Greek culinary cultures go back some 4000 years. The traditional Greek diet included lots of authentic raw ingredients, wholesome vegetables and olive oil. There was a big emphasis on fresh, locally grown ingredients. The typical Greek home kitchen served simple dishes seasoned with herbs and olive oil. The later is a distinctive and indispensable taste of Greek food.
Herbs are invaluable to the flavouring of Greek dishes. Some favourite herbs include Oregano, Mint, Dill, Bay Leaves, Basil, Thyme, Fennel Seeds, and Parsley to garnish. Additional commonly used elements in contemporary Greek cooking include garlic, onion, lemon juice, olives, cheese, bread and yoghurt. Enjoyed vegetables are tomatoes, aubergines/eggplants, green peppers, potatoes, and green beans to name a few. The Greek diet also includes grains, fish, a little meat, and wine.
IN YOUR KITCHEN:
Make this delightful dressing for any green salad. Homemade dressings are quick and straightforward to make, and much more beneficial to your health than store bought salad dressings. A splendid sauce can add instant interest and flavour to a plain salad. Here is a recipe for a timeless, classic, and beautifully simple go-to dressing:
RECIPE FOR OLIVE OIL & LEMON DRESSING:
One tablespoon lemon juice
Three tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1.) Squeeze fresh lemon juice. Mix one tablespoon lemon juice with three tablespoons olive oil.
2.) Add salt and freshly ground pepper.
3.) You can pour this dressing over any salad, either raw or cooked.
Drizzle your olive oil & lemon dressing over summer or winter salads. This dressing also complements any boiled green vegetables.
IN YOUR GARDEN:
Salad greens are splendid vegetables to grow in your potager garden. It is amazingly rewarding to plant your organic salad greens and then use it to create lovely and nourishing side dish to go with your meal. There are many different types of lettuce with a wide variety of flavours, textures, and colours. There are two main types of lettuce. Firstly, loose-leaf lettuces, which has open leaves and no heart. Secondly, hearting lettuces, which has a dense centre. This type includes butterhead, crisphead like iceberg lettuce, and cos types. Then you can also plant salad leaves, which you can pick while they are still young.
HOW TO SOW, GROW & HARVEST YOUR LETTUCE:
Choose a location that has full sun and moisture-retentive soil. Be aware that in summer high soil temperatures can prevent germination. To prevent this from happening, sow in the evening and water with cold water. You can plant in containers if you want to. Sow a short row every two weeks to ensure continuous cropping. Sow the seeds 1 cm deep and 30 cms apart.
For a Summer and Autumn crop, sow from late March to late July. For an early winter crop, sow in early August, and cover your plants with cloches in late September. For a Spring crop, sow in September and October, under cloches in mild areas. Use a cultivator such as Winter Density.
You have to thin seedlings when the first leaves appear. Continue thinning out until the plants are 30cm apart. Water your lettuce when the soil is dry, early mornings are best. Harvest your lettuces by cutting rather than pulling, when they are big enough.
Greek cooking will fill your kitchen with pleasant aromas of Mediterranean olive oil, fresh lemon juice, herbs, tomatoes, roast veggies, bread and wine. Besides of all the refreshing, colourful raw food and delicious flavours, the traditional Greek diet is remarkably nutritious and beneficial to your overall health.
Growing herbs, lemons, vegetables, and lettuce in your kitchen garden, outdoors or indoors, can supply many of the raw food that is so essential to traditional and contemporary Greek cooking.
By ‘Simply A Small Potager’
1.) How To Grow Lettuce, RHS Gardening.
2.) Greek Cuisine, Wikipedia.