Greek Cooking and their Herbs
This section of the Herbal Happenings concentrates on Greek Cooking and cooking with herbs. Cooking with herbs adds so much more flavor and enjoyment to the foods you prepare.
By reviewing the basic principles of Greek cooking the style of cooking can be transformed into your everyday cooking. Well at least this is my hope.
Basic Principles of Greek Cooking
· Greeks tend to use vegetables and legumes as a mainstay.
· Meats tend to be used in bite size pieces or ground, and as whole pieces only on special occasions.
· Fish and cheese tend to be main sources of protein.
· Flavoring is through the use of seasonings such as spices, herbs, garlic, onions, honey, lemon and olive oil.
· Greek seasoning is flavorful, mixing common spices in main courses.
· Greek cooking boasts a rich variety of poultry and seafood dishes. Chicken is one of the few meats readily cooked with fruit.
· Greek flavoring is never spicy hot.
· Greeks tend to use lemon, garlic and olive oil as main flavorings to which herbs are added. Lemon can be used as a salt substitute especially on vegetables.
· Greeks tend to plan meals around what is fresh and available in season. The
emphasis is on fresh natural flavors.
This summarizes the basics of Greek cooking. These principles can be transformed into any combination, creating any type of variation. Be creative.
Here's a dip that's great at parties or any time.
servings: 12 -serving size: 1/4 cup
preparation time: 5 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cans of garbanzo beans, 15 oz
6 medium garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Open cans of garbanzo beans and drain off liquid. Pour into a food processor along with the other ingredients. Process until it is smooth and creamy texture. Serve with warm pita bread wedges for dipping.
For a vegetable dish, using up some of the end of the season garden produce, here's a recipe using carrots but other vegetables could be substituted, like zucchini.
servings: 4 serving size: 1 cup
preparation time: 30 minutes
5 medium carrots, sliced
6 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
4 pieces of scallions
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped or
1-1/2 dried parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of sugar or 1/4 teaspoon of honey
Saute carrots in 4 tablespoons of butter or olive oil until gently golden. Add scallions, sprinkle with parsley, thyme, oregano, and sugar/honey. Mix ingredients. Add 3 tablespoons of water, cover and let simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Serve on platter, pour pan juices over the carrots and sprinkle with chopped parsley.