A traditional Greek side dish or main meal of okra stewed in tomato sauce, bamies latheres me domata
Μπαμιές λαδέρες με σάλτσα ντομάτα. Yes, there are people out there (and here) that love okra. We are of those people, and we think you might be too, even if you don’t know it yet! Once you embrace the idea of trying okra, and you make our recipe for Greek okra stewed in tomato sauce, we think that it will become your new favourite side dish. In fact, this recipe is so good, we often make it as the main meal – we just eat more of it! Serve with some bread and some feta and olives and you have a meal fit for a King or Queen (also, speaking of Queen, check out this heirloom variety of okra called Silver Queen).
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Easy roasted potatoes make a perfect side dish.
Sometimes we spend so much time, and focus so much attention on the centerpiece of a meal that the sides take a back seat. We get it. One can get excited over a gorgeous maple glazed smoked ham, perfectly marinated souvlaki or a show-stopping prime rib roast. But guys, there is enough food excitement to go around! Sides are like the must-have accessories that take a simple black dress from wow, to WOW.
In terms of sides, there is probably no ingredient more relied on than the humble potato. Sure, broccoli is great (yes, it is great!) and rice is lovely, but potatoes are unbeatable. Talk about versatility! Whether mashed, fried, roasted or boiled, potatoes are everyone’s favourite – unless you hate potatoes in which case don’t waste your time here – hop on over to this page.
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A vegan tray bake made of spaghetti squash topped with a variety of roasted vegetables.
We’re relatively new to the world of spaghetti squash. This is not a gourd we grew up with and when we first showed it to our parents their only question was, “Will it make a good pita?”. Greeks like our parents love using squash to make things like pita and fritters, not as substitutes for pasta.
We love spaghetti squash! It’s not that we are trying to cut out carbs (we live for bread), but we genuinely love the way it tastes. We also love how magical it is to see a once solid vegetable transform into delicate strands of golden yellow. One of our favourite ways to serve spaghetti squash is topped with roasted vegetables. This makes a perfect light meal, but also works as the side to something like grilled salmon or steak. Or, you can keep your meal vegan by serving the spaghetti squash and roasted vegetables with some chickpea fritters
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An open-face sandwich of dandelion greens and grilled bread flavoured with lemon, olive oil, garlic, oregano and feta
Χόρτα με ψωμί στη σχάρα. This post for dandelions greens and grilled bread is really just a composite of two other recipes we have already posted, with some small modifications. Still, we could not not share this recipe, because this open-faced sandwich is one that we grew up on, and it is all sorts of delicious!
The concept here is simple; after dandelions greens are cooked, Greeks like to toss them with a healthy amount of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a bit of salt and pepper. Often, that’s it! Sure you can add some dry oregano if you like, but that would usually be the extent of it.
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Skordalia, the classic Greek garlic mashed potatoes or potato spread
Is it a puree? Is it mashed potatoes? Is it a spread? We’re not really sure what the best word is to describe skordalia. So, instead of trying to label skordalia, let’s just describe it. This is a recipe that mixes boiled and mashed potatoes with a lot (like, A LOT) of mashed garlic, vinegar and oil. Skordalia is creamy, tangy, definitely garlicky, and one of those recipes that we always think we should make more often.
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An incredible Greek side dish of fried eggplant which is then baked in a rich tomato sauce
We know that eggplant is a divisive fruit (yes, eggplant is botanically a fruit!) and that there are camps of people who love them, and others who hate them. We happen to be lovers of the aubergine and are thrilled when our gardens start to offer this versatile, hearty and delicious purple gift.
We have already posted several eggplant recipes, and here we are finally sharing what may be one of our favourites. In this classic Greek dish, which can be served as a side or just as easily as a meze or light lunch, eggplants are fried and then baked in a rich tomato sauce. This is a dish best served with a nice loaf of fresh bread for dipping; the sauce is to die for! You can even layer the eggplant and sauce between two slices of bread and make yourself an eggplant and tomato sauce sandwich. Sound strange? Have we ever steered you wrong before?
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A medley of marinated and grilled vegetables
Eat your vegetables! Who hasn’t heard this, or uttered it, over and over again. Sometimes getting your kids, your spouse, yourself to eat vegetables seems like an uphill battle. Let’s face it, not everyone goes crazy for luscious greens like vlita or okra, or is satisfied with a meal whose main star is cauliflower. In fact, today we crave vegetables but there was a time when we would plan covert operations to stealthily dispose of the grossness that our parents put before us; our spanakorizo disposal tactics were legendary. Still, even in the throes of our vegetable-hating youths, we never rejected vegetables that were marinated and grilled, and which usually happened to be served along with grilled souvlaki or steak.
A simple side full of green bell peppers, red onion and a few herbs
If you’re a gardener, you might be like our family who feels that there are some basic vegetables without which a garden could never be complete. Oh sure, we like to experiment and occasionally try to grow watermelons, asparagus, and brussel sprouts, with varying degrees of success, but some things are non-negotiable. Bell peppers are included in that category of must-grows.
Steamed broccoli served with olive oil and a dash of lemon juice
Broccoli was never a hated vegetable in our house. No one cringed when it was served. No one pushed it around on their plate until they could slip it to the dog (not that we had a dog). We simply ate it, because we loved it. Seriously. And our parents only ever served it one way, steamed broccoli served with olive oil and lemon.
Cranberry sauce that is not from a can…. you can do it!
We believe that there are three types of cranberry sauce people in the world. The first are those who like to open up a can and plop the contents onto a dish to be sliced and served. We are not those people, although we 100% respect and adore that many canned cranberry sauce friends tell us that the sight of the unmolded can of sauce, complete with rings from the can, reminds them of home and their childhoods. You know, we are all for that! The second class of cranberry sauce people are those who realize that making fresh cranberry sauce may be the easiest culinary feat possible, and so they do. We have become those people, but the truth is, for most of our lives, we fell into category three. This last group of sad, deprived folks are those who never knew of cranberry sauce growing up, because holiday turkey was lamb and it was served with tzatziki.