Greek recipes from our mother

Our parents were involved in the Restaurants industry from 1981 until 2017. Our mother was the one who was always working on new recipes and on developing new dishes! At this page, you can find her recipes for some of the most well known Greek traditional food!

Greek traditional food recipes

Fasolakia, a Greek food based with olive oil that most of us hated when we were young, but love as adults! It is a delicious Mediterranean way of cooking and considered as one of the healthiest Greek foods!

 

Below you will find the ingredients for Fasolakia:

  • 1 kg green beans
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 4 grated tomatoes
  • ½ bunch chopped spearmint
  • ½ bunch chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • Salt, Pepper

 

Execution of the recipe:

 

We sauté the onions with some olive oil and we add 1,5 glass of water. When it starts boiling we add the green beans and boil them for aprox 20 mins and we always stir. We then add the tomatoes and the tomato puree and we leave the mix lightly boiling after we have covered the pan. Just before the end of the boiling we add the parsley, the spearmint, salt and pepper and the food is ready to go!

Gemista Recipe

 

Greece is famous for the Mediterranean and the healthy cuisine! A main ingredient that is used in the Greek cuisine is the olive oil. If you have ever visited Greece, most probably you have seen that there are plenty of olive trees across the country. So, a very popular way of cooking Greek food is combining vegetables with olive oil and cook them for an amazing taste!


One very popular Greek food based with olive oil and vegetables is called Gemista. If you try to translate it in English you would say “stuffed vegetables”! The main vegetables that are used as the bae for Gemista are tomatoes and green or red peppers. You can replace them with eggplant or different colors of peppers or zucchini. We will provide you below with the original Greek recipe for Gemista that is made of tomatoes and green peppers.

 

Below are the ingredients that you will need in order to cook the “Gemista”.

  • 5 Tomatoes
  • 6 Green peppers
  • 4 Potatoes – sliced
  • 10 tablespoons of rice
  • 1,5 glass olive oil
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon – diced mint
  • 1 Tablespoon – diced basil
  • ½ A bunch of parsley
  • ½ A bunch of mint
  • 2 Grated onions
  • 3 Garlic cloves

 

Execution of the recipe for Gemista:

We cut the potatoes into wedges and we put on top salt and pepper.

 

We open a “hole” on top of the green peppers such as creating a cup on top of the vegetable. We remove from inside all the internal proliferations. We do the same with the top of the tomatoes and with a spoon we remove separately the juice and the inner layers of the tomato – like having on the side, tomatoes and peppers with a big hole inside. We mix in a blender the inner layers of the tomatoes, and one green pepper along with the grated onion and the garlic. We place the mix in a bowl and we add the rice, half of the olive oil, salt, pepper and the grated mint, basil and parsley and we mix everything together with a spoon.

 

We place the “stuffed” tomatoes and peppers in a pan with the hole on the top side. We fill in the tomatoes and peppers with the mix with the rice until to fill the ¾ of the vegetable and on top we place the cups. Next to the vegetables we add the rest of the rice mix along with the potatoes and we spread the rest of the olive oil all across the pan.

 

The Gemista is ready to be cooked in a preheated oven at 230 oC for aprox 1,5 hour!

 

As Greeks we always eat bread or pita and feta cheese with the Gemista!

Soutzoukakia – Tomatoed meat balls

 

A food inspired from the Turkish cousin that was brought to Greece from the refugees from the Asian Minor. It is a variation of the classic meatballs cooked with tomato sauce  and sometimes spicy!

 

Below are the ingredients for Soutzoukakia:

  • General use flour
  • ½ kg ground beef
  • 3 grated garlic cloves
  • 1 grated red onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 handfuls of old bread – 3 or 4 days old
  • ½ tea-cup of olive oil
  • 4 grated tomatoes
  • Salt, Pepper

 

Execution for the sauce:

 

We heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and then inside we sauté ½ tea-spoon of the grated red onion and ½ tea-spoon of the grated garlic. We add the tomatoes and boil the mix for approx. 15mins until it is thick.

 

Execution for the Soutzoukakia:

 

We soak the bread in a bowl with water for almost half an hour. We remove the bread and squeeze it well and then we grate it. In a separate bowl we add the grated bread and the rest of the ingredients and knead everything together. We create the meatballs and the mix is ready to be deep fried.

 

We heat oil in a pan and after we deep the meatballs in the flour, we deep fry them.

 

Once the meatballs are ready, we add them inside the sauce and boil them for approx. half an hour. Once the soutzoukakia are ready you can serve them with either spaghetti or rice!

Giant White Beans – Gigantes

 

Another very delicious Greek food based with olive oil is the giant white beans or as we call it in Greek, the “Gigantes”. Most Greeks combine it alongside with bread loaf or pita bread and feta cheese!

