Kali Orexi

Several students have asked for recipes for some of the Greek delicacies we enjoyed. So, here are two that I make regularly at home: tzatziki and gigantes. They are both easy and fun to make and will give you a burst of the flavor of Greek. Kali Orexi (Basically Bon Apetite in Greek)! Tina


 Tzatziki – Yogurt Sauce with Cucumbers and Garlic

 32 oz. low-fat or full fat yogurt (in Roanoke, Stonyfield Farms is readily available and good) OR Fage Greek yogurt (readily available in many grocery stores now).

1 medium-sized cucumber, preferably seedless English variety


2 – 3 cloves of garlic

1 – 2 tbsps lemon juice

  1. You can skip this step if using Fage Greek yogurt.

Strain the yogurt, using a coffee filter, or cheese cloth, or a fine metal sieve. This will take at least 4 -5 hours (during which time the yogurt in its strainer should be left in the refrigerator) and about 1 ½ cups of yellow liquid will drip out of the yogurt. Throw out the liquid; retain the considerably thicker yogurt.

  1. Peel the cucumber. Coarsely grate the whole cucumber. Salt the grated cucumber and press as much water out of it as possible.
  2. Add the cucumber and garlic to the strained yogurt. The garlic should be crushed in a press.
  3. Add the lemon juice.
  4. Refrigerate the completed product. It is best 24 hours after preparation.
  5. Some variations on this basic tzatziki recipe include grated carrot, dill, or unpeeled cucumber.

 Gigantes – Giant Butter Beans in Tomato Sauce

 2 cans unseasoned butter beans (or 3 – 4 cups dried ones)

¼ cup olive oil

1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

½ cup dry white wine (retsina preferable)

¾ – 1 cup fresh dill

2 tbsps oregano

hot pepper flakes to taste (optional)

1 can Italian plum tomatoes (or 7 – 8 fresh ones)

  1. If not using canned beans, cook the butter beans in water and salt – this will take about 1 ½ hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Saute the chopped onions in olive oil in a heavy bottom casserole that can be placed in the oven (like a Dutch oven). Add ½ cup dill and the oregano, and the hot pepper, if you wish.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the butter beans (drain the water off first) and Italian tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, cut into pieces first. Mix well.
  5. If you cook your own butter beans, you may want to add some chicken stock.
  6. Add the rest of the dill, reserving a sprig for the top of the casserole when serving.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, until the casserole is bubbly and reduced in liquid.
  8. Serve with rice or egg noodles.

1 Comment

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One response to “Kali Orexi

  1. Suzanne

    Mmmmmmmmmmm! Thank you!

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