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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