Greek Easter Menu
Greek Easter is this Sunday and that means lots of cooking is happening all around the world. I am compiling a list of delicious recipes to share with you all from some of my favorite Greek foodies! I asked a few to come to join my Greek Easter menu this year.
I hope you enjoy these delicious Greek recipes and please do take a moment to check out each featured foodie.
Let’s introduce the Greek foodies who have played a big part in this tasty Greek Easter menu.
Welcome, Peter Minakis from Kalofagas food blog in Toronto Canada!
Peter is one of Canada’s finest Toronto based Greek food experts and often referred to as “Kalofagas”, which is Greek for “gourmand”. Kalofagas created a blog in 2010 that would introduce the world to the delicious depths of Greek cuisine, with many unique twists to the thousands of flavorful and mouth watering recipes.
Peter currently hosts and cooks for the “Kalofagas Greek Supper Club” in Canada (and recently as guest Chef for a sold out dinner in Manhattan). These monthly supper clubs are casual and intimate gatherings that feature regional Greek food and wines. The supper club has proved to be popular with both Greeks and people who just want to be Greek for a night! Peter teaches Greek cooking classes, does private catering and pop-ups at venues around Toronto such as the Toronto Underground Market, Toronto Harbourfront and local restaurants
Click on his blog>> Kalofagas Blog.
Please welcome Elena & Melisa Koyunseven from The Mediterranean Lifestyle blog.
The Mediterranean Lifestyle is the only platform and marketplace worldwide where authentic and local businesses introduce themselves, promote their products and experiences and share their unique lifestyle. We are dedicated to inspire, guide and show you how to live a happier, healthier and longer life by adapting the 7 Principles of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Because it’s not only a diet, it’s a way of living.
Click on this blog >>The Mediterranean Lifestyle Blog
Welcome Margaret who is the face behind the Greek blog Create Cook Share. Create Cook Share Blog
When it comes to feeding my family it is important that I am using wholesome ingredients. I do not claim to know the nutritional value of each food but what I do know is that wholesome, nourishing, real food is good for you. I try to buy seasonal produce and I try to buy whole pure products which I use to make a meal from scratch. The key word is TRY. I love the ’80-20’ rule where 80% of what we eat in a meal follows the whole foods rule and 20% can fall outside.
My hope is that this blog will inspire you to cook! Take away food is typically high in chemical additives, sugar, unhealthy fats and leaves you feeling bloated and irritable. By cooking at home you can make sure you are eating majority fresh food that increases your energy, boosts your mood, stabilizes your weight and makes you feel good! I hope you find my recipes fresh, wholesome and easy to follow and who knows, maybe I can even entertain you a little with my family stories. Click here >> The Create Cook Share Blog
Greek Easter Menu
Buckwheat Coleslaw Salad –By Create Cook Share Blog
- 1 cup raw buckwheat
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup baby spinach, finely chopped
- 1/4 red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup mint, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup basil, finely sliced
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 3 tbs pumpkin kernels or 1/4 cup walnuts halved
- 100g feta, crumbled
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbs juice of a lemon
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
In a saucepan add 1 tbs olive oil and the buckwheat. Stir over high heat for a minute to release its nutty flavor. Add the boiling water to the saucepan and reduce heat. Allow to simmer. Turn off heat once all water has been absorbed. Allow buckwheat to completely cool down.
While buckwheat is cooling combine all salad ingredients.
In a bowl whisk together salad dressing ingredients.
Once buckwheat is ready add to salad and drizzle prepared dressing all over. Season with freshly ground pepper and extra pumpkin kernels.
Tzatziki Dip –By The Mediterranean Lifestyle
● 800 grams or 3 cups full fat Greek yogurt
● 1 medium-sized unpeeled cucumber
● 2 large garlic cloves finely minced
● 2 – 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
● 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
● 1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
● ½ tsp fine sea salt
● Ground pepper
1. Grate with a hand grater the cucumber and add it into a strainer with a bit of salt.
2. Let it drain for at least 15 minutes.
3. Squeeze the cucumber with your hands to remove any remaining liquid.
4. Add the Greek yogurt in a mixing bowl and combine with the finely grated garlic,
chopped fresh dill, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and the grated cucumber.
5. Mix thoroughly until everything is smooth and without any crumbles.
6. Let the Tzatziki rest in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours before serving or ideally overnight
to allow the flavors to melt. The longer the garlic rests, the less sharp it will taste.
7. Serve with an extra drop of olive oil and Kalamata olives.
Spanakopita Dip Recipe –By Kouzounas Kitchen Blog
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup green onion minced
- 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained
- 2 cups of fresh spinach cooked and drained
- 1/4 cup of cream cheese
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
- 2 teaspoons of dried dill
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of dried mint
- 1 pinch of paprika
- Salt and pepper for flavor
- Prepare the spinach by cooking until wilted. Make sure to drain out the water completely. Drain the artichoke hearts, and set aside.
- In a large Cuisinart blender, add all ingredients inside and pulse until everything is finely chopped and blended.
- Place mixture into a lightly greased oven-safe casserole and place in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. ( You can always add more feta to the top and bake for an additional few minutes.)
- Serve with pita crackers or toasted sourdough bread. This makes a really good dip for the holidays coming up!
GIOUVETSI – GREEK BEEF OR LAMB STEW WITH ORZO-
By The Mediterranean Lifestyle Blog
Giouvetsi is one of Greece’s most traditional and beloved dishes. It’s a flavorful and easy to make oven-baked dish with „Kritharaki” (orzo) and lamb. But can also be made with pork, beef, or chicken cooked in a tasty homemade tomato sauce.
● 4-6 tbsp olive oil
● 1-2 onions finely, chopped
● 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
● 1 kg pork filet cut in pieces (or any other meat you prefer)
● 2 bay leaves
● 1 tsp cinnamon
● 1 tsp sugar
● 1-2 tsp tomato paste
● 120 ml or 1/2 cup red wine
● 400 g or 2 cups chopped tomatoes or canned tomatoes
● 1 liter water
● 250 g or 2 1/2 cups orzo pasta, medium
● 1/2 teaspoon thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F).
2. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and put on medium to high heat. Once the oil is hot, add
the onion and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add the minced garlic and stir for another 2 minutes until nicely caramelized.
4. When ready, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
5. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the meat for about 5 minutes, until brown from outside.
6. Add the wine and let it evaporate.
7. Add the onion garlic mix and tomato paste and stir well.
8. Add 250 ml water, the tomatoes, the bay leaves and mix thoroughly.
9. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. (Depending on the meat)
11. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more water.
12. Transfer into a large baking dish.
13. Place a pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
14. Add the orzo and stir for 3-4 minutes, until golden.
15. Pour it into the meat and mix through.
16. Add 750 ml water, and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
17. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes or until most of the juices have been absorbed.
Check whether you need to add more water and turn the meat from the other side.
18. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
19. Sprinkle with thyme and ground pepper.
20. Serve warm with Feta and enjoy!
Vegetarian Dolmades- By Create Cook Share Blog
- 80 fresh grape vine leaves or preserved vine leaves
- 500g beef mince 1/4 cup short / medium grain rice 1/4 cup basmati / long grain rice 2 medium zucchini grated 3 stems finely chopped green onions
- 1 onion grated 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley 1/4 cup finely chopped fennel 1 egg Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil + extra
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 30cm wide heavy base pot with lid
- Serving Suggestions:
- Feta, Olives, Tomatoes, Cucumber
- A large glass of cold water, ice cubes and ½ shot of ouzo. OPA!
1. Prepare your filling. In a large bowl add the beef mince, both varieties of rice, zucchini, onion, green onions, parsley, fennel, egg, sea salt and pepper. Mix well by hand.
2. Prepare the grape vine leaves. Cut off any tough stems by cutting a V around the stem. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place on the bench beside the pot a large bowl of icy cold water. Place 10 or so leaves at a time into the simmering water until they have changed color (approximately 30 seconds – 1 minute). Remove the leaves with a mesh strainer and place them straight into the icy water. They will remain here until you need to assemble the dolmades.
3. Place a layer of vine leaves on the bottom of the wide base pot you will be cooking the dolmades in (this prevents them from sticking.)
4. To fill and roll the leaves, gently separate one leaf from the icy water and place it on the work surface (veins facing up).
Place a heaped teaspoon amount (for large size vine leaves) of filling at the bottom where the stem would usually join the leaf.
5. Fold up from the bottom of the leaf covering the filling, then fold each side inwards then continue rolling stem to tip.
6. Roll firmly but not too tight, as there is need for room for the rice to expand. Repeat.
7. Add the dolmades, one at a time next to each other (packed closely but not squashed. This prevents them from unrolling during cooking) in the pot, creating the first layer. When the first layer is complete, continue a second layer until they are all done.
8. Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of olive oil all over and then place a heavy plate upside down on top of them to keep them in place as they cook. The plate should fit snuggly in the pot.
11. With a spoon, remove one dolma at a time and place onto platter.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and season with a little sea salt and pepper. These can be served warm or cold.
Some like to serve them with Greek yogurt, however they go very nicely with feta, olives, tomatoes and cucumber sticks.
