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Feel as though you’re stretched out on the the sun-drenched shores of the Greek islands of Mykonos or Santorini with this vacation menu. It is uncomplicated, straightforward and freshly flavorful. Pass the ouzo—Oopah !
Tomatoes, cucumbers and feta are a match made by Greek gods! Enjoy this under the hot Greek sun on the sultry beaches and maritime ports of the decadently popular Ionian or Cycladic islands.
HORIATIKI GREEK SALAD
Prepared in 15 minutes or less.
Cut all the ingredients except the olives into pieces and arrange in a dish with the tomatoes first, then the onion, pepper, cucumber and lastly the Feta cheese. Garnish with the olives. Before serving, sprinkle with oregano, salt, olive oil and red wine vinegar. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Serve with toasted pita.) Serves 4.
Athens, the intellectual birthplace of democracy, the great philosopher Socrates and home of the ancient Acroplis and majestic Parthenon, is fast becoming a destination where antiquity meets cultural edginess and epicurean delights. While indulging in this meal, allow your mind to wander outdoors and imagine the riveting well-preserved temples, bits of ancient Greek sculpture and narrow streets teeming with merchants, philosophers and legislators greeting each other with Kalipsera, Good Evening.
ATHENIAN SHRIMP WITH TOMATOES AND FETA
Prepared in 20 minutes or less plus 15 minutes to bake.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes until softened. Add oregano, basil then cook for another minute.
Gently pour in the wine or vermouth, bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and fresh pepper then reduce heat and simmer until liquids are reduced and sauce thickened, approximately 25 minutes.
Arrange shrimp in a large baking dish and pour tomato sauce atop. Generously sprinkle crumbled Feta evenly on top. Bake uncovered until shrimp are pink and Feta is melted, approximately 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and garnish with parsley and scallions. Serve immediately with rice. Serves 4.
MYCONIAN LAMB AND PEPPER KABOBS
Prepared in 15 minutes or less plus 1 hour to marinate.
Soak wooden skewers for a few hours in water. Mix together the red wine, extra-virgin olive oil, chopped oregano, marjoram, garlic powder and fresh pepper.
Marinate the lamb into this mixture for 1 hour.
Preheat grill (pan). Cut the lamb into 1½ – 2 inch cubes. Stem, seed and quarter the peppers. Cut the red onion into wedges.
Thread the lamb, peppers, onion onto skewers and season with salt.
Place them on grill for approximately 2 minutes on all 4 sides. Add Skordalia Sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
SAUTÉED STRAWBERRIES WITH CRACKED PEPPER AND FRESH MINT
Prepared in 10 minutes or less.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter.
Add brown sugar and vanilla bean to skillet and cook until sugar begins to melt and butter slightly bubbles and browns, approximately 2 – 3 minutes.
Add fresh strawberries and cook while tossing gently with kitchen tongs. After 20 seconds, the strawberries should be well-coated with the melted mixture.
Add cracked black pepper and cook strawberries another 20 seconds.
Transfer to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh mint. Serve immediately. Serves 4. Option: Top with crème fraîche, a tart buttery flavored thick cream popular in France.