 

Below you will find the ingredients for Gigantes:

  • 500gr giant white beans
  • 2 chopped red onions
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tea-cup of olive oil
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • Salt, Pepper
  • ½ bunch of fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

 

Execution of the recipe:

 

We fill a bowl with hot water and add the baking soda and then add the giant beans for at least 12 hours before cooking. Then, we rinse the giant beans and add them in a pot with water and boil them for almost one hour. After that, we add the beans in a pan and we add all the other ingredients that we have and on top we add 2 full glasses of water. The pan will be cooked in a preheated oven at 230 oC for 40 mins in the beginning and then for another 20mins after we have added an aluminium foil on top of the pan.

 

Greek Style Peas – Arakas

 

Well, a light but at the same time very delicious food is the Greek style peas or as we say in Greek the Arakas. The Greeks usually combine the Araka with a lot of feta cheese and a lot of bread or pita bread!

 

Below you will find the ingredients for Araka:

  • 500gr peas
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 1 bunch of fresh onions – green
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • ½ bunch chopped dill
  • Salt, Pepper

 

Execution of the recipe:

Well, we sauté the red onion with some olive oil in a pot for aprox 5mins.We add the carrots, the peas and we sauté everything for approx. 15 min. We add the tomato puree and add water until we almost cover everything. We boil the mix for aprox. 40 mins and at the end before we remove the pot from the fire, we add the dill on top and we are ready to serve!

Lamb Bogana

 

Well, Greeks traditionally used to have the Sunday as the family day, where all the kids and grandkids would go to the grandparents’ house to have lunch all together. The grandmother would cook for the whole family and usually she would cook meat. One of the most popular foods for the Sunday family table is lamb and here you will find a traditional recipe for cooking lamb, called Bogana.

 

Below are the ingredients for Bogana:

  • 1 kg lamb – it is better if you find lamb leg
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ½ kg milk butter
  • ½ kg potatoes – sliced or baby potatoes
  • Lemon juice from 4 lemons
  • 1 tea-cup of olive oil
  • 2 grated tomatoes
  • Salt, Pepper, Spices

 

 

Execution of the recipe:

 

We start by washing the lamp and after rinsing it we place it in the middle of a big pan. Around the lamb, we place the potatoes and the garlic cloves. On top of the food we pour the lemon juice and we add salt and pepper. At the end we grate the tomatoes on top of everything and we add butter everywhere. The Bogana is now ready to be cooked!

We cover the pan with aluminium paper and we cook it for 1hour at a preheated oven at 200oC.  After one hour we remove the aluminium paper and we continue cooking for almost one extra hour until we see that the lamb has gold color!

 

Just a tip for you! If you want the food to be a way more delicious you can use even more butter!

 

Mousaka

 

A lot of people have combined Greece with Mousaka. It is a very old traditional Greek food that you will find at all the traditional Greek restaurants! Made from bechamel cream, ground beef and eggplants.

 

Below you will find the ingredients for Mousaka:

  • 4 eggplants flaks – sliced with a thickness of 0,5cm.
  • 4 potatoes – sliced with a thickness of 0,5cm.

 

Below are the ingredients for the Bechamel cream:

 

  • 1,5lt Fresh Milk
  • 6 tablespoons Wheat Flour
  • 200gr butter
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg

 

Below are the ingredients for the Mousaka:

 

  • 800gr ground beef
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spices

 

 

Execution for the bechamel cream:

 

We place the butter in a pan and on fire. When the butter is melted, we slowly add the tablespoons of the wheat flour and we mix it with a cooking wire. We continue the same procedure until we have mixed all the flour and the mix has a golden-brown color. We add the milk slowly and again we always mix it with the cooking wire until the mix thickens. We then remove the mix from the fire and we add the egg yolks, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

 

Execution for the ground beef:

We sauté the ground beef with some olive oil and we add some garlic and onion at a pan and we add half a glass of water. We mix it until it gets a boil and then we add the tomatoes, the cinnamon stick, the spices and one pinch of salt and one of pepper and then we leave the mix at a slower fire to slowly keep boiling for almost half an hour until it almost dries. At the end we remove the ground beef from the fire and we add one tablespoon of the bechamel cream and we mix it.

 

Execution for Mousaka:

In a deep pan we start “building” the Mousaka from the bottom to the top as follows:

First, we have the potatoes and half of the eggplants. On top we add the cooked ground beef and level it off. After that we add the rest of the eggplants and on top of that we add the bechamel cream and level it off again.

We cook the Mousaka for 1 hour at a preheated oven at 200 oC. When the Mousaka is ready, we cut it pieces and serve!

Papoutsakia

 

If you try to translate the “Papoutsakia” in English, it means “small shoes”. I assume that the food took its name from someone who combined at his/her mind the food with the shoes due to the shape. Papoutsakia is also a different version of the Greek food Gemista combined with ground beef.

 

Well, below are the ingredients for Papoutsakia:

  • 5 eggplants flasks
  • 1 tea-cup olive oil
  • Salt, Pepper
  • 100 gr Mizythra cheese

 

Below are the ingredients for the Bechamel cream:

 

  • 1,5lt Fresh Milk
  • 6 tablespoons Wheat Flour
  • 200gr butter
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg

 

Below are the ingredients for the Ground Beef:

 

  • 800gr ground beef
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spices

 

Execution for the bechamel cream:

 

We place the butter in a pan and on fire. When the butter is melted, we slowly add the tablespoons of the wheat flour and we mix it with a cooking wire. We continue the same procedure until we have mixed all the flour and the mix has a golden-brown color. We add the milk slowly and again we always mix it with the cooking wire until the mix thickens. We then remove the mix from the fire and we add the egg yolks, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

 

 

Execution for the ground beef:

We sauté the ground beef with some olive oil and we add some garlic and onion at a pan and we add half a glass of water. We mix it until it gets a boil and then we add the tomatoes, the cinnamon stick, the spices and one pinch of salt and one of pepper and then we leave the mix at a slower fire to slowly keep boiling for almost half an hour until it almost dries. At the end we remove the ground beef from the fire and we add one tablespoon of the bechamel cream and we mix it.

 

Execution for the Papoutsakia:

We wash the eggplants and rinse them well. We spread the olive oil on top of the eggplants, cut them in half lengthwise and carve them with a knife in the middle creating a + shape. We cook them in a preheated oven (fan) at 200 oC in order to be softer. When the eggplants are softer, we remove them from the oven, place them in a pan and we fill in them with the ground beef. At each eggplant we add one tablespoon bechamel cream and make it level. On top of the bechamel we spread the mizithra cheese. When all the eggplants are ready we cook the pan at 200oC for 50 mins.

Recipe for Pastitsio

 

One of the traditional Greek foods that our mothers used to cook almost once per week is the “Pastitsio”. A food that you will find at some other countries as well including Egypt, Cyprus and Italy. You will also find similar foods at other cousins as well and usually they are based with cannelloni, a type of pasta that you can also use for the pastitsio in case you do not find the one that we originally use in Greece.

 

Well, the Pastitsio is a mix of pasta, meat and bechamel cream. We cook it in a rectangle pan and then cut it in pieces to serve everyone.

 

Below are the ingredients for the Pastitsio:

 

  • 1 pack of pasta – In Greece it is the No2 or No3.
  • 300gr grated mizithra
  • 800gr ground beef
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of tomatoe puree
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spices

 

Below are the ingredients for the Bechamel cream:

 

  • 1,5lt Fresh Milk
  • 6 tablespoons Wheat Flour
  • 200gr butter
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg

 

 

Execution for the bechamel cream:

 

We place the butter in a pan and on fire. When the butter is melted, we slowly add the tablespoons of the wheat flour and we mix it with a cooking wire. We continue the same procedure until we have mixed all the flour and the mix has a golden-brown color. We add the milk slowly and again we always mix it with the cooking wire until the mix thickens. We then remove the mix from the fire and we add the egg yolks, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. The bechamel is ready to go on top of the Pastitsio!

 

 

Execution for the ground beef:

We sauté the ground beef with some olive oil and we add some garlic and onion at a pan and we add half a glass of water. We mix it until it gets a boil and then we add the tomatoes, the cinnamon stick, the spices and one pinch of salt and one of pepper and then we leave the mix at a slower fire to slowly keep boiling for almost half an hour until it almost dries. At the end we remove the ground beef from the fire and we add one tablespoon of the bechamel cream and we mix it.

 

 

Execution for the Pastitsio:

We boil the pasta and we add some salt as we would normally do. We strain the pasta and we put some olive oil on top and then we mix so the olive oil will go everywhere. We place the pasta at the pan and we add the mizithra all over the surface and if possible, in between the pasta so it will be everywhere. On top we add the ground beef and we make it level at all the surface. After that the last ingredient that goes on top is the bechamel cream and again we lightly level it off and on top we add some more mizithra all across the surface!

 

The pastitsio is ready to be cooked. We cook in a pre-heated oven at 180oC for aprox one hour and when it is ready, we cut it in pieces and it is ready to go!

 

Recipe for Tzatziki

 

If you have ever visited a Greek restaurant then most probably you have seen at the appetizer section, one of the most popular Greek foods called Tzatziki! Tzatziki is also the main ingredient for Greek junk food, pita gyro! It is used as a dip and it is amazing on top of a loaf of bread or even better as a side dip for a mix grill!

 

Well it is a very easy appetizer, with no much effort that can be made within minutes!

 

Below are the ingredients for Tzatziki:

  • ½ Kg Strained Yogurt
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 6 garlic gloves
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 glass of olive oil

 

Execution for Tzatziki:

We rub the cucumbers on a coarse grater in a bowl and we squeeze them in order to remove the juice. At the pieces of the cucumber we add the garlic after we have rubbed it on a coarse grater. We mix them with the yogurt and we add the salt and the olive oil and we mix them all together until they became smooth and the Tzatziki is ready to go!

With the simplest ingredients

All Greek traditional recipes are based on very simple ingredients, which you can easily everywhere worldwide!

Recipe on demand!

In case of you want our mother to provide you with a specific recipe for your desired Greek food or dessert, just live chat with us to let us know and we will make sure you will get it immediately!

Vida Hospitality Team
Open chat
Text us for support