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kcixcy

Active member
I am planning my herb garden for the year and I thought I would be sure to grow herbs popular in Greek cooking. Here's my list - did I miss anything?

- Spearmint - I love this one in spanakopita, Horta, and keftedes
- Dill - I sometimes put dill in my spanakopita and other dishes
- Shallots - I prefer shallots over onions so I decided to grow some
- Scallions - one of my favorites to cook with
- Parsley - I put parsley in everything!
- Oregano - of course, lol
 

Jawge

New member
I am planning my herb garden for the year and I thought I would be sure to grow herbs popular in Greek cooking. Here's my list - did I miss anything?

- Spearmint - I love this one in spanakopita, Horta, and keftedes
- Dill - I sometimes put dill in my spanakopita and other dishes
- Shallots - I prefer shallots over onions so I decided to grow some
- Scallions - one of my favorites to cook with
- Parsley - I put parsley in everything!
- Oregano - of course, lol
That's what we grow here but we don't have shallots.
 

k_tsoukalas

Administrator
Shallots don't last long in early spring. I tend to love to grow scallions and chives! I also have issues growing dill. I like to grow Scallions, Chives, oregano, basil, thyme, sage, and parsley.
 

Greek Cabbage Salad Recipe

I have been making a lot of Greek cabbage salad. I thought I'd share my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, grated carrot, sliced cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and parsley. Toss gently to mix.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat all the ingredients evenly.
  4. Let the salad sit for at least 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  5. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed.
  6. Serve in a large salad bowl or on individual plates and enjoy this refreshing and zesty Greek cabbage salad.

Getting to know the different Greek spirits

I am learning about Greek spirits as my next quest to understanding Greek culture and cuisine. Of course, I know about ouzo. I went out to eat the other day and they brought over a different spirit I hadn't tried "on the house" - they called it masticha. Here are the spirits I now know about:

- Ouzo - Tastes like anise - I like it!
- Masticha - Made from mastic resin. I also loved it - it was sweet and delicate - tasted a little like evergreen but not too overpowering.
- Metaxa - Greek brandy, I've had it before but not my cup of tea. Not a huge fan of brandy
- Raki - I have Cretan friends so... I drink this with them. It's strong but pleasant, and it seems to go well

What did I miss? I am sure I missed something!

Learning about Greek wine

On a recent trip to the Peloponnese region, I had the pleasure of tasting a robust Agiorgitiko, which was a perfect companion to the local lamb dishes. I also visited the Domaine Skouras, a family-owned winery where the tradition has been passed down for generations – their Megas Oenos blend is to die for.

While I remain enchanted by the wines from this region, I'm just getting started. I've heard whispers of lesser-known grape varieties with complex profiles, such as Assyrtiko. Has anyone here had the opportunity to indulge in this rare find? Share with us your tasting notes!

For those looking to dive deeper into the world of Greek wine, there are some magnificent wine routes that weave through lush vineyards and offer a glimpse into the country's rich wine culture. The 'Wines of Crete' festival is also an upcoming event I have on my radar. It's a great opportunity to sample a diverse array of Cretan wines and perhaps even unearth a new favorite.

What Greek wines have beckoned to you? Any particular food pairings that brought out the best in them? Or perhaps you have a favorite vineyard that you would recommend visiting.

Baklava Crumble for Cheesecake

I know that this isn't a traditionally Greek dish, just Greek inspired, but we have fun with it in my family.

You take a regular cheesecake recipe (the kind you have to bake), prepare it, and set it aside while prepping the baklava part.

Brush the cheesecake pan with better. Line it with a few sheets of phyllo - I eyeball it - and then brush it with butter. You want Mayne 3-4 layers of phyllo but make sure the pan is covered.

Prepare the nut filling of 2 cups ground nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and about a teaspoon or more of cinnamon (I eyeball it) in a bowl. Sprinkle over the phyllo. Pour the cheesecake filling over it, and bake the cheesecake as directed in the recipe.

When about to serve, prepare a simple syrup with honey, water, sugar, orange zest, and honey. You'll need about a cup of syrup.

baklava-cheesecake.jpg

Different Greek olive oil for cooking?

When buying Greek olive oil, do you buy different ones for different purposes?

I've been researching the best Greek olive oils. Now, I'm curious if any of you out there go to the lengths of selecting specific Greek olive oils for, say, salads, cooking, or even dipping with bread?

In my findings, extra virgin olive oil seems to be the go-to for dressings and cold dishes, while virgin olive oil can handle a bit of heat for light sautéing. And then there's the refined olive oil that's suggested for frying due to its higher smoke point. But, I've also heard a few people swear by the intense flavor of the unfiltered olive oil.

What's your experience with Greek olive oils, and do you have any personal favorites or secrets to what types work best for different recipes? Can you genuinely taste the difference in quality and type, or am I just overthinking my pantry staples? Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!
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