Stuffed zucchini flowers ( Λουλουδάκια γεμιστά)

Greek stuffed zucchini flowers

Greek stuffed zucchini flowers

Our gardens grow an abundance of zucchini.  This is not necessarily the result of amazing gardening skills (although our parents can grow pretty much anything that can be planted), but is simply a testament to the un-finickiness of zucchini plants.  And so, around this time of year, zucchini takes over our fridges and counters.  Thankfully, we have many delicious ways of using them up, like making zucchini chips, or cooking them on the grill.

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Cantaloupe frosty with ouzo

Cantaloupe drink with ouzo

Cantaloupe frosty with ouzo

Remember last week when we posted about cantaloupe with ouzo, and you hurried off to make that recipe because it sounded so refreshing and delicious?  Aren’t you still pretty amazed by how great those flavours come together? Do you perhaps have some cantaloupe left over, and some ouzo remaining in the bottle? And are you perhaps, a little bit thirsty?

If you answered yes to those questions, boy, do we have a treat for you.  This frosty cantaloupe and ouzo drink is a slushy sensation. Serve it at your next rambunctious get-together, or quiet evening on the porch; this cocktail will make any moment that much more memorable.

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Greek salad (or Horiatiki salata) (Χωριάτικη Σαλάτα)

Greek Salad

Greek Salad, Horiatiki salata, 2 ways

They say you are what you eat.  If that’s the case, then in the summer months we are villagers. When garden tomatoes have ripened, we use them to make, and eat, delicious Greek salad, also called a horiatiki salata (horio means village in Greek).  We eat this salad every day.  Not almost every day…but every, single, day.  And we never tire of it.

It would be next to impossible to tire of a salad so full of flavour and amazing texture. For us, Greek salad or horiatiki salata is a gift of summer; easy to prepare, filling, deliciously fragrant and healthy.  In fact, the only down side is that we live in a country where local, vine-ripened tomatoes are not readily available year round.

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Cantaloupe with ouzo (Πεπόνι με ούζο)

Cantaloupe with ouzo

Cantaloupe with ouzo

In our home, desserts like baklava and galaktoboureko were not staples after every dinner, but fruit certainly was.  Even when we were fortunate enough to have a sweet dessert, fruit was still served, between the main meal and the grand, often syrupy, finale. Whether it was a bowl of clementines, some grapes, or cherries, fruit was always part of our meal.  Even when we felt so full that we couldn’t possibly eat another bite, as the fruit bowl hit the table, we dove right in.  Fresh fruit is hard to resist.

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Briam (Μπριάμ)

Briam! Greek roasted vegetable recipe

Briam! Greek roasted vegetables recipe

This is an incredible dish that we just know you are going to love.  Not only is briam a luxurious way to eat your vegetables, but it is an incredibly easy way to eat them too.  All the goodness is simply thrown into a roasting pan, mixed together, and baked; this makes clean-up a breeze, giving you more time to enjoy your family, your garden, or this blog.

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Grilled zucchini (Κολοκυθάκια στη σχάρα)

Grilled zucchini

Like many Greeks, we are a gardening family.  In our experience, it is rare to find a Greek who has access to even a little bit of land, who doesn’t then use it to plant some sort of vegetable or herb.  Even when all that is available is a balcony, eggplants and tomatoes find themselves growing in pots, next to the basil. Gardening is a lovely heritage, and although our parents are the master green thumbs, we do pretty well ourselves; we had wonderful mentors after all.

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Green beans with potatoes (Φασολάκια λαδερά με πατάτες)

Green Beans with Potatoes

Green beans with Potatoes

Some meal preparations lend themselves to teamwork.  Our mother would make this simple, wholesome and economical dish of green beans and potatoes about once every couple of weeks, and each time she would invite us to join her, as she prepared the beans for cooking.  We would sit with her at the kitchen table (which was, of course, covered in plastic) faced with a bowl full of green beans.  One by one, we would take the beans, and carefully snip off each end.  The trimmed ends would collect in a pile on the table, and the beans would be placed in a colander, to later be washed.

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