What are some key ingredients that make Greek cuisine so flavorful and distinctive?
Greek cuisine is famous for its fresh ingredients and healthy combinations. This recipe for a Greek-inspired dinner is perfect for a night in with friends or family. With a bit of preparation, you can create a meal that’s not only delicious but also healthy and nourishing.
For the Greek salad:
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the spanakopita:
- 1 package phyllo dough, thawed
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, and olives.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well to coat.
- Add the crumbled feta cheese and gently toss again.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Thaw the phyllo dough following the package instructions.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the spinach, feta cheese, green onions, garlic, and olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out.
- Take one sheet of phyllo dough and brush it lightly with olive oil.
- Place another sheet of phyllo dough on top and brush again with olive oil.
- Cut the phyllo dough into 3-inch squares using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.
- Place a small spoonful of the spinach mixture in the center of each square.
- Fold the phyllo dough into triangles, pressing the edges together to seal.
- Place the spanakopita triangles on a lightly greased baking sheet and brush with olive oil.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve warm.
Tips and Variations
- You can add some grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp to the Greek salad for a protein boost.
- Try adding some diced avocado or roasted red peppers to the salad for extra flavor.
- If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought tzatziki sauce instead of making your own.
- For a vegetarian version of the spanakopita, you can substitute crumbled tofu for the feta cheese.
- If you have leftover phyllo dough, try making baklava for dessert!
“This Greek-inspired dinner is perfect for a night in with friends or family. With a bit of preparation, you can create a meal that’s not only delicious but also healthy and nourishing.”