The best Greek recipes for Greek appetizers and starters

Let’s cook the Greek way!

midiaMussels steamed in white wine (midia atmou se aspro krasi)

1 kg mussels
1 cup dry white wine
2 large sized onions, finely chopped
Salt, pepper
2 table spoons parsley, finely chopped

Discard any mussels whose shells are open or broken. Clean the mussels whose shells are closed with a stiff brush and cut off their "beards". Wash them well with cold water and let them drain. Put the chopped onions, half the parsley, the wine and the mussels into a pot. Cover the pot tightly and boil over high heat for 6-8 minutes. Season the mussels with salt and pepper. Serve the mussels garnished with the remaining parsley.
snail_and_onion_stewSnail and Onion stew (saligkaria stifado)

1 kg medium snails
1 kg onions, sliced and separated into rings
1 cup of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of vinegar
2 bay leaves
A little fresh rosemary
5 ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
Salt, pepper

The evening before cooking this dish, put the snails into a bowl of water and cover it with a plate so they don’t crawl away. Wash them well keeping only the live ones. Boil them for 15 minutes. With the point of a knife, make a hole in the rear side of each shell. Rinse them well and drain.
Heat the olive oil in a pot and brown the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, vinegar, rosemary, salt, pepper and a little water and let the sauce boil for about 15 minutes. Add the snails and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.
garidaShrimps baked in tomato sauce (Garides saganaki)


1 kg large shrimps
250gr hard feta cheese
1 cup olive oil
4 ripe tomatoes or 1 tin of peeled tomatoes
2 medium size onions, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
Salt, pepper
Sprinkling of paprika

Peel the tomatoes, having removed the seeds and put them through a food processor (mixer). Heat the oil in a pot and saute the onion, the garlic and the green pepper. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and let the sauce boil for a few minutes.
Put the shrimps in a Pyrex dish or glass baking dish and pour the sauce over them. Add the parsley, the feta broken into pieces, add a little paprika. Bake in a hot oven for half an hour.
tomatoesEggs, Tomatoes and courgette's, a Specialty of Crete

500gr courgette's
500gr ripe tomatoes
2 medium onions, finely chopped
5 eggs
½ cup olive oil
Salt, pepper

Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds and chop them up finely. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the onions with the coquettes cut into round slices. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and add the well-beaten eggs. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot or cold.
pepersGreen Peppers and sausages, a specialty of Pelion (Spetzofai)

1 kg of green peppers
4 traditional sausages
1 kg tomatoes
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 cup of olive oil
Salt, pepper
A pinch of sugar

Put the tomatoes through a food processor. Cut the peppers and sausages into slices, heat the oil and saute them lightly. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until sauce has thickened.
auberginesPickled baby aubergines/eggplant (melitzanakia toursi)
85-95 pieces

2 kg baby aubergines (egg plant)
1 large bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 whole garlic bulbs, peeled and finely chopped
2 large onions, finely chopped
2-3 carrots grated
1 kg vinegar
½ kg olive oil
2 tablespoons salt
Several thin stalks of celery

Wash the aubergines, cut off their stems and slice them lengthwise.
Place half the salt in a pot of water, bring it to a boil and add the aubergines. Boil them until they are tender but not too soft, and then drain them.
Mix the parsley, garlic, onions and carrots together. Stuff the aubergines with the mixture and carefully tie them shut with the celery stalks. Put the aubergines into a glazed earthenware container with the oil, vinegar and the rest of the salt. Leave them in a cool, dark place for 15 days.
dolmadakia_avgolemonoVine leaves stuffed with rice (dolmadakia Yalantzi)

250 gr grape vine leaves
500 gr spring onions, finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
1 cup rice
1 small bunch dill, finely chopped
1 small bunch mint, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

Blanch the leaves, rinse with cold water and drain. Saute the spring onions for a few minutes in half of the oil. Add the rice, 1 cup of hot water and the rest of the ingredients, except for the oil and lemon juice. Boil the mixture for 4-5 minutes. Roll up a teaspoon full of the mixture in each leaf. Place the vine leaf rolls in a pot in firmly packed layers consisting of concentric circles. Cover them with a plate and add the rest of the oil, lemon juice and two cups of water. Cook them over low heat for about half an hour, until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Serve cold, garnished with slices of lemon.
pickled_tomatoesTiny Pickled tomatoes (domatakia toursi)
20-25 pieces

1 kg tiny tomatoes
2 whole bulbs of garlic
2 cups of vinegar
Red pepper

Wash the tomatoes and dry them well. Score them around the middle, put salt on the cut and let them drain. Mash the garlic to a paste and mix it with the cumin, salt and red pepper. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture and put them in a glass or glazed earthenware jar with the vinegar and 1 ½ cups of water. Leave them in the container for two days.
oregano_pattiesOregano patties (riganokeftedes)

1 kg potatoes
125 gr salted cod roe
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 level table spoon of oregano
Crumbs of two rusks
Pepper 1 cup flour
Olive oil for frying

Boil the potatoes whole, remove the skins and, while still warm, put them through a food mill or puree them using a mixer. Add the remaining ingredients, except the flour and the oil. Mix well, and leave the mixture in the refrigerator until firm. Form into patties, dredge them in flour and fry them in hot oil.
bourekakia me tiriCheese rolls (bourekakia me tiri)

300 gr dough
150gr grated feta cheese
150 gr grated kasseri cheese
100gr butter or margarine
½ cup of béchamel sauce
Pinch of nutmeg
2 eggs

Put the béchamel sauce into a deep bowl and add the eggs one by one, mixing each egg in well. Add the cheese and nutmeg and blend together thoroughly.
Cut the dough into broad strips, brush each one with melted butter and place a spoonful of the cheese mixture on each strip. Roll each one up to form a small cylinder. Put the cheese rolls on a buttered baking sheet, brush them with the rest of the butter and bake in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes.
cod_roe_pattiesCod Roe patties (taramokeftedes)

150 gr salted cod roe

200 gr crustless bread, soaked in water
3 tablespoons of flour
Half a bunch of dill
Half a bunch of parsley
A little fresh mint
3 spring onions
1 cup flour
Olive oil for frying

Chop the herbs and the onions fine. Knead them together with the bread, from which the excess water has been pressed, the roe and three tablespoons of flour, to form a rather firm mixture. Shape into patties, dredge them in flour and fry them in hot oil.
bourekakia me kimaMinced meat rolls (bourekakia me kima)

500gr minced meat
500gr dough
1 large onion, finely chopped
Two table spoons rusk crumbs
Juice of two tomatoes
1 cup kefalotiri cheese, grated
1 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
1 bay leaf
Salt, pepper
Parsley, finely chopped

Saute the onion lightly in the butter and add the minced meat. Continue to saute, stirring continuously. Add the salt, pepper, tomato juice and bay leaf. Reduce the heat and cook the meat for approximately 30 minutes longer, until all the liquid had evaporated. Add the beaten egg, the cheese, the crumbs and the parsley. Cut the dough into strips, brush each one with butter, and place one spoonful of the mixture on each strip. Roll them up to form cylinders, place them on a buttered baking sheet and brush them with the remaining butter. Bake in a moderate oven for 20-25 minutes.
Courgette_FrittersCourgette Fritters (kolokithokeftedes)

1 kg courgette's
250 gr grated feta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup rusk crumbs
Parsley finely chopped
1 cup of flour
Salt, pepper
Olive oil for frying

Scrape the outsides of the coquettes. Wash and then grate them fine. Put them into a colander, add salt and let them drain for half an hour. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of them. Put the coquettes pulp into a bowl, add the feta cheese, eggs, crumbs, parsley and pepper, and knead the mixture. If it is not firm enough add a few more rusk crumbs or a little flour. Shape into patties, dredge them in flour and fry them in hot oil.
tiropitakiaSmall cheese pies (tiropitakia)

250 gr feta cheese
10 sheets of dough
1 cup of melted butter
2 beaten eggs
A little mint, finely chopped
Pinch of pepper

Mash the cheese with a fork and add the beaten eggs, the mint and the pepper. Cut the dough into about 6 cm wide strips. Brush each strip with butter, place a teaspoon of the filling on one end and fold it up into a triangle. Put the cheese pies onto a buttered baking sheet, brush them with a little melted butter and bake in a moderate oven 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
revithokeftedesChick pea fritters, a specialty of Sifnos (revithokeftedes)

500 gr dried chick peas
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 egg
1 cup flour
Salt, pepper
Olive oil for frying

Soak the chick peas in warm water with the baking soda for 12-14 hours. Drain and wash them well and put them through a food processor or puree them in a mixer. Add the onions, parsley, egg salt and pepper. Mix well and shape the mixture into patties. Dredge the patties in flour and fry them in hot oil.
Fried_courgette_flowersFried courgette flowers

15 courgette flowers
½ cup of flower
1 egg beaten
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
Olive oil for frying

