Monday, 24 August 2015

MADE: A Greek Meze


Sometimes I just can't be bothered to whip up a proper meal - I can guarantee that at least 2 nights out of the week I feel this way. Team that with the horrid jet lag I'm currently experiencing and I'm thrilled that a mezze is 'a thing'.

I love Greece, mostly for the delicious food. After longing to go to Crete for quite some time now, it got me thinking - if I can't go to Greece, I'll bring a taste of it to me! Think olives, oil-drizzled salads, juicy lamb, flavoursome dips...

For this feast I made a variety of Greek dishes - tzatziki, grilled lemon and garlic courgettes with feta, quinoa tabbouleh, lamb kofta, Greek meatballs and a typical Greek salad.

I also teamed it with hummus and baba ganoush - both Deliciously Ella recipes, the baba ganoush, in this instance, without the sundried tomatoes.

Get your notepad and pen, you've got a few things to get...


All you need for the tzatziki:
7 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 large cucumber, grated
1 lemon, juice only
Sea salt and black pepper, to season
1/4 tsp paprika - plus a little extra to sprinkle over


All you need for the feta courgettes:
2 courgettes, halved - grilled for 5-7 minutes, turning them over
4-5 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/2 lemon, juice only
A handful of fresh parsley


All you need for the Quinoa Tabbouleh:
1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
1 garlic clove
1/2 lemon, juice only
3 tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
A handful of fresh parsley
2 tbsp EV olive oil


All you need for the lamb koftas:
400g lean lamb mince
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano


All you need for the greek meatballs (makes 15):
2 slices bread - I use sourdough - in pieces
1 tbsp milk
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 onion, diced
2 tsp mint
1/2 tsp salt
120g ground beef
120g ground lamb
2 eggs
60g plain four
For the traditional tomato sauce - 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1/2 onion diced, a handful of fresh parsley, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp all spice, 1 tsp oregano, sea salt and black pepper, 1/2 glass red wine (optional)


All you need for a traditional Greek salad:
4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 cucumber, diced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Handful pitted olives
Crumbled feta
For the dressing - 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp white wine vinegar
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to season


First things first, get everything prepped. I usually start with dips and salads so they're out of the way and popped into the fridge ready for later. For the tzatziki, spoon the yoghurt into a bowl, grate the cucumber in and mix the rest of the ingredients in. For the Greek salad, chop everything up and drizzle the dressing over the ingredients. Pop the dip and the salad in the fridge.

For the quinoa tabbouleh, add the quinoa and water to a small saucepan and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is soft. Whilst the quinoa cooks, chop up the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and mix the lemon parsley and oil into a separate bowl. Once the quinoa has cooked, mix all together in a bowl and drizzle of the dressing. Leave in the fridge to cool.

For both the meatballs and the koftas, the method is the same - mix the ingredients together (both lists separately, of course) in a bowl once onions and herbs are chopped. The meatballs shaped into, you guessed it, little golf balls and the koftas into more of a rugby ball shape. Pop the both in the fridge for at least half an hour to cool. Once cooled, cook for 3-4 minutes on each side for the koftas and cook the meatballs for around 10 minutes to allow them to cook through to the centre (best to do this in batches of 8-10). 

If you're teaming your meatballs with the traditional tomato sauce - heat a little bit of olive oil over a low heat in a frying pan and slowly cook your onions to slightly brown and soften for around 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer and reduce. If adding the wine, do this before the tomatoes and allow to burn off. Once the tomatoes have reduced, add the herbs and spices and mix well. Pop your meatballs on top to mix with the sauce.

While your meatballs and koftas are cooking away, slice your courgettes and stick the underneath the grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Once grilled, mix together the oil, parsley, lemon and garlic and drizzle over the courgettes.

Now - it's time to dish everything up! I serve mine with tortilla wraps or these yummy homemade, yeast-free flatbreads I make every now and again.

Bring a taste of Greece to your kitchen! 




Have you got a favourite Greek dish? Or a dish that makes you think of your favourite sunny destination?

xo

*This post was written as part of the Jet2holidays Country Cuisine Challenge - I was reimbursed for the cost of the ingredients - a big thank you for including me*

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