• Gyro meatball kebabs with feta tzatziki sauce (Harvard Common Press)
If you think that gyros are all to Greek cuisine, think again! We've gathered up our faruvrites to celebrate this Greek Independence Day - whole spit-roasted lamb included!
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23 Mar 2018 - 10:22 AM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2018 - 10:22 AM

1. Twice-cooked octopus with macaroni kofto

This dish was inspired by a classic Lenten dish of tomato-braised octopus with pasta, served throughout Greece. Serve this tender octopus on top of macaroni pasta that is cooked in a light tomato sauce flavoured with mastic, oregano and saffron.

Twice-cooked octopus with macaroni kofto

2. Mezze platter

Imagine being transported to the sunny Mediterranean, listening to the crashing ocean and nibbling on a large platter with mini spanakopitas, keftedes, taramasalata, olives, pita and cucumber. Well, we can't give you the first two things, but you can definitely make your own mezze platter! Pull this one out at parties and we guarantee that it'll be a favourite. 

3. Gyro meatball kebabs with feta tzatziki sauce

The gyro (pronounced yeero) might just be Greece’s most famous sandwich export. The meat for this pita wrap is typically lamb, though beef is frequently added. In our home version, we use ground lamb, formed into meatballs and threaded onto a skewer. The grill gives it a touch of smoky flavor, and all you need do is pull off the cooked meatballs and place into a pita bread.

Gyro meatball kebabs with feta tzatziki sauce

4. Slow-roasted lamb ribs with thyme honey and ouzo glaze

Oh sticky lamb ribs, how we love thee. This version uses a thyme honey ouzo, and we just can't put them down! 

Slow-roasted lamb spare ribs with thyme honey and ouzo glaze.

5. Dolmades with tzatziki (stuffed vine leaves)

A smaller dolmade is better, or safer as there is less chance of the filling exploding. These are very easy to make, but set aside time to roll them neatly. Bonus points: master this, and you'll be a master of spring rolls, too! Double skill upgrade! 

Dolmades with tzatziki

6. Spit-roasted lamb

it's not a Greek celebration without a whole lamb on a spit, amirite? This does require some specialised equipment and a big back yard, but we promise it's worth every scrap of effort! 

7. Mum’s spanakopita

A spinach and feta filling gives a creamy contrast to the super-crisp filo crust. This recipe includes directions on how to make your own filo, but if you're pressed for time, feel free to use store-bought filo sheets. Shhhh, we won't tell! 

8. Patouda (Greek honey and date pastries)

These sweet pillows of crisp pastry, filled with a more-ish blend of honey, nuts, dates, seeds and spices, are a popular treat at Easter time on the Greek island of Crete. Serve them generously dusted with icing sugar, accompanied by a strong, dark, aromatic coffee. 

Patouda, filled with honey, nuts, dates, seeds and spices.

9. Mastiha shortbread stars

Mastiha, is made from a plant resin and is such a unique intoxicating flavour, the sweet musky notes are unlike anything else we've have ever tasted. They give these shortbread stars a subtle edge, and will keep you reaching back for more. 

Mastiha shortbread stars

10. Orange filo pie (portokalopita)

If you’re looking for the ultimate Greek sweet, look no further than portokalopita. This crispy, syrupy, custardy concoction makes perfect use of Greece’s famed yoghurt, which is strained to remove the whey to create a thicker, creamier result. Believed to hail from Crete, this rich pie makes use of the island’s orange bounty, resulting in a refreshingly zesty dessert that’s delicious served warm in winter or chilled with ice-cream in summer.

11. Hellenic mess

A beautiful marriage of Greek flavours and the classic Eton mess, chef George Calombaris uses orange blossom jelly and strawberry sauce to give this Aussie favourite a Greek edge. 

12. Sesame cheesecake (myzithropita hyti)

In Greece, this crustless sesame cheesecake is traditionally made with myzithra, a fresh cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk. If you can't get it, ricotta makes a good substitute.

13. Chocolate mastiha mousse

Mastiha is a unique and intoxicating Greek spice unique to the island of Chios and here it plays deliciously in this easy 5-ingredient chocolate mousse.  

Chocolate mastiha mousse

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