Side Dishes/Appetizers

Food travels-Greece

This week’s food travels took me to Greece. Although I love Greek food, especially when consuming vast amounts of it at the yearly Greek food festival D and I usually attend with his parents, I don’t make it too often.

I’ve always wanted to visit Greece, even though the language and its alphabet is quite intimidating. But the ridiculously high airfare to Athens is usually one of the deterring factors. (For instance, I’ve found flights to Istanbul, a city further away and more exotic to me at least than Greece’s capital city, to be less expensive. Go figure.) In the myriad of honeymoon destinations D and I considered, Greece, specifically the island of Santorini was one of them for a time.

Image courtesy of in-santorini.com

But 400 euro a night rooms (and up) made it “easy” to cross that destination off the ballot. I have no problem with staying at more budget like lodgings (they do exist on Santorini), I just didn’t want that on my honeymoon.

I started out by making fried haloumi salad. Haloumi is a cheese from the island of Cyrpus, but it is also popular in Greece and the Middle East.  It is made from a mixture of goat and sheep’s milk and resembles mozzarella cheese in look, texture, and taste. When the main course was cooking, D and I ate these as an appetizer with white wine sangria I had made and it was delicious.

Fried Haloumi Salad

A selection of salad greens

1/2 lb haloumi cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

SALAD DRESSING

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teapsoon Dijon-style mustard

Salt and pepper

Rinse and dry salad greens. Arrange on six individual plates.

To make dressing, in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Cut cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Put beaten eggs in a shallow bowl and bread crumbs on a board or plate. Toss cheese in egg, then in bread crumbs to coat.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer. Fry cheese until golden-brown. Drain on paper towels. Pour the dressing over the salad. Arrange cheese cubes on each plate and serve immediately.

(Makes six servings)

For the main course I made pastitsio which is a baked pasta dish consisting of ground beef and bechamel sauce. Since it’s only D and I, we had more than enough in leftovers…

And for a simple vegetable side dish I made snow pea salad which consisted of cooking the snow peas in olive oil and water until crisp-tender and then just before serving, sprinkling fresh cilantro, mint and garlic on top.

(The recipes I used came from Lesley Mackley’s The Book of Greek Cooking.)

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    ~Holly~
    August 13, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Yummy!! I hope you make it to Greece one day. It’s a beautiful country! Every island is so different! I was lucky and found a RT flight from PDX to Athens for $700 in Sept. It was the perfect time to visit (less crowded with tourists). Now I’m in the mood for Greek food!! =0)

  • Reply
    the red headed traveler
    August 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Okay I am INCREDIBLY jealous if you found a flight from the West Coast to Greece for that cheap a price! Every time I look at flights they are well over $1000 and this is from the East Coast.

    Everyone I’ve spoken to who’s been to Greece has always said it’s a terrific country and I can imagine that each island does indeed have it’s own “feel.”

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