Sunday, July 4, 2010

Regional Recipes: Greece Roundup!

I have to be honest with you.

I didn't decide on Greece as our next rendezvous point based on the food.

Don't get me wrong.  The food is good.  The flavors are great.  It's got everything going for it.

But none of this is what reeled me in.

Instead.  I chose Greece because Greek foods have the COOLEST names!  Spanakopita.  Dolmades.  Avegelemonno.  They just roll off your tongue.

Or onto your tongue.  Depending on the situation.

Read along with me as we encounter some of these foods as well as the fabulous bloggers who submitted them!

Natasha of Five Star Foodie brings a tropical play on Domatokeftedes.  Instead of using the traditional cucumber tzatziki to top these delectable tomato-filled fritters, she instead chose to go with a mango tzatziki.  Personally, I can't think of anything I would like more.

Katerina of Culinary Delights really delved into her roots while trying to find a recipe for Batzina, a Greek bread.  She remembered the dish from her childhood and didn't stop until she found the recipe, even if it meant giving her father's 88-year-old aunt a call!  I certainly am glad she did because this looks fantastic.

Sharlene of Small Town Oven, one of my favorite fellow med student bloggers who will be joining me at Cornell for the next month, celebrated her first resuscitation by baking this Honey Walnut Cake!  Sure, the person being resuscitated may not have been alive per say...but you need to start somewhere right.

Faith of An Edible Mosaic and I both share a love of Baklava.  Also known as heaven wrapped in filo dough.  I've always wanted to make it at home, and now I can with this fabulous recipe that Faith shared with us!

In cooking for this month's Regional Recipes, the amazing Chaya of My Sweet and Savory discovers what I've always maintained is true - that really, we are not so different after all.  After all, it only takes the addition of one herb to convert one of her favorite potato recipes, this patates fournou, from Italian to Greek. 
Deb of Kahakai Kitchen must have somehow known how much I adore tahini, a blend of food processed sesame seeds.  As such, she submitted both a Greek Parsley Salad with Tahini dressing:  Over which I swooned.
And a Greek Manestra soup, the fresh flavors in which will satiate any palate.

Need a healthy but tasty burger to grill up during these summer months?  This Greek Juicy Turkey Burger submitted by Ivy from Kopiaste is the way to go!

Barbara was the life of our party by bringing everyone's favorite chip dip!  Oh yes.  You know what I'm talking about - tzatziki!

JS and TS of Eating Club Vancouver stray from their normal diet of Chinese fare to bring us two fabulous dishes this month!  The first being a Grilled Fish Fillet on Oregano.  In this dish, oregano is transformed from a seasoning to a bed upon which to serve the fish!  

And because they really couldn't stray from their Chinese roots entirely, they also discovered a Greek recipe for Pasteli, or sesame snaps, which are strangely reminiscent of Taiwanese peanutty snacks!  It really is a small world after all.

Not one to be stifled by the heat, Elizabeth from Blog From OUR Kitchen braves seriously hot weather to bake us two batches of Greek Sesame Galettes or Koulouria.  The first time, she made them with the traditional sesame seeds and the second time she topped them with Nigella seeds.  Both of which look good to me!

Sesame Twisted Rings - Koulouria (BBD, YS)

Carla of Recipe Addict, having never braised vegetables in olive oil before, decided to share a fabulous side dish of Bamies Me Saltsa or Okra with Tomatoes.  Doesn't that make you want to eat your veggies?

Even though Heather of Girlichef mostly associates Greek food with alcohol doused cheese that is then set on fire (a girl after my own heart), when she found some beautiful fingerlings at the farmer's market, she couldn't resist making a Greek Potato, Onion, and Caper Salad...along with some Dolmades of course!

When I went to my first "friend" wedding last week, I was intensely scared.  Why?  Firstly because Wedding Crashers had been playing constantly on TBS the week before.  And then because Marisa of The Creative Pot confirmed my wildest fear that wedding crashers actually do telling the story of how her dad used to crash weddings and try to get chicks by pretending he was Greek!  Yikes.  Some good came out of this, however, that being Marisa's fabulous submission of Garithes Yiouvetsi or Prawns with Tomatoes and Feta.

Cool Lassi(e) of Pan Gravy Kadai Curry combines all of my favorite spices into a wonderful sausage and pasta dish called SoudZoukakia.  I don't know which I want to do this dish or repeat it's name over and over.  What a mouthful, either way!

I was so glad when Debbi of Debbi Does Dinner...Healthy and Low Calorie bit the bullet and submitted one of my favorite Greek street foods...Chicken Souvlaki!  These make for some seriously tasty pita sandwiches!

Reeni of Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice, who always comes through with my favorite comfort foods, shares a version of Greek Creamed Spinach from the book How To Roast A Lamb.  And really, when you pair spinach with a creamy beschamel sauce, how can you go wrong?

Kim over The Ungourmet is slowly but surely being won over to the eggplant lover's camp (of which I am a tried and true member.  We even have a secret handshake.  How awesome is that.)...especially after eating this Grilled Eggplant with a Warm Greek-Style Quinoa Salad.  Who could resist something this good!

Lori of Fake Food Free really cooked around the world this month with her Foodbuzz 24x24 challenge in which she grilled up a whole slew of pizzas that were inspired by different countries.  The Greek version had grilled summer squash and onions, feta, and much better could it get?

Lauren of Healthy Delicious, usually a sucker for a traditional bacon and cheese burger, was won over by this Greek Burger with Feta and Tzatziki.  Served alongside a refreshing salad, this makes for the perfect summer meal.

Last up is me!  I had really been craving spinach and feta all month long, but wanted something a bit healthier than spanikopita.

Then came Spanakorizo.  A dish that mixes the flavors of spanikopita into rice rather than encasing it in filo dough.  It definitely satisfied my every craving.

Thanks everyone for playing along with me!  Stay tuned in the next few days (tomorrow perhaps) to find out where we'll be traveling to next!


  1. These look fantastic! I love the names too though I'm quite sure I would butcher them up embarrassingly! There are several I want to check out. Thanks again for hosting!

  2. Such a great round up! Everything looks fantastic. I really want to give those sesame snaps a try!

  3. Wow - awesome roundup! And I know I say this everytime, but everything really DOES look sooooo good. :-)

  4. That's it! I come! Everything looks delicious and how much do you wanna bet it's even better sitting in that picturesque dreamland eating it? Great round-up, Joanne =)

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  6. sorry...I called you by another name (barely) in the first post by the push of one button...stinkin' typos and it was too late once I saw myself "saying" it!! Sheesh. Where's my coffee....

  7. Ahh everything looks so good I'm craving Greek food now! Seriously. Tzatziki.. mmmmmmmmm!

  8. Great round up Joanne. You always find something unique to say about everyone.

  9. Ha!! I love your reason for choosing Greece! And I know exactly what you mean. "Spanakopita" sounds so much more wonderful than spinach pie. And there's something so satisfying about saying "Dolmades" (not to mention eating them).

    Excellent roundup.


  10. Great round-up, Joanne! Next time I'm dying for Greek food I'll pick something to make from this post instead of heading out to a restaurant! :)

  11. Fantastic round up! so many great dishes that I am drooling. ;-) Can't wait to see the next country.

  12. What a lovely round-up, Joanne. I think mine got lost amongst the shuffle though:

    I wonder where we will travel to next?

  13. All entries are great. But my favorite is that awesome Greek Burger.

  14. What a mouth-watering round up!! I wish we could have a pot luck...

  15. Wow! This an amazing group of recipes! Thanks for sharing them:)

    I really wanted to participate in this. I actually tried making the sesame candy and mine was a flop. I will have to try the one you have featured here. I can't wait to try some of these.

  16. Everything does look delicious but then being Greek maybe I am biased :) Thanks for hosting this wonderful roundup!

  17. Hey i jus got here to the delicious round up and wait a moment............i aint here gurl???

    Am so saddddddddddd i missed the round up:-