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Nothing tastes better than vegetables, fruits, herbs, et cetera that have come straight from the earth to the plate. The only way to really have full control is to grow a lot of food on my own. I am sure this is one of the reasons why food tastes so good in Greece.

It's time to start planning my garden because before I know it, I will need to start planting. And, I might want to start some things from seed. I know realistically I won't be able to grow 100% of my produce, but I would at least like to contribute.

What should I plant?

Priority are tomatoes. I would also like to grow some lettuce and other things. Bell peppers. For herbs, oregano, basil, dill, parsley, mint. Maybe cucumbers and squash? Was thinking maybe to grow strawberries and some other fruits - but fruit seems a lot tricker.

What do you guys think?
 
I would check the growing cycles and timing for your area, wherever you live. Consider growing:

Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Bell Peppers
Herbs - oregano, basil, mint, parsley...

If this is your first time I would just stick to a handful and maybe next year add or subtract. If you do nothing else I would do tomatoes. There's nothing like garden fresh tomatoes! Squash can be tricky I would wait until you have a little more gardening experience.
 
It's such a rewarding experience to see your efforts bloom into delicious ingredients for your meals. Tomatoes are a fantastic choice; there's nothing quite like the taste of a sun-ripened tomato straight from the vine. And your herb selection sounds perfect for adding that authentic Greek flavor to your dishes. As for fruits, strawberries can be a delightful addition, though they do require a bit more attention. But hey, a little extra effort often pays off with those sweet, juicy berries. Regarding the camphor tree, I haven't personally grown one, but I've heard they're quite resilient and add a unique touch to any garden. Maybe someone else here can share their experience with it?
 
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Favorite Greek comfort foods?

I'm curious to know: what are your favorite Greek comfort foods?

Personally, I've heard a lot about moussaka and spanakopita, but I haven't had the chance to try them yet. Do you have any recommendations or recipes for these dishes? Or perhaps there are other less-known but equally delicious Greek comfort foods I should be aware of?

Looking forward to hearing your favorites and any tips you have for making or finding these comforting dishes!

Tips for Baking Greek Bread?

Does anyone have any tips or secrets for baking Greek bread at home? Here are a few specific areas where I could use some advice - I am new to baking bread, and most Greek breads I have had taste different than other breads I've had - so I am guessing there are nuances I need to learn.
  1. Are there specific types of flour or yeast that are essential for authentic Greek bread?
  2. Any particular methods that work best for achieving the right dough consistency?
  3. How long should the dough be left to rise, and are there any tricks to getting the perfect rise?
  4. Ideal oven temperature and baking times?
  5. Any traditional additives or spices that can elevate the bread?
I appreciate any insights or experiences you all could share!

Good Greek Dips and Spreads for Entertaining

I like to entertain and I like to have some good recipes on hand to throw together at the last minute. Did I miss anything? Here's what I have:
  • Tzatziki
  • Hummus
  • Melitzanosalata
  • Taramosalata
  • Fava
I eat tapenade (olive spread) a lot in Greece, but I don't have a good recipe...

Best Greek Olive Oil for Salads?

I’m looking to elevate my salad game and have heard that Greek olive oil is a fantastic choice for getting that rich, authentic flavor. With so many options out there, I’m a bit overwhelmed and could use some guidance from those who have experience in this area.

What are your top recommendations for the best Greek olive oil to use for salads? I'm specifically looking for:
  1. Quality: I want something that's high-quality with a robust flavor profile.
  2. Authenticity: Ideally, the olive oil should be authentic and imported from Greece.
  3. Versatility: While my main focus is on salads, it would be great if the olive oil can also be used for other dishes.
I’ve heard brands like Kalios, Iliada, and Gaea are pretty good, but I’d love to hear your personal favorites and why you recommend them.

greek-olive-oil.jpg

Greek Grilled Pita Bread - A Recipe

I love to grill - it's that time of year! I grilled some souvlaki the other day and decide to also make some pita bread. I had the dough all prepped. It came out great and tasted good with the souvlaki. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:​

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:​

  1. Activate the Yeast:
    • In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir gently and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
    • Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.
    • Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until the dough starts to come together.
  3. Knead the Dough:
    • Transfer the dough onto a floured surface.
    • Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour as needed.
  4. First Rise:
    • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat all sides with oil.
    • Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Shape the Pitas:
    • Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air.
    • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball.
    • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into a circle about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Second Rise:
    • Place the rolled-out dough circles on a lightly floured surface or baking sheet.
    • Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise for about 20-30 minutes.
  7. Grill the Pitas:
    • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
    • Place the pitas on the grill and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are puffed up and have nice grill marks.
    • If you prefer, you can also cook them in a cast-iron skillet or on a griddle over medium-high heat.
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