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Food

Greek Flavors to Enjoy in the Summer Grilling Season

July 6, 2020
by Eleni Sakellis

Grilling outside in the summertime is a great way to enjoy Greek flavors without having to spend too much time in a hot kitchen. Fresh fruits and vegetables, at the peak of their flavor, also shine this time of year, offering health benefits, nutrients and vitamins. Try the following recipes for a tasty summer outdoor meal.

Lamb Burgers Stuffed with Feta

2 pounds ground lamb

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 

2 tablespoons fresh dill 

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest 

1 pound feta, divided into squares 

Toasted buns 

In a mixing bowl, combine the lamb, salt, pepper, mustard, dill, and lemon zest, careful not to overwork the mixture. Divide the meat mixture into flat patties and place a little piece of feta into the center of each, then fold the sides up to enclose the feta. Place the burgers in the refrigerator to rest for at least 10 minutes before grilling. Grilled to desired doneness. Serve on toasted buns, Greek bread, or toasted pita, with tzatziki and salad.

Greek Beef Burgers

2 pounds ground beef

1 teaspoon Greek dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients, careful not to overwork the mixture. Form into patties and grill over medium heat turning only once until browned on both sides and to the desired doneness. An 8-ounce burger cooked medium rare takes about 10 minutes total on the grill and should be turned about 5 minutes through the cooking time. If preferred use a meat thermometer to take the temperature of the burger. An internal temperature of 160 degrees F is considered safe by the USDA. A well-done burger’s temperature should read 165 degrees F or higher. Be advised that cooking time alone is not an indication of doneness since burger thickness and uneven heat from the grill can affect the cooking time. Allow the burgers to rest for 5 minutes after removing from the grill. Serve on your favorite hamburger bun, Greek bread, or a toasted pita. Top with your favorite hamburger toppings and enjoy.

Greek Salad

2-3 medium to large tomatoes, chopped

1-2 small-medium cucumbers, chopped

1 small-medium red onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/4 teaspoon Greek dried oregano

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Kalamata olives

1/2 cup Feta, Dodonis or Arahovas

In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, Greek sea salt, oregano, freshly ground pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and the Kalamata olives. Top with feta and sprinkle with additional oregano, if preferred. Serve immediately.

Spinach Salad 

1-2 packages fresh, pre-washed baby spinach

2-3 medium tomatoes, sliced

2-3 small-medium cucumbers, sliced

1 medium red onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 green bell pepper, cut into strips

18-20 olives of your choice

1 cup toasted almonds

1 cup crumbled feta

1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a salad bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and oregano. Add the spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, pepper, olives, and almonds. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine. Top with the crumbled feta and serve immediately.

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