A Greek Summer Menu, Al Fresco Litsa!

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis on. Posted in My thoughts

109353097172617028_1UENehoX_b[1]Celebrate summer with delicious food, good friends, and old wine – what an amazing combination, and we get to do it al fresco!

Here is a Greek summer menu with easy recipes that will give you great pleasure. Summertime food has to be simple, light, and fresh, using seasonal ingredients to create wonderful warm-weather recipes.

Greek flavors are so refreshing and so appropriate for summertime cooking and dining. Olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano – you can’t get anything less complicated and more delicious than those – are traditional Greek flavors, and they are delightful.

A Greek summer menu can be an array of Mezedakia (appetizers), a salad, and the main meal. I love herbed roasted summer vegetables with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little oregano, and a pinch of sugar; top the vegetables with the best feta available, and you have something spectacular.

A Horiatiki salad never goes out of style – juicy plum tomatoes, olive oil, and oregano are a must for this Greek summer feast, along with all the other ingredients that compliment this amazing salad.

Grilling in the summer can be a wonderful way to entertain, and it’s hassle-free, which should be our objective if we want to enjoy our friends.

We can have a mélange of beef, seafood, and poultry, all marinating in different containers, so we can satisfy everyone’s tastes.

Here are a few tips for grilling chicken:

Chicken needs time to cook well, so do it in two parts: Start over indirect heat, and cook the chicken until all the fat is rendered (about 10-15 minutes). At that point, move the pieces over to the hot part of the grill and brown them for a few minutes, giving them your undivided attention. Total cooking time for the chicken is about 20 minutes.

Steak has to be at least 1 inch thick and at room temperature; cooking time should be about 3-4 minutes for each side. I like a dry rub for my steak – what is a dry rub, you might ask?

A dry rub is a dried spice and herb mixture used to coat the meat before grilling, thus infusing the meat with an abundance of deliciousness. I use salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, and a touch of sugar  (please, don’t question the sugar: It complements all the other spices . . .).

The only thing you need now is some lemon pasta, rice cooked in the oven, or some nice roasted Greek potatoes, and you have a delicious and easy Greek meal!

Dessert can be a seasonal fruit salad, ice cream, or an Almond and Sesame Pita that you can make the day before and serve with ice cream . . . yum!

Greek coffee is a must to finish this meal, or how about a frappe? That’s the national summer coffee of my beloved friends in Greece.

As for the wine to accompany this summer feast: you can serve Retsina, or try Aassyrtiko, a fruity wine from the island of Santorini that comes in many styles. Robola, from the island of Cephalonia, is another option, but it is a more expensive wine.

Let’s recap: grilled seasonal vegetables; Horiatiki Greek salad; a mélange of steak, chicken. and seafood; lemon pasta, rice or roasted potatoes; dessert and coffee. Mmmm . . . your Greek summer menu will be amazing!

Have a delicious summer,

From Litsa, with love!

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Summer the Magic Blanket is a great gift for all the children in your family…Get it from my site…. http://hummingbirdpublications.com  for books recipes and much more.

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Litsa Bolontzakis

Litsa Bolontzakis

Children's book and cookbook author Litsa Bolontzakis is an expert on Greek cooking and that culture's easy, simple way of life. Her desire is to help other families learn from her culture how to appreciate the simple things in life and grow to enjoy the seasons and the gifts they bring.

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