Traditional Greek Tahini Dip
Super creamy with the nutty flavor of sesame seeds, this homemade tahini sauce recipe is a popular way to begin a meal in Cyprus. Serve with crudités and pita.
Creamy Cucumber Soup
There's no reason to only use cucumbers raw--they are wonderful sautéed then pureed with avocado for a silken-textured soup that's good warm or cold.
Zucchini Patties with Herbs & Feta (Kolokythokeftedes)
Greeks nibble on these popular zucchini patties as a meze in tavernas while waiting for their main courses to arrive.
Barley Rusks (Dakos)
Malted barley grain is mainly used to brew beer and whiskey but is used here to give the barley rusks a sweet, nutty flavor. Look for it at home-brew stores or order it online, along with malted barley flour. Top these crunchy toasts with tomatoes, olive oil and feta, or serve them alongside dips like taramosalata and tzatziki. For breakfast, do as Cretans do and crumble them in a bowl and top with yogurt, fruit, nuts and seeds.
Ntolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Stuffed grape leaves are common throughout the Middle East. The stuffing varies, as does how they're served, but in this typical Greek preparation they're vegetarian and served cold with yogurt on the side. The quality of jarred grape leaves varies. We found that Yergat and Sadaf brands were the most tender and had fewer damaged leaves per jar.