Crete is an island in the heart of the Mediterranean. The seas surrounding the island, offer rich catch, the fertile valleys of Messara and the Southeastern Crete offer many high quality vegetables. On the slopes and hills, there are olive trees, vines, and fruit and vegetable orchards. All along Crete high mountains, host shepherds with sheep and goats, producing high quality livestock products.
The cuisine of Crete, a cuisine for poor people, is considered a very rich cuisine, because there is an incredible number of ingredients and a huge number of variations for each recipe, indicating an advanced culinary culture.
As long ago as 350BC, gastronomy in the Mediterranean, an art strongly connected with Greek civilization, was as glamorous as it is today. It’s very first writer, Archestratos the Geloan, a great gourmet and poet, stated the principles of great cooking:
1. Top quality Ingredients
2. A good combination of these Ingredients
3. Discreet herbs and spices
4. Light sauces which do not block the taste
Τhe authentic tastes of the local cuisines of Crete and Mediterranean are tastes which have been carved through the ages by anonymous sculptors, tastes which have been appreciated by generations of people who have connected these very tastes with their own happy memories, ceremonies, and everyday lives. This trip through tastes is also a trip through civilizations, reflecting the lives of the people behind them.
Tzatziki with parsley
- 1liter yogurt
- 1 cucumber rather big
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ bunch parsley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 grated olive oil
- 2 grated carrots (optional)
Place the garlic, the salt and the olive oil in the blender and beat them. Add the hard parts of the parsley. Beat until mashed. Add the cucumbers. Beat – some people prefer cucumber not fully mashed. Pour the mix in the yogurt. Stir. Add the chopped parsley at the end.
The popular Greek salad
- 4-5 medium tomatoes
- 2 red onions, chopped
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 1 tbsp. rinsed capers (optional)
- 6 tbsp. red wine vinegar (optional)
- 150 gr. Feta cheese, grated
- 6-8 olives
- 400 gr. Barley rusks (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp. fresh or dried oregano
Soak the rusks in cold water. Squeeze with your hands and crush them in a deep bowl. Cut tomatoes into slices and squeeze gently to remove their seeds. Cut the cucumber and onions into thin slices standing out of the onion rings. Drop everything, along with capers, pepper and oregano in the bowl. Taste the seasoning, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and stir well. Put the salad in the fridge for half an hour. When serving, sprinkle the cheese, mix the remaining olive oil with vinegar and pour over the salad.
Dakos landouristos: Cretan rusk with topping
- 2 large rusks
- 1 large tomato
- 100g. feta cheese
- Some chopped onion
- A few olives
- Parsley to garnish (optional)
- Olive oil
Soak the rusks with cold water if they are very hard. Grate the cheese and the tomato. Put the rusks on a plate. Mix the tomatoes, oregano, and chopped onion with the olive oil and the seasoning. Then let it marinate. Put the dip onto the rusk and top with the crumbled feta cheese. Garnish with olives and parsley.
- 4 eggplants
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp. parsley leaves
- 1 medium onion (optional) Vinegar
Bake the eggplants on the cooking surface, the gas fire or the grill of the oven until the skin is burned and the inside is cooked. Peel them and chop them. Place the garlic, the salt and the olive oil in the blender and beat. If you use onion, add it as well. Move the mix from the blender into a bowl. Add the eggplant and toss with a fork. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and parsley to taste.
An interesting variation is adding some walnuts in the multi. It gives a more intense taste and a darker color.
- 500 gr. Snails
- 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
- 1/2 cup of wine vinegar
- 500 gr. virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of salt
In a nonstick pot add salt until bottom is covered. Let it burn very well. Add the snails in the pan, placing the opening of the shell towards the salt. When they start blasting away, pour the olive oil. Fry for 6 minutes over high heat. When the salt around the pan becomes brown, add the dried rosemary. Pour in the wine vinegar. Wait for about two minutes until the liquid evaporates and the sauce becomes smooth. Serve warm, in a deep dish and pour the sauce of the pan over the snails. Necessarily, put toothpicks next to the plate!
Beans in the oven
- 500 gr. beans
- 2 dried onions cut into thin slices
- 3 green onions cut into round slices
- 2 carrots cut into round slices
- 4 cloves of garlic in slices
- 1 cup. olive
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 1/2 parsley bunch
- 700 gr. chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt- freshly ground pepper
Soak the giants in plenty of water the evening before.
The next day boil them until they get soft for about 40 minutes. Then, drain them and put them in a large baking pan. Warm half the olive oil in a deep pan, in a medium heat, with the garlic and onion for 10 minutes. They don't need to get browned, only to wilt. Add the sugar, the tomatoes, the carrot, the green onions, the celery, the parsley and the salt & pepper. Boil them for 10 minutes and then pour them on the beans. Lastly, add the rest of the olive oil and 1 cup of water and bake in preheated oven at 200 ° C for about 45 minutes until they stay with their oil.
Chicken with potatoes in the oven
- 1 chicken
- 1/2 glass of wine olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Some oregano
- Juice of half lemon
.. Simplicity is always delicious!!
Execution: Wash the chicken. Peel the potatoes and cut them on quarters. Add the salt & pepper and the oregano. Then, chop the garlic coarsely. Put them all in a large baking pan. Add the olive oil with some water.
Bake for 1,5 hours at 180-200 degrees. When the chicken is baked take it off the oven and pour the lemon juice on top while it is still hot. Ready!
- 1 1/2 Kilos of Beef
- 2 kilos small onions (for stew)
- 1 soup spoon tomato paste
- 4 big chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup brown Vinegar Spices
- 1 big glass of olive oil
Wash and chop the beef in small portions. Stir fry the olive oil and the meat in the pot. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, the bay leaves, the spices, the vinegar and the salt & pepper. Then add water as it needs to cover the meat and bake for about 90 minutes in the pot (if you use a pan you will need about 45 minutes and with less water). Peel the onions, put them in a bowl with water (to prevent browning) and once the meat is cooked, add the onions and leave for 20 more minutes.
- 12 tomatoes
- 1/2 kg potatoes
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1 cup. Glazed rice
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
Trademark of the Greek summer table and one of the most lovely recipes in general. When we taste tomatoes during their harvest period, their taste and smell is incredible!
Choose large round tomatoes, wash them and cut a "cap" from their upper part (stem side) with a sharp knife. Remove the inner part (seeds) and put it in a bowl.
Add salt and pepper inside of the tomatoes and put them in a large baking pan.
Stir the inner part removed a while ago. Then, add the onion with half the quantity of the olive oil and the rice in a pan and stir fry for a while. Add half of the stirred inner part of the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and 1/2 cup of water and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. By using a spoon fill the 2/3 of each tomato. Cover with their "caps" and put them back in the baking pan, the one close to the other. Pour the rest olive oil on the tomatoes and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Peel, wash and cut the potatoes quartered. Add salt and pepper and place them between the tomatoes. Lastly, pour the rest of the stirred inner part of the tomatoes on the tomatoes and bake in a moderate oven for 45 - 60 minutes.
Salad with raw wild greens
- 300gr wild greens (radish, sow thistle, fennel, arugula, salsify, leek, purslane, garden peas, etc.)
- 2 spring onions
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Rinse all the wild greens and vegetables well, then chop them. Mix them all for 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle with salt and dress with olive oil and vinegar.