Colorful, minimal ingredients with incredibly high nutrition, Greek food has sun soaked herbs and spices blended with olive oil, fish, lean meats, vegetables, and whole grains.
Greek cuisine is influenced by Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Ottoman cultures, giving it a unique blend of tastes including peppers, citrus oils, cheese, and grilled meat that require specific flavor combinations to be considered Greek food.
What to eat with Greek food? Greek food mostly served with grilled or roasted meats, and cooked veggies with side of moussaka and tzatziki when serving souvlaki, gyros, and kebabs.
Gyros are generally paired with Greek fries, salad, classic tabbouleh, or creamy tomato orzo soup.
To complete the meal, consider light lagers or Pinot Noir for seafood and poultry-based dishes, and Cabernet Sauvignon for lamb, beef, or red sauce based dishes.
From fish to vegetables and various herb with condiments, Greek cuisine is simple and elegant with slightly robust flavors. In addition, textures range from smooth to crunchy.
But when it comes to food pairing, deciding what to eat with Greek food can be tricky. In this article, we look at the flavors and foods to serve with Greek cuisine so that you nail the menu every time.
What goes well with Greek food?
Greek cuisine is fairly diverse, and so are its side dishes. Some ingredients to utilize in Greek food include:
- Vegetables: tomato, aubergine, potato, green beans, okra, green peppers, onions
- Fruits: lemon, orange, bigarade, figs, raisins, pomegranates
- Nuts: walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts, almonds
- Cheese: feta, cottage cheese
- Meats: pork, lamb, beef, goat, chicken, veal, rabbit
- Condiments: honey, yogurt, vinegar, olive oil, Greek yogurt
- Herbs: thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, tarragon, mint, dill
- Spices: garlic powder, black pepper, allspice, cardamom, cloves, coriander
What is typical Greek food?
Many other cuisines in the Mediterranean region contain dishes consisting of wheat, olive oil, and wine. Additionally, the use of vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish, and meat including pork, poultry, beef, lamb, and goat is prevalent.
- Dolma: stuffed vine leaves with varied fillings such as ground meat, rice, and saffron.
- Gyros: Combination of lamb and beef or chicken seasoned with salt, herbs, and spices.
- Tzatziki: Made with yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, mint, dill, garlic and lemon juice, it is perfect sauce to dip in all kinds of meat including chicken, beef, pork, and lamb.
- Greek salad: Simple chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, olives, and feta cheese crumbles without lettuce is classic Greek salad to pair with any main dishes.
- Pastitsio: Similar to lasagna, baked savory pies with meat, fish, or pasta. However, it is a creamier and cheesier baked pasta with large tubular pasta like penne instead of sheet noodles.
- Lokma: Bite sized fluffy donuts coated with honey, lokma is like little donut holes with honey syrup and sprinkled with nuts. They are perfect for dessert to end a Greek meal on a hight note.
What do you serve at a Greek dinner?
Greek cuisine focuses on whole grains, potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread that is eaten daily for dinner. It is also common to find olive oil, tomatoes, olives, spinach, cucumbers, and eggplant in many foods.
The cuisine contains dishes with a variety of lentils, different bean types, yogurt, chicken, lamb, fish, honey, feta cheese, lemons, and nuts.
For appetizers, roasted pepper spreads, meatballs, spanakopita, and yogurt dips are an excellent place to start.
- Meze Platter: olives, feta cheese, hummus, eggplant dip, pita bread, stuffed grape leaves, spanakopita
- Main entree: chicken Souvlaki skewers, beef shish kebabs, roasted chicken
- Sides: roasted baby potatoes, fries, Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves
- Sauce: tzatziki
What flavor goes well with Greek food?
Greek cuisine features an incomparable usage of aromatic and earthy herbs, especially oregano is mainly used as a marinade for chicken and lamb kebabs, dressing for Greek salad, roasted potato seasoning, and adds a spicy edge to stews and pork.
On the other hand, thyme gives a mellow flavor and sweet aroma that is mainly added to stews and soups.
Furthermore, the savory essence of garlic is perfect with the meatiness of lamb and refreshing veggies prominent in Greek cuisines. Be sure to add in some rosemary for that floral and piney character.
Black pepper adds a spicy kick to Greek delicacies without necessarily overpowering them.
Here are classic flavor combinations that goes well with Greek food:
- cucumber + olive oil + garlic + lemon juice + salt + yogurt
- chicken + pita + dill + lemon + Greek yogurt
- feta cheese + dill + olive oil + cottage cheese + spinach + pastry sheets
- fish roe + red onion + olive oil + sourdough bread
- eggplants + feta cheese + tomato sauce + cherry tomatoes
Eat with Greek Cuisine: Conclusion
Using the freshest ingredients like potatoes, cheese, eggplant, lemon, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs and seasonings, Greek dishes are delicious and highly nutritious.
Greek cuisine consists of grilled or roasted meat with sides of vegetables, salad, and thick sauces to dip. Due to its simple ingredients with various spices and herbs, it requires minimal pairing when it comes to food and drinks.
Meat based gyros taste wonderful and make for a fulfilling meal with fries, salad, tabbouleh, and tomato orzo soup.
Lager or Pinot Noir are the best beverages to enjoy with Greek cuisine. Depending on the meat and sauce, you may select either white or red wine.
From Dolma to Lokma, there are savory or sweet flavors that satisfy your palette. Whether trying Greek food for the first time or preparing at home, use this guide to create a wonderful menu with Greek food at anytime.