When you’re looking for a cuisine to explore and fall in love with, look no further than wonderful and mythical Greece. People there really know what they’re doing when it comes to food. We actually had a bit of trouble picking out the Greek dishes to highlight in the following article. Because there are just so many good ones!
The last time I went to Greece, which was very recently, I ended up almost crying in my food, to be honest. Not because I was sad, but because I was feeling so extremely happy. Greek dishes are definitely food made with love, with flavor, texture and also health in mind. From the delightful phyllo pastries to the tender and juicy meat and the perfectly balanced wraps, the food that was born in that part of the world is legendary to me.
I was in a Cretan restaurant, having a bit of low-moisture cheese with honey, some beetroot and lentil salad with goat cheese on top, and some tender pork with the greatest gravy that I have tasted, when I realized, more strongly than ever, that I was in love. Here are some of our favorite Greek dishes that you simply have to try.
10 Greek dishes to fall in love with
1. Cheese saganaki
I had this on my latest trip to Greece, at a lovely little traditional restaurant and rest stop in nature. And it was so insanely tasty, I can’t even describe it. It’s all about coating some cheese with flour, frying it, and serving it warm. Its outer crunchy layer contrasts in such a delicious way with the cheesy hot interior.
Spanakopita is a delicious pie, with homemade dough and a savory filling made with baby spinach, yogurt, and feta. Is your mouth already watering? I had this as breakfast one morning, after a boat ride to an island and it was so great! This recipe requires some work and cooking skills, but in the end, you’ll find that it’s really worth the effort.
3. Roast lamb shoulder with garlic potatoes
Even if you’re not usually a fan of lamb, prepare to drool over this one! First, sear the meat, then roast it covered in aluminum. The result is juicy and moist, also incredibly soft. Cook it together with veggies and a lot of herbs to enrich the lamb’s flavor. Then grab a fork and feast!
4. Greek salad
This is one of the simplest and perhaps most well-known Greek dishes in the world. The combination of olives, fresh vegetables, feta, oregano, and olive oil is so easy to achieve and the results are usually phenomenal. That’s what the balance of flavors, textures, and nutrients is all about in the end.
5. Pork souvlaki with pita and tzatziki
Having souvlaki as soon as I get off the subway from the airport is a personal Athens tradition for me. I sometimes dream about it when I can’t have it, that’s why it was important for me to learn how to make my own. Before grilling to perfection these traditional Greek skewers, marinate the meat. The rosemary, white wine, lime juice, and other goodies in the marinade give pork flavor and some acidic tang. Prepare your own pita, because it’s the best choice. And finish everything off with some tzatziki.
6. Shrimp, octopus and perch kakavia
The traditional Kakavia can be cooked with an impressive variety of seafood types and vegetables. For this variant, we went with the Nile perch, baby octopus, and shrimp. Flavor it and make it better with lime, basil, oregano, ginger, and garlic. Enjoy health on a plate.
7. Lamb and feta pie
Pies are some of the tastiest Greek dishes out there. Use minced lamb to make this layered pie. Flavor the mince with paprika, oregano, cumin, ginger, and allspice. Add spiced feta between the two layers of mince and top everything with pie crust. Bake it and serve it hot.
Oh, the joys of having this Greek orange cake during a hot night in May. I was so happy when I managed to almost recreate this wonderful treat at home and I definitely had multiple servings! It’s a mixture of phyllo pastry, sugar, and yogurt flavored with orange juice and zest. It may take around 90 minutes to cook it, but we guarantee it is worth your while.
9. Honey and cinnamon loukoumades
These sweet bites come are called loukoumades, meaning small deep-fried dough bites. Prepare your own dough following the steps. Serve the loukoumades with honey, crumbled walnuts, and cinnamon powder, which together with the deep-fried dough make a heavenly combination.
If you are craving something sweet, you are in for a treat! Follow these steps for an extra-sweet and delicious Baklava. Buttery and flavored with cinnamon and honey, it stands out thanks to its crunchiness. It’s full of crumbled pecans, walnuts, and pistachios between the phyllo pastry sheets.