Rotisserie Leg of Lamb- By Kalofagas Blog
- 1 long-cut (shank and whole thigh) bone-in leg of lamb
- (I used a local Ontario lamb)
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp. dried Greek oregano
- Instruct your butcher(or do it yourself) to crack the joint of the lamb where the shank and thigh meet. Bend the shank portion back towards the thigh and secure the two leg parts tightly with butcher’s twine. Rinse and pat-dry your leg.
- Using a sharp kitchen knife, pierce a part of the lamb with it and while the knife is still in the meat, bend the knife to make a small opening and then quickly insert your sliver of garlic. Repeat until the entire area of your lamb has been studded with slivers of garlic.
- Generously season your lamb leg with salt and sprinkle some black pepper all over.
- Secure your leg of lamb onto the rotisserie rod and pre-heat your gas grill to 325-350F. If using a charcoal rotisserie, your spit should be set at a higher level and you should be able to place your hand over the coals and count to about 4 or 5 “steamboats”.
- Place your lamb on the rotisserie and if using a gas grill, a drip pan with some water in it will prevent any flare-ups. Have some extra water at hand to replenish the water when it evaporates.
- Slow roast your lamb for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours and when you start to see it develop a deep brown, gorgeous roasted color, you may turn up the heat (lower the lamb if using a charcoal pit) and start basting the lamb (occasionally) with the “ladolemono”.
- Your leg of lamb will be done when dark brown, crispy on the outside but still moist, with parts of the leg bone exposed. Carefully remove your leg of lamb. I take the rotisserie off the gas grill, place on a large baking tray and allow to rest in the kitchen, tented for about 30 minutes.
- Carve your leg of lamb, squeeze some lemon juice over the meat and sprinkle some dried Greek oregano over it. Serve.
SOUVLAKI – TRADITIONAL SKEWERED AND GRILLED PORK WITH OREGANO AND LEMON
By The Mediterranean Lifestyle
● 1 kg pork tenderloin, cut into 3 cm cubes
● 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
● Juice of 1 lemon
● 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
● 1 tbsp dried oregano
● 1 tsp sea salt
● 1 tsp ground black pepper
● 8–10 wooden skewers
1. To prepare souvlaki, start by preparing the marinade. Combine the olive oil,
lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk well.
2. Cut the meat into 2 cm pieces, place them in a large bowl and pour the marinade
3. Mix very well every single piece, then cover with plastic film and place the meat
in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour. The more, the better.
4. Now, place the wooden skewers to soak in cold water for about 30 minutes. This
will prevent them from burning.
5. Preheat the outdoor grill or griddle pan.
6. Thread the cubes of pork onto skewers.
7. Grill the souvlakia, turning them every 2-3 minutes, until the meat is cooked
through, about 10-12 minutes total until nicely colored on all sides and cooked
8. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice and a
sprinkle of thyme.
9. Serve immediately while they’re still warm and juicy preferably with Tzatziki and
sliced cut onions and pita bread!
Breads & Desserts
Amaretto Mousse- By Peter Minakis
- 5 oz. white chocolate
- 4 egg whites
- 1 Tbsp. icing sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tbsp. Amaretto liqueur
- 1/4 cup toasted almond slices for garnish
- Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie until smooth. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, sprinkle the sugar, and continue beating to a stiff meringue, a minute or two longer.
- Beat the yolks with the vanilla and Amaretto in a bowl.
- Whisk the chocolate into the yolks. Fold in a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate into the remaining whites and fold gently to combine evenly. Pour the mousse into martini glasses. Cover well with plastic, and refrigerate at least for three hours. Serve garnished with whipped cream and toasted almond slices.
Traditional Pita Bread –By Kouzounas Kitchen
- 1 1/8 cup warm water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1.5 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon clover honey
- 1.5 teaspoon active dry yeast
- Bread maker
Optional: You can add any herbs or spices to this recipe for additional flavor.
- Place all ingredients into the bread machine. Make sure to select dough setting and then start.
- Do not open the bread machine while dough is rising.
- Place dough onto a lightly floured surface.
- Gently roll and stretch the dough into a 12 inch rope.
- With a sharp knife, divide the dough into 10 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a small ball.
- With your hand or rolling-pin, make each ball into a 7 inch circle.
- Place the dough onto a baking sheet, and cover with a towel.
- Let the pita rise about 30 minutes or until puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 450 D or 230 C.
- Place 4 pitas on a wire cake rack in the oven.
- Bake pitas until puffed and lightly golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and place the cooled pita in a sealed bag to store.
- I like to drizzle fresh lemon and olive oil over the top of the pitas just before I remove them out of the oven.
Koulourakia Infused with Greek Coffee- By Kouzounas Kitchen
Servings: Makes up to 45 cookies
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup of granulated organic sugar or demerara sugar
- 2 orange or lemons ( reserve the zest)
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour plus more for dusting a work surface
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
- Ouzo to spray cookies (optional)
- Egg wash ( 1 egg and a few tablespoons of water)
Greek Coffee paste:
- 2 tablespoons + more if you want it stronger of Greek coffee (Buy here)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of warm water
- In a mixer bowl add the sugar and orange zest.
- Add the butter to the mixer while on medium speed and mix until the butter is light and creamy. About 5-6 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so the butter is thoroughly mixed.
- Add the eggs one at a time on medium-low speed and mix until the mixture is creamy.
- Add the milk, and vanilla and mix on medium-low.
- On parchment paper sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine then add the flour in 3 different increments. Making sure to fully incorporate the flour into the wet mixture. Just mix to combine and make sure not to overmix. Your dough should be soft and pliable.
- At this stage cut the dough in half and take one half and cover with plastic wrap and set aside. The other half you will place back in the mixer.
- In a small bowl mix together the greek coffee, sugar, and warm water. Mix until it forms a wet paste and then while the mixer is on add the paste to the dough. Mix just until the dough becomes almost like a coffee color. If you want to add more coffee you may do so for a stronger taste.
- Remove dough from the mixer, and set aside. (If your dough seems too wet, add a little bit of flour and knead just until it’s pliable and ready to roll out.)
- Take small pieces of dough (size of a nut) to form S-shaped or O-shaped or the twisted shape of koulourakia.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Brush the egg wash over the cookies.
- Place baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- If you want your cookies on the crunchier side, bake an additional 5 minutes on the top rack.
- Remove from heat and cool on a wired rack. You can freeze these cookies for up to 2 months in a sealed container.
Tsoureki with Sourdough Starter- By Kouzounas Kitchen
- 1 1/2 cups of sourdough starter
- 8 cups of bread flour plus a half cup for counter work.
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of milk- warmed
- 3 envelopes of dry yeast
- 3 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1 large orange- zest the whole orange (reserve juice)
- 1 large lemon- zest the whole lemon (reserve juice)
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tbsp. of mahlab
- 5 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp. of vanilla
- Egg wash- 1 egg with about 1/4 cup of water beaten
- *optional almonds or sesame seeds for the top of the bread
- Sift the flour with the salt in a large bowl and set aside.
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk; make sure the milk isn’t too hot. Add sourdough starter, 1/2 cup of flour and 1 tablespoon of white sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Make sure the yeast is bubbling and foamy.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over very low heat. Stir in the sugar, orange zest, and lemon zest, juice of orange and lemon, cardamom, and mahlab. Remove from heat and whisk in the beaten eggs. Let it cool slightly.
- Add your yeast mixture to a mixing bowl. Add your butter, sugar and egg mixture. When I used my mixer, I placed it on low speed to add in the flour slowly. Keep adding and your dough will be quite wet but smooth dough.
- Place dough in the bowl and let it rise until doubled in a warm place. I would say from a 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Turn the dough out on to a well-floured counter and punch down. You will need to keep sprinkling the dough with flour to keep it from sticking. The dough will still be wet.
- Separate your dough into 4 equal parts. Shape into rounds and allow resting for ten to 15 minutes. Now divide each dough into 3 pieces. Roll each piece out to long cords that are about a foot long. Braid the three ropes together to form a braided loaf. Place the braids on baking sheets to rise again.
- Once the dough has risen to double, brush the dough with the egg wash and you can place blanched almonds on top or even sesame seeds. Gently press in a red egg towards the top part of the bread.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until your bread is golden brown in color.
- You want to bake in the middle rack. If you find your bread is getting too much color then simply place foil over the top and continue to bake until bread is done.
Baking Tips & Tricks
- When baking koulourakia if you want a softer cookie only bake between 15-20 minutes until lightly brown.
- If you want a slightly crunchier cookie, bake between 25-28 minutes and for the last 5 minutes of the baking time move sheet to top rack for a nice golden brown color. All times will vary depending on your oven of course.
- When shaping your koulourakia dough please use a small walnut size amount. If you go larger, than your cookies may be too big and they will not bake properly. To watch how to make koulourakia click the video>> Koulourakia Video. This video is a bit different than my recipe, but it is fun to watch and it shows you how to make the shapes.
- When making tsoureki dough make sure to follow the rise time exactly stated in the recipe. This will ensure a nice fluffy texture. You normally want your dough to either double or triple in amount. Don’t forget to egg wash and place your red eggs in the center of the dough. It is optional if you want to add sesame seeds or even demerara sugar over the bread before baking.
- Tsoureki dough can be made it long braided loaves, round loaves, or even muffin shapes. Get creative using the 3-4-5-6 braid method. Here I show you how to use the 3 braided method. Watch video >> Tsoureki Video
From all of us at Kouzounas Kitchen, Kalo Pascha! May you have a beautiful Greek Easter.