on the outside. Put 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of
    the leaf and fold the sites up over it, covering it, then roll it like a cigar. Lay the staffed leaves in a pot in even
    tight rows. When 1 layer is completed, make a second layer on top of the first, or a third layer, if necessary.
    Add remaining oil and enough water to the pot to half cover the stuffed leaves, and add the lemon juice. Cover
    the pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid has been
    absorbed  and only a slight amount of oil remains. All together should take about 45 minutes to cook.
    Remove from the heat and cool. Carefully remove the stuffed leaves, dolmadakia,  from the pot and serve them
    cold garnished with lemon wedges. Makes 6-8 servings.

    Keftaides – Greek Meatballs

    1 pound ground beef or mixture of beef and lamb
    ½ a cup fresh bread crumbs (1slice bread)
    3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    ½ a cup finely chopped onion
    Salt & pepper to taste
    1 teaspoon oregano
    2 eggs beaten
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon chopped mint
    1 clove garlic minced
    1 lemon, juice only

    Combine meat, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, eggs, parsley, oregano, mint, lemon juice, half the olive oil, salt,
    and pepper if desired and mix well. Shape mixture into meatballs and place in a greased pan with the remaining
    of olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven, 350F degrees, for about 30 minutes. Serve them hot or cold. Serves 6
    (approximately 30 small appetizer-size meatballs).

    Fried meatballs

    Same ingredients as above
    flour
    olive oil for frying

    If you prefer fried meatballs, roll the meatballs in flour and shake off any excess. Heat the oil in a deep frying
    pan. Fry meatballs until browned on all sides.

    Tiropita – Cheese Pie

    1 cup crumbled feta cheese
    ½ cup cottage cheese
    4 eggs beaten
    1/3 cup milk
    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    ¾ pound phyllo
    Salt & pepper to taste
    4 tablespoons flour
    1 stick butter melted
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    Melt the butter in a small pot. Add the flour and blend well. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to make a
    smooth bechamel sauce. Remove from the heat and add cheeses, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper and mix well.

    Brush a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish with some of the melted butter. Brush  4 sheets of phyllo with butter or
    olive oil, fold in half and stack them in the pan. Pour in the filling, spreading it evenly over the phyllo. Lay the
    remaining phyllo on top. Brush the top of the tiropita  with butter cut it into square serving pieces. Preheat the
    oven to 350F degrees. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the tiropita for 20 minutes before
    serving. Makes 8-10 servings.













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