Hot Greek Dip Recipes
Homemade Greek dips taste a lot better!
Greek dips like tzatziki, taramosalata and many more are perfect for a friendly gathering on the patio and make very tasty appetizers, light snacks or side dishes. Although you can certainly serve them all year round, they are especially well suited for the warmer months of the year, as their fresh sharp taste and light texture have a very pleasant cooling effect, even under the hottest summer sun.
Greek dips are very easy to make and have a really unique taste. You can buy most of them ready made in super markets or specialized shops but their taste is nothing compared to what you can easily make yourself at home.
My mother is a fabulous cook and I always remember her, as a child, whipping up huge bowls of tzatziki, taramosalata, eggplant salad and much more for the frequent ouzo and dinner parties taking place at our beach house all summer long. She considered it beneath herself to ever buy ready made dips and used to look down on anyone who did, because as she said "they are so much tastier and cheaper and so easy to prepare at home, how useless can you be as a cook to resort to buying them?"
It is true. Not even in the finest restaurants have I ever eaten tzatziki or taramosalata better tasting than my mother's. I now use the same recipes I have known all my life to prepare the same simple and oh! so tasty dips for my own family, and every time I hear my children exclaim "Oh! this is exactly like Granny's!".
So in this page, I have decided to share with you these very easy and so unique tasting recipes of the most famous Greek dips.
Read on for my hot Greek dip recipes and enjoy!
Photo taken by me
Recipe for Tzatziki
Extra Virgin Greek olive oil made of Greek olives. It will give a rich, full taste to everything you cook with it. Remember that olive oil always tastes best raw, or when you add it just before removing the food from the stove or oven
Tzatziki is probably the most famous of all Greek dips and the easiest to make. Here is what you will need for a large bowl of tzatziki:
1kgr of Greek yogurt
1 large fresh cucumber
1 cup of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh spearmnint, finely chopped
3 tbs olive oil
3 tbs vinegar
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
This is my favorite brand of strained Greek yogurt and not just for tzatziki. It is thick, creamy and very very tasty.
Greek yogurt - You can buy it on Amazon
The most important ingredient in tzatziki is the yogurt. It definitely has to be strained greek yogurt, otherwise once you add the vinegar and olive oil, the whole thing will be far too runny. You can find one of the best brands of Greek yogurt on Amazon, as well as Greek olive oil.
Empty the yogurt into a large bowl. Now prepare the cucumber. Many people grate it, peel included and you can do this do, as it is the easiest option. However, in this case you will have to drain off the excess water in kitchen paper and this gives it a somewhat funny, thin and dry texture as you eat it. I prefer it cubed in the tzatziki, as this brings out its full crispy and cool taste. You can do this by peeling the cucumber and cutting it in slices approximately 1/2 cm thick, which you then cut in squares.
Add the cucumber and all the other ingredients to the yogurt and mix well. Chill for a few hours before serving. You may serve tzatziki in many ways, either as an appetizer (which you may decorate with a few black olives on top if you like) accompanied with fresh crusty bread and a glass of Greek ouzo or chilled white wine, as a side dish or a dipping sauce for fried vegetables. In Greece, it is very common to cover zuchini slices in a light batter, fry them and serve them with tzatziki.
Photos taken by me
Greek yogurt maker - Did you know you can make Greek yogurt yourself?
These appliances allow you to make Greek yogurt (or a very good alternative) at home, using plain commercial yogurt. Essentially, what they do is "strain" the yogurt leaving it thicker, creamier and "cheesier" .
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Best alternative to buying real Greek yogurt
Recipe for Taramosalata
Taramosalata is probably the next most famous Greek dip after tzatziki. Taramosalata is made of fish roe. There are two types, red and white. The white one is slightly more expensive, harder to find and is considered classier. However, I personally prefer the red one as it has a slightly stronger flavor. Depending on how much bread and lemon juice you mix into it, taramosalata will have a stronger or milder taste. As with all the recipes I share with you here, I suggest you do it exactly as I say the first time, then you can adjust the taste accordingly. Here is what you need to make finger-licking taramosalata:
150 gr pink (or white) fish roe - tarama
150 gr bread
1 small onion
1 cup of olive oil
You can use any kind of a day or two old thick crusted white bread. Take off the crust, and soak the bread in some water for a few minutes. Then squeeze it tightly between your palms to drain off all excess water.
Place the onion in the blender and grind it to a paste. Now place the ground onion, tarama paste and bread in your mixer bowl and start mixing. As the ingredients blend together, slowly add the oil and lemon juice. Taste often as you go, you might prefer less or more lemon juice in your taramosalata. When all the ingredients are blended together, you should have a firm, smooth, bright pink creamy mix. Place this into a serving bowl, decorate with a few olives if you like and chill for a few hours before serving.
Your basic ingredient for perfect taramosalata
Buy tarama here - You can buy first class red tarama on Amazon
This is a very good quality Greek tarama (the Greek name for this specific kind of fish roe) at a very reasonable price. Tarama will keep very well if you seal it well and refrigerate after opening.
Eggplant salad dip or melitzanosalata
Eggplant salad dip or melitzanosalata as it is called in Greece, is probably not as well known as my first two recipes, but for me it is the tastiest, as I really love eggplants. There are many ways you can prepare melitzanosalata, but my mother's recipe which I am about to share, is one of the easiest and yummiest! Here is what you need to make it:
3 large fat eggplants
2 tbs vinegar
5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove (optional)
Wash the eggplant and grill them in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until soft inside. Take them out, peel them, chop them and place them in a strainer for a few minutes to drain. Then place the eggplant pieces in your mixer bowl, add half the olive oil and start mixing. Gradually add the rest of the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, salt and crushed garlic if you decide to use it. It only takes a few minutes for all the ingredients to blend together. Transfer the melitzanosalata to a serving bowl, decorate with a few olives or/and some parsley if you like and chill for a few hours before serving.
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Which of the Greek dips featured here do you like best?
Feta cheese dip or tirokafteri
Another very popular and very tasty Greek dip. Here is what you need for it:
500 gr of Greek Feta cheese
1 hot pepper, green or red
4 tbs vinegar
1 tbs water
1/2 tsp hot paprika pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Chop the pepper, place it in the blender and grind to a paste. Add all the other ingredients and blend together. Transfer the dip into a serving bowl, decorate with an olive if you like (yes, all Greek dips are served with an olive on top!) and chill for a few hours before serving.
My favorite Feta cheese
Best Feta cheese to buy - You can find it on Amazon
Dodoni is my favorite brand of feta cheese. It is very very tasty, just as salty as it should be, creamy and hard but not too hard. Perfect to eat on its own, or to add to a salad or cook yummy recipes with.
© 2013 Aquamarine18