Have you ever wondered what it is about Greek food that makes it taste so good? Well, the Greeks have always been big on eating, raised to believe that you do not eat to live, but rather live to eat. That’s why Greek is listed among the best countries for food and has many vegan foods that give you energy and are healthy! Here are some of the best vegetarian greek food for you to try!
In Greece, meals play a huge part in everyday life and are thought to be a perfect occasion to socialize. The more people gather at the table, the better, as nothing brings a better talk than tasty food and fine wine.
The most distinguishing characteristics of Greek cuisine include olive oil, honey, spices, herbs, and wine. If you want to taste a few Greek wines, you can check out ackerwines.com! In addition to drinking it, you can use it for cooking delicious Greek foods.
You might not be aware of this yet, but Greek foods are mostly vegetarian! In fact, Orthodox Greeks used to abstain from animal products because of religious reasons for more than two hundred days a year. Consequently, traditional Greek cuisine offers plenty of vegetarian food and vegan recipes.
Sounds interesting? If so, do not wait any longer and dive into the world of crunchy vegetable salads, fragrant grape leaves stuffed with rice, all-vegetable casseroles, meatless patties, and crunchy pies! In this article, you will find a list of vegetarian Greek foods that you definitely need to check out!
Dolmades (Grape-Leaf Stuffed With Rice and Herbs)
Dolmades are a Greek classic that consists of a grape leaf stuffed with rice and herbs. The leaves are boiled in a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Next, the leaves are stuffed with freshly cooked rice seasoned with parsley, dill, mint, onion, and garlic. The stuffing is typically wrapped in the stem end first and rolled tightly. The end result makes for a great appetizer!
Melintzanosalata (Eggplant Salad)
Melitzanosalata is a salad that is made of eggplant slices marinated in olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh mint leaves. It comes from the region of Crete, where eggplants are easy to come by. It makes for the perfect appetizer!
The traditional Greek salad is one of the most popular dishes in Greece and abroad. It consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and feta cheese. It is typically served as an appetizer and as a side dish. Other than that, you can add cooked lentils/chickpeas to it and eat it as a stand-alone meal.
Tzatziki (Yogurt & Cucumber Dip)
Tzatziki is a popular Greek sauce that is made of yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, water, and salt. It is generally served with main dishes and as an accompaniment to pita bread. Moreover, it can be used as a topping on different kinds of foods, such as sandwiches. It has become increasingly popular to use tzatziki as a spread on a pizza, too!
Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)
Spanakopita is one of the most famous Greek foods. It consists of layers of phyllo pastry filled with spinach and feta cheese, which are baked until golden brown. As an appetizer, spanakopita is served hot, soaked in olive oil, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. For extra crunchiness, it can also be pan-fried instead of baked.
Horta (Boiled Greens)
Horta is a traditional vegetarian Cretan dish made of wild greens, such as dandelion and wild chicory that grow abundantly in Crete and other parts of Greece. Traditionally, Horta is served around August, when the said greens are the freshest. They are boiled for about fifteen minutes until tender and served hot with plenty of olive oil and lemon juice. Freshly ground black pepper may be added to taste.
A similar dish called Briami is traditionally served along with Horta as a side dish. Briami is a mixture of seasonal vegetables that includes potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and green beans that have been sautéed in olive oil with a bit of tomato paste added for flavor.
Tirokafteri (Spread Made of Cheese and Peppers)
Tirokafteri is a traditional Greek spread made of grilled peppers and onions that have been blended and mixed with feta cheese and vinegar. It is used as a dip for pita bread and added to other light meals, such as salads.
Gemista (Stuffed Vegetables)
Gemista is a dish that consists of a pepper/a tomato packed with a filling made of rice, onions, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, rice, and herbs. It is baked in a tomato sauce until tender and then topped with crumbled feta cheese.
Moussaka is a classic Greek dish that is made of layers of eggplant and potato baked in a tomato sauce, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce, and baked until golden brown. It is typically eaten as a main dish with feta cheese and pita bread.
Kolokithokeftedes (Greek Vegetable Patties)
Kolokithokeftedes are vegetarian patties that are made of grated zucchini, feta cheese, and herbs. They are eaten warm, straight from the pan, and dipped in a bit of tzatziki. Kolokithokeftedes are the tastiest when prepared with fresh summer zucchinis and tons of fresh herbs, like dill and mint!
As you can see, eating vegetarian in Greece is not just a matter of choice, but also a matter of culture. The Greeks love their food and have a place among the best street food around the world, certainly do know how to cook it! Whether you are visiting the country for business or pleasure, you should definitely give the local cuisine a try. You are guaranteed to leave the country satisfied and with a full belly!