Wash the courgette flowers and remove the small green leaves. Make a thick batter with the flour, egg, milk, the tablespoon of olive oil and the salt. Dip the flowers one by one into the batter and fry them in hot oil.
Fried_courgettesFried courgettes (kolokithakia tiganita)

1 kg large courgette's
1 cup flour
Salt, pepper
Olive oil for frying

Wash the coquettes and cut them into thin slices. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Dredge the coquettes in the mixture. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the courgette's until golden brown. Serve at once.
KayanosEggs and tomato, a specialty of Laconia (Kayanos)

500 gr ripe tomatoes
6 eggs beaten
Salt, pepper
½ cup olive oil

Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds and rub them through a coarse grater. Put them into a frying pan and boil until most of their juice has evaporated. In another frying pan, heat the oil, pour in the tomatoes and saute them for a few minutes. Add the beaten eggs, salt and pepper and stir until thick.
Tip: just before the Kayanos is done, add grated feta cheese and stir.
anchovySalted Kalloni Sardines, a specialty of Mytilene (sardeles pastes Kallonis)

2 kg small sardines
Pickling of salt
Olive oil

Remove the intestines from the sardines, wash and drain them well. In a glazed earthenware or a glass container, alternate layers of salt and fish, beginning and ending with a layer of salt. Put a weight on top and let stand for a month. Take out sardines as needed, wash them well and serve them with olive oil and vinegar.
fried_auberginesFried aubergines (melitzanes tiganites)

1 kg aubergines
1 cup flour
Salt, pepper
Olive oil for frying

Wash the aubergines and cut them into slices. Salt them and leave them to dry in a colander for about an hour. Rinse them and squeeze out the excess liquid. Mix the flour with the pepper. Dredge the aubergines in the flour and fry them in hot oil. Serve at once.
piperies tiganitesFried peppers (piperies tiganites)

500 gr sweet yellow peppers
Olive oil for frying
A little vinegar

Wash the peppers well, pat them dry and prick them with a fork. Heat the oil in a frying pan and heat the peppers, taking care they do not get too brown. Take them out of the frying pan and sprinkle with salt and vinegar.
garlic_dipGarlic dip (Skordalia)

1 1/2 pounds of potatoes for boiling
6-12 cloves of garlic, minced or grated (to taste)
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of good quality red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Add the salt to a large pot of water. Peel the potatoes and boil in salted water until well done. Drain. Sprinkle the potatoes with pepper and mash. In the blender bowl of the food processor (or with a hand mixer), puree the potatoes and garlic until well mixed, about 30-45 seconds. Still pureeing, slowly add the olive oil and vinegar, alternating between them, tasting as you go, until the mixture is smooth. Skordalia should be creamy and thick. If it gets too thick, add a little cold water (not more than 1/4 cup).
mezesHors d’Oeuvres Platter (pikilia orektikon / mezes)

2 slices of ham rolled up
4 slices of hard salami
4 anchovy fillets
A few olives pickled in vinegar
1 tomato, sliced
2 hard boiled eggs, cut in half
Various pickles
4 radishes, peeled
Salt, pepper
Sprinkling of oregano

Arrange the Hors d’Oeuvres on a serving platter. Sprinkle salt and oregano on the tomato slices, salt and pepper on the eggs.
giant beansFried Giant Beans (gigantes)

500 gr giant dried white beans
1 cup flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup rusk crumbs
Salt, pepper
Parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil for frying

The night before cooking, put the beans in water to soak. Next day drain them and boil them in plenty of water, until they are tender but still firm. In one bowl, place the flour mixed with the salt and pepper, in another the beaten eggs, and in a third the rusk crumbs. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Dip each bean first in the flour, then in the egg and finely in the rusk crumbs, before frying. Garnish with finely chopped parsley and serve at once.
sliced egg plantEgg plant salad (melitzanosalata)

1 large eggplant
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons of wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
sea salt

Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char on the grill, or over an open flame (alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes) until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath. As soon as it can be handled, peel by hand (the skin will come off easily), and transfer to a bowl. Chop the pulp into small pieces with a knife, and mash with a fork. With a wooden spoon, stir in oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, until well blended. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges, slices of crusty bread, and/or fresh vegetables, garnished with black olives and a sprig of parsley. This goes well with salty cheeses and fish plates like anchovies.
colorful peppersPickled Green Peppers (piperies prasines toursi)

1 kg Green peppers
2 medium onions
2 cups vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup rusk crumbs
A few whole pepper corns
2 teaspoons salt

