Greek food is as vibrant and colourful as the country itself. Culinary hot spots like Italy and France may be the countries that spring to mind when we think of European foodie destinations, leaving Greece under the radar. But when you’re faced with a table of juicy, freshly picked tomatoes, fragrant, succulent lamb, crunchy salads, and light seafood fresh from the boat, it’s hard not to fall in love with Greek cuisine.
Heading into barbecue season, here are some super quick and easy recipes to help you dish up a Greek feast at home.
Lamb Kofte Kebabs
- 500g lamb mince
- 1tbsp harissa paste
- 1tbsp dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ground all spice
- 1 red onion, grated
- 50g feta
- Sauté the onion and garlic together until tender and fragrant, then remove from the pan. TIP: Place the onion and garlic on a piece of kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil.
- Whilst sautéing, thoroughly mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Afterwards, add in the onion and garlic and continue to mix well so all the flavours are infused.
- Divide into sausage shapes – you should get about 12 appetiser-sized kebabs or six main course-sized kebabs.
- Thread the meat mixture on to kebab skewers and then cook under the grill for about eight minutes on either side. Serve with yoghurt dip and fluffy pita bread.
Filo Spinach Parcels (Spanakopita)
- Ready-made filo pastry (about 10 sheets)
- 500g spinach
- 200g feta cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
- Bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
- Bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Half a lemon
- Pre heat oven to 180ºC.
- Wilt the spinach over boiling water, squeezing over the juice of the half lemon as you do so. When it’s done, blast under cold water to cool it quickly. Squeeze out all the excess moisture with your hands or a spoon, and then place the spinach on a sheet of kitchen paper.
- Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add the spinach to the feta mixture, and mix it all together so the ingredients are evenly spread throughout.
- Lay one sheet of the ready-made filo pastry, landscape, on the work surface, and drizzle lightly with olive oil, spreading across the pastry with a brush. Then layer another sheet on top and drizzle that lightly with olive oil as well.
- Slice it into four, length ways. Then place a tablespoon of the mixture on the end of one of the filo pastry strips. Fold the filo pastry over mixture and repeat until you’ve used the whole filo pastry strip.
- Continue this process until all of the mixture is gone. Brush the parcels with a little olive oil, then place in a baking tray and cook for about 25-30 minutes.
Halloumi Chilli Kebabs
- 250g halloumi, cut into chunks
- 2 courgettes, sliced into thick chunks
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into 3cm pieces
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Start by threading your halloumi and the vegetables on to kebab skewers, then chill them in the fridge.
- Mix together the oil and lemon juice with the thyme, mustard and chilli flakes, and good seasoning of salt and pepper.
- When you’re ready to cook the kebabs, cover the vegetables and cheese with the dressing using a basting brush.
- Cook on a hot barbecue or grill for about 5 minutes or until tender and slightly charred.