Greek cuisine is some of the finest of Mediterranean food. Who can deny the hearty comforts of a bowl of moussaka—the Greek eggplant casserole—or the unmatched snack-ability of tender, bite-sized dolma?
But finding great Greek food or creating a great Greek menu is not just about switching to Greek yogurt, mastering the meze spread, or putting feta on everything. From city to city and island to island, the lot of Greek cooking is full of unique techniques to master and mealtime traditions to uphold. One of our favorites? Learning how to make dolmas (true obsessives, like us, can even shell out for a dolma roller.
From to tzatziki, here are our very best simple Greek recipes to bring some of the country’s flavors and flair to your table.
Spicy Lamb and Grape Leaf Tarts With Orzo and Feta
These crustless tarts, adapted from Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick’s book Soframiz, are inspired by a yogurt and semolina custard that is traditionally baked inside cooked grape leaves in Greece. The authors say that, even though the grape leaves aren’t rolled and filled cigar-style, the filled tarts are still a version of a dolma, a word that means “stuffed” in Turkish and Greek. “I love this version because the grape leaves get crispy and a little caramelized,” Sortun says. They work equally well in ceramic ramekins, fluted or non-fluted tart pans, muffin tins, or small cast iron baking dishes. Get the recipe for Spicy Lamb and Grape Leaf Tarts With Orzo and Feta »
Mastic Panna Cotta
This simple dessert is an excellent vehicle for showcasing the peculiar, piney flavor of mastic. Undissolved bits of the resin might get stuck in the sieve; to clean, submerge the strainer in boiling water until the resin melts away. Get the recipe for Mastic Panna Cotta »
A good moussaka—a baked casserole of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and minced lamb or beef under a lush layer of béchamel sauce—is one of the most fabulous things you can eat. Get the recipe for Moussaka »
Greek Salad (Horiatiki)
Get the recipe for Horiatiki »