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12 Greek Recipes for Spring

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Favorite Greek spring recipes are based on the freshest seasonal ingredients and on tradition. Here's an even dozen delicious spring recipes for those who love Greek food. Listed alphabetically.

In Greece, our spring favorites may be different than what's in season where you live. For a listing of what's in season for spring near you, visit the State-by-State Guide from Molly Watson at our About.com Local Foods site!

1. Beet & Garlic Salad - Patzaria Salata

Photo of Greek Beet Salad with Garlic
Photo © Jim Stanfield
Greek foods include a wide variety of cooked vegetables served cold as salads, and this marinated Beet and Garlic Salad is just such a dish. It's simple to make, healthy, and adds a strong shot of color to the table. Canned beets can be used, but fresh spring beets are so plentiful and tasty that they really should be used if at all possible. The salad is marinated in an oil and vinegar dressing while chilling.

Watching your calories? Try this reduced fat version that substitutes low fat yogurt for the olive oil.

2. Brandied Strawberry & Yogurt Dessert - Fraoules me Yiaourti

Photo of Greek Brandied Strawberry and Yogurt Dessert
Photo © Jim Stanfield
Greek yogurt is a great base for almost any kind of fruit topping, and this fabulous spring dessert showcases ripe strawberries soaked in brandy. A simple elegant (simply elegant, too) dessert!

3. Broccoli with Latholemono (Oil & Lemon Sauce)

Photo of Broccoli with Greek Latholemono Oil-Lemon Sauce
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
There's no secret to this recipe, but the addition of the oil and lemon sauce (latholemono) to the broccoli gives it a distinctively Greek touch. It's easy to make and gets green vegetables on the table in a new way. Using olive oil and lemon juice on vegetables is not only very Greek (and delicious), but also a great way to avoid heavier butter, cream, or cheese sauces. If you haven't tried it, this recipe for Broccoli with Latholemono is a great place to start.

4. Cuttlefish in Wine - Soupies Krasates

Photo of Greek Cuttlefish in Wine Sauce - Soupies
Photo © Prosenghisi
Cuttlefish can be found in the frozen food section year round, but in spring, fresh cuttlefish are plentiful in Greek seafood markets, especially in the area of Kavala, where this dish is a local specialty. The cuttlefish is cooked with onions, red wine, and bay leaves - reminiscent of French cooking, but definitely and authentically Greek.

5. Fava Beans with Artichoke Hearts - Koukia me Aginares

Photo of Fava Beans with Artichoke Hearts
Photo © Jim Stanfield
in Greece, fresh broad beans (also known as fava beans) are a culinary event. This recipe is a favorite in spring, and works equally well as a main dish or side.

6. Fresh Artichoke Salad - Aginara Salata

Photo of Greek Fresh Artichoke Salad
Photo © Jim Stanfield
A fabulous salad that showcases spring artichokes. Made with thinly sliced raw artichoke hearts, tomatoes, green onions, Cos (Romaine) lettuce, cucumber, and Greek olives.

7. Fried Calamari (Small Squid) - Kalamaraki Tiganita

Photo of Greek Fried Calamari Squid
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
This is a very simple recipe and a delicious introduction to squid (calamari) if you've never tried it before.

8. Green Walnut Spoon Sweet - Glyko Karythi

Photo of Greek Green Walnut Spoon Sweet - Syrupy Preserves
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Immature (green) walnuts are available at different times around the world, depending on climate and variety, and in Greece, they appear in late spring. This recipe includes the tastes of cinnamon and cloves.

9. Lemon Garlic Chicken - Kotopoulo Skorthato

Photo of Greek Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken  Kotopoulo Skorthato
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
For many, lemons mean spring, and in Greek cooking, lemons are a basic, widely used in all kinds of dishes and sauces. When it comes to chicken, this is one of the most well known and best loved. An easy recipe to make, and one of the most tempting to eat. Adjust the garlic down if it's not a favorite, and the classic tastes of lemon and oregano will still make this dish uniquely Greek.

10. Salt Cod with Garlic Mashed Potatoes - Bakaliaros me Skorthalia

Photo of Greek Salt Cod with Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
A spring tradition, it is customary to eat this dish on two specific days that generally fall during Greek Orthodox Lent: Evangelismos (Annunciation, March 25th) and Palm Sunday. Salt cod can be purchased in dry salted slabs that need to be soaked to remove the preserving salt, and can also be found already desalinated in the frozen food section of many markets. When buying the frozen version, be sure to look for the word "desalinated" on the package. Fresh cod has a very different taste.

11. Savory Phyllo Pies with Spinach & Fennel - Hortopitakia

Photo of Greek Phyllo Pies with Greens and Herbs - Hortopitakia
Photo © Jim Stanfield
These tasty little pies can be made with homemade phyllo (at right in the photo) or commercial (at left). They can be made ahead of time up to the cooking stage, and frozen for later use. In this version, I use spinach as the basic green, but it can be made with the green of your choice. All during winter, fennel root was plentiful in our markets, but in spring, fennel leaves are in season and the recipe calls for a lot of the delightful anise-flavored herb.

12. Spinach & Asparagus Bake - Spanaki me Sparaggia Ograten

Photo of Greek Spinach & Asparagus Casserole
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
A combination of fresh spinach, asparagus, herbs, cheese, and cream, cooked on a bed of grated potato, with a grated cheese topping. A delicious spring casserole!
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