Greek food is delicious all year round, but there’s something special about having a traditional Greek summer dish at the end of a hot summer’s day.
Nothing quite hits the spot like Greek food during the hot summer months. After all, many healthy Greek food recipes are light, flavorful, refreshing, and packed with fresh vegetables and vegetables, so it’s hardly surprising that many people associate Greek food with summer.
Here are some refreshing summer Greek dishes you should make sure to try this summer:
Comprising strained yogurt, garlic, shredded cucumber, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and various herbs, tzatziki, also known as cacik or tarator, is a popular summer Greek food that goes well with countless Greek dishes.
Tzatziki is a simple yet flavorful sauce that has been around for centuries and has been adopted by the Greeks, Byzantines, and Turks. It is traditionally served cold and is excellent with freshly baked bread, souvlaki, yeeros, and more.
Souvlaki is another healthy Greek food item with roots in ancient Greece. Back then, it was served alongside bread or pie. Today, souvlaki can also be found in skewer form or wrapped in pita bread.
While souvlaki traditionally includes pork, it can also be made with lamb, chicken, or beef and served with tzatziki sauce or over a bed of fresh vegetables.
Moussaka is an eggplant or potato-based dish that often includes ground meat and is best served cold in the summer. While this rich dish’s origin is a little murky because the Balkans, the Middle East, Turkey, Central Europe, and Greece all have moussaka recipes.
This dish has been a summer favorite for Greeks since Nikolaos Tselementes released the recipe for the Greek version of the dish in the early 1900s. The Greek moussaka variant includes béchamel on top (or sometimes on the bottom), giving it a creamy texture and helping balance the dish’s flavors.
Horiatiki salad, or traditional Greek salad, is an iconic Greek summer food — and with good reason. Not only is it cool and juicy, but it’s also filling and rich. So, it’s not surprising that Horiatiki salad has been a staple of Greek cuisine since the beginning of the 20th century and accompanies countless summer Greek dishes.
There are countless variations of Horiatiki salad, but it usually includes cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and red onions and is dressed with salt, olive oil, and Greek oregano. Other commonly used ingredients include caper berries, green bell pepper slices, and red wine vinegar.
Briam goes by many names: ratatouille, tourlou, sofegado, sympertherio, and more. Regardless of what you call it, briam is among the best traditional Greek summer dishes. Made from tomato sauce and fresh boiled vegetables (such as eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes), briam is a well-loved and healthy Greek food that’s perfect for hot summer days.
July, August, and September are peak season for tomatoes and peppers, which means it’s also the peak season for gemista. Also known as yemista, gemista is one of the most popular dishes in Greece. It’s a light dish that still manages to provide plenty of energy.
Though the original recipe from Asia Minor included tomatoes and peppers stuffed with pine nuts and raisins, the Greek variation generally includes peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and potatoes. For non-vegetarians, having tomatoes and peppers stuffed with minced meat and rice is very common, while those looking for a healthier Mediterranean food option can have oatmeal-stuffed tomatoes and peppers.
Frozen Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is delicious and refreshing — especially when it’s frozen and flavored with minted honey. Many recipes for frozen Greek yogurt also include mint sprigs, strawberry slices, or berries for additional flavor.
Originating from Crete, Dakos is a simple summer Greek food. In fact, there’s no cooking required, and the dish can be completed in minutes with a handful of ingredients! All you need to make Dakos is grated tomatoes, barley rusks soaked in olive oil, and mizithra or feta cheese. Some Dakos Greek summer food recipes also include capers and olives as garnishes as well as salt, pepper, and oregano for additional flavor.
In this delicious dish, eggplants are stuffed with onions, garlic, and tomatoes and bathed in olive oil. It is generally served warm or at room temperature. Imam Baildi originated in Turkey, but it has also become a part of the Greek, Albanian, and Bulgarian cuisines over the years.
When it comes to Mediterranean food, orzo salad is a summer favorite. Light and refreshing, orzo salad is perfect for hot summer days. Traditionally, orzo salad recipes include orzo, feta cheese, parsley, dill, tomatoes, olive oil, green olives, and lemon juice. It’s often served alongside grilled chicken, pork, fish, or steak.
Taste Traditional Greek Summer Dishes at SVL Souvlaki Bar!
Packed with flavor, Greek food is tasty all year round. However, it’s particularly delicious in the summer since Greek cuisine makes the most of fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you’re ready to taste refreshing summer Greek food without booking a flight, visit SVL Souvlaki Bar in Astoria. As one of the best Greek restaurants, SVL offers classic, healthy Greek food and a modern dining experience with friendly service.