Mmm… this is a favorite of mine! When I think Mediterranean flavors, I think:
- Sesame (tahini sauce)
- Feta cheese
- Olives and olive oil
- Fresh summer vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers
At my house, we sometimes have a meal we affectionately call “Greek Night.” It’s really more of a mishmash of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern dishes, but they all work pretty well together. We usually have 2-3 of the following dishes:
- Greek salad (tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, cucumbers, feta, and olives, either with lettuce or “village style” — no lettuce, just the good stuff!)
- Falafel (I make my falafel from a mix — it doesn’t have any unpronounceable ingredients in it, so I feel pretty good about it)
- Hummus (if you have a food processor, you should absolutely be making your own hummus. It’s just chickpeas, olive oil, salt, lemon, garlic, oregano, and tahini. Play around with flavors until it tastes the way you like it. Yeah, yeah… tahini is a bit of a specialty ingredient, but the jar will last in your fridge indefinitely — or not, if you eat as much hummus as we do. Plus, you’ll be able to make the yummy Greek salad dressing that I share below.)
- Grilled chicken with Greek seasoning
- Tzatziki sauce (plain Greek yogurt, diced cucumber, and Greek seasoning)
- It’s not part of our regular rotation yet, but I’d love to add tabbouleh salad to our “Greek Night.”
Even though all these dishes are simple to make, it is a little time consuming to put all this together, especially on a weeknight after work. You can do a lot in advance — make the hummus & tzatziki, grill the chicken with a previous night’s meal, and you could even be a real overachiever and pre-chop veggies for your salad.
Greek Tahini Dressing
1 oz. (1/8 c.) Olive oil
1 oz. tahini
1 oz. white wine vinegar
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 t. Salt
1/2 t. Oregano
1/2 t. Parsley
1/2 t. Honey or Sugar
Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.
If you love Greek flavors as much as I do, you should also try these Greek burgers — they’re a little more work than a regular burger, but they are seriously delicious. Plus, they’re a great way to sneak some spinach and bell peppers to your favorite veggie-hating carnivore.
Welcome to my Cooking School series, which is designed to share what I’ve learned as an experienced home cook with people who want to learn how to cook healthy, homemade food. If you have a topic you’d like me to address, please leave a comment! I try to post a new Cooking School installment on Thursdays.