There are plenty of dips in the greek cuisine or tasty spreads if you prefer. You can make your own with whatever fresh or dried herbs you have and then experiment combining it with fish or cured meats , cheese or fresh seasonal vegetables always including the precious olive oil that brings out all the flavours.
If you have visited Greece then you probably have noticed both locals and tourists enjoy their meze with ouzo , a cold beer or a refreshing Moschofilero wine, light and pleasant to drink cold all day through.
It is not surprising at a greek taverna either to receive a bread basket with soft fresh brown or white bread slices and inbetween some rusks or “paximadi” as they are called in Greece to enjoy with either olive oil alone or accompanying dips which range from a simple olive pate to a tasty tzatziki or taramasalata .
Here we give you some inspiring suggestions to experiment at home and give your bread basket a greek note!
SERVING SUGGESTIONS OF GREEK DIPS
-Mix some boiled chickpeas with some of their own boiling water, olive oil and lemon juice, a pinch of cumin and some tahini in a blender and process until you have the right consistency to make a smooth humus. Spoon little amounts on soft paximadia and sprinkle with your favourite parsley, cilantro or chives, a dash of lemon and olive oil.
-Sprinkle the paximadia with some freshly cured olive oil and fresh diced tomatoes (allow a few minutes for the tomato to soak the hard rusk), season with oregano, fresh pepper and salt and you have the famous cretan dakos.
-Make a quick parsley pesto mixing a handful of washed and dried fresh parsley, some extra virgin olive oil , a spoonful of dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice (optionally adding 1-2 anchovies or sardines from a can) and spread it on toasted bread or arabic pita for a pizza-like meze.
-Mix some dried mint in a cup of greek thick strained yoghurt and add a tablespoon of olive oil . Top each paximadi with a dollop of this mix, decorating with some grated fresh cucumber mixed with pressed garlic for a lighter tzatziki.
-Finely chop some of delicious sun dried tomatoes (soak them in luke warm water to soften them if they are hard) and mix them with some crumbled feta and hot paprika to make an easy tasty spread for your paximadi. This dip is called tirokafteri.
What other combinations can you think of?