Wash the peppers and cut them into strips. Peel the onions, slice them and separate them into rings. Put the water, vinegar and salt into a pot to boil. Add the peppers and the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool. Fill a container with the peppers, the onions and their liquid, adding a few peppercorns. Let them stand for 10-15 days.
giant beansBaked Giant beans (Gigantes Plaki)

500 gr giant dried white beans
1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
2-3 cloves of garlic
4 ripe tomatoes
1 scant cup olive oil
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
Salt, pepper

Put the beans in water to soak 12 hours before cooking. Drain and boil them in plenty of water. Drain again and place the beans into an earthenware baking dish. Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds, put them through a food mill and pour them into the baking dish with the beans. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and bake in a moderate oven for about one hour. If necessary add a little water during cooking.
colorful peppersPickled red peppers (piperies kokkines toursi)

2 kg red peppers
1 small head of cabbage
5 medium carrots
1 bunch of celery
1 whole bulb of garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 liter vinegar

Shred the cabbage, carrots and celery. Add the crushed garlic and half the salt, and then mix together. Wash the peppers and cut a slit in each pepper and fill with the mixture. Put the peppers in a glass jar and cover them with the vinegar, the rest of the salt and a little water. Let them stand for 15 days.
tonosalataTuna salad (tonosalata)

1 tin of tuna
1 small onion, finely chopped
Olive oil
Lemon juice
A little mustard
Pinch of salt
Parsley, finely chopped

Mix the oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Crush the tuna with a fork, add the onion and oil and lemon mixture and mix together. Garnish with the finely chopped parsley.
tzatzikiYogurt, cucumber and garlic dip (tzatziki)

2 cups strained full fat yogurt
1 cucumber
4 cloves of garlic, mashed to a paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of pepper
A little vinegar
Fresh dill, finely chopped
A few ripe olives

Grate the peeled cucumber on a coarse grater and press as much liquid as possible out of it. Mix the cucumber with the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with the dill and olives.
tirosalataSpicy cheese salad (tirosalata kafteri)

200 gr feta cheese
1 long hot pepper
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
A little vinegar

Cook the pepper under the grill. Remove the skin and seeds and cut it into small pieces. Mash the feta cheese with a fork. Put all the ingredients into the blender until they become paste.
chick peas (2)Chick peas dip (humous)

2 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of tahini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of water
parsley and olive oil to garnish

Put 1/2 the lemon juice and all ingredients into the blender except the chickpeas (and the parsley and oil for garnish) and blend for 5 seconds. Add the chick peas and blend on high until it reaches the the consistency of sour cream, but granular, about 10-15 seconds. Blend in remaining lemon juice to taste. If the dip is too thick but you don't want to add more lemon juice, add a little water slowly and blend until it reaches the correct consistency. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (It may be eaten immediately, but becomes even more flavourful if left to chill well.) Drizzle of olive oil over the top and add a garnish of parsley or black olives before serving. Serve with pita wedges or slices of whole grain breads. Note: Be sure to rinse the canned chickpeas well to clear away the taste of any ingredients used in the canning process.
fried_cheeseFried cheese (saganaki)

200 gr of kefalotiri
A tablespoon of flour
Olive oil for frying

Cut the cheese into slices and rinse with water. Cover with flour and fry until a golden colour.
Tip: sprinkle with lemon juice once fried and serve hot.
taramosalataCod roe salad, caviar salad (taramosalata)

8 slices of day old white bread, crusts removed
4 tb sp. tarama (carp roe caviar)
2 tbsp. finely minced onion
3/4 cup olive oil
5 tb sp. fresh lemon juice

Remove crusts from bread and soak slices briefly in a bowl of water. Squeeze out excess water and set aside. Add tarama and onion to food processor or blender and mix for approximately a minute or until well blended. Tear the bread into pieces and add to processor or blender. Mix until combined. With machine running, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture forming a paste. Add the lemon juice a bit at a time and blend until smooth and creamy. If you prefer it tangier, you can add more lemon juice .Serve taramosalata with pita triangles or other bread for dipping and enjoy with a glass of chilled ouzo!
baked fetaBaked feta cheese (feta fournou)

300 gr feta cheese
Half a cup olive oil
One medium sized tomato, cut into slices
Oregano, pepper

Put the slices of tomato into a baking dish with the feta cheese on top. Sprinkle the oregano and cover with oil. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot.
garlic_breadGarlic bread (skordopsomo)

8-10 thick slices of crusty bread
1/2 pound of margerine or butter
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of salt

Combine margarine (or butter), garlic, and salt in the blender and pulse until mixed. Spread on slices of bread and toast in the oven, directly on the rack, at 175°C (350°F) for 15 minutes.