Although Greece has diverse geography and climate, many cooking methods are universal across different regions, such as:
Ladi is Greek olive oil and Ladthera refers to dishes prepared with lots of olive oil such as tomatoes stuffed with rice, sautéed okra and giant butter beans (also known as gigantes) stewed with tomato.
Stiskara or tis orasmeans at the hour and denotes food such as chicken souvlaki, lamb chops, butterflied sardines and bifeteki, a minced beef patty, cooked on the charcoal grill at the last minute.
Stoforno literally means in the oven. Dishes such as lamb with lemon potatoes, beef in tomato sauce and lamb cooked in a clay pot are all prepared using this method.
Tiganita refers to food that is shallow friend in olive oil. The Greeks love fried meatballs, potatoes, sardines and pumpkin balls. A popular entrée is fried eggplant or zucchini slices.
Psito means roasted and this is how the Greeks like their pork, wild boar and lamb.
The best example of Ograten, meaning a dish covered with béchamel sauce and cheese, is the most famous Greek dish of all, Moussaka, a layered dish of beef and eggplant topped with béchamel sauce and cheese.
Avgolemono is the light and delicious egg and lemon sauce, known to adorn spring artichokes and peas as well as add flavour to pork fricasseeand fish soup.
Yachnee is a hearty tomato based stew often served with tiny pasta shapes.
Vrasto means boiled and usually applies to wild greens picked during the rainy season.
Stifado indicates the addition of tiny pearl onions and cinnamon to a dish, the most famous being slow cooked beef or rabbit.
Kokkonisto means red and this is always a tomato based oven baked dish, usually with beef or chicken.
Plaki, meaning flat or spread out, usually refers to fish arranged flat in a baking dish and baked in the oven.
Saganaki refers to the skillet or heavy cast iron frying pan used in the cooking process. A very popular meze Greek cheese, such as Kefalotiri or Keflograviera, dusted with flour and fried in olive oil in this style of vessel is also referred to as Saganaki.
Greek cooking methods are usually fairly simple and straightforward. Many recipes and accompanying methods have been handed down through the generations, with little adaptation. Further, often the name of the dish incorporates the method of preparation and/or the cooking vessel.
10 May 2011 - 4:08 PM UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM