Greek food is typically known for including a lot of lamb and beef-based dishes. Indeed, meat is a big part of the culture and cuisine in Greece. However, there are also some delicious vegetable-based Greek dishes worth trying. Here are a few to look for the next time you're at a traditional Greek restaurant. Some of these dishes do contain meat, but meat is not the "star of the show."
If you like tomatoes, you definitely want to try tomatokeftedes. They may be called tomato fritters on more Americanized Greek restaurant menus. Basically, these are fritters made from diced tomatoes, onions, mint, and feta cheese. They are fried lightly in a skillet, usually in olive oil, which adds another element of earthy flavor. Tomatokeftedes are usually served as an appetizer, but you could absolutely make a light lunch out of them.
If you think zucchini is boring, you just haven't had kolokithokeftedes yet! The Greek way of making zucchini really brings out its good side. To make the dish, you combine shredded zucchini with egg, feta cheese, and fresh mint leaves. The egg works as a binder, holding the balls together. The cheese and mint add an unmistakable Greek flavor to these tasty treats. They are pan-fried in a skillet, like meatballs, and often served with tzatziki or another sauce for dipping.
Gemista is a traditional Greek dish often served as a sort of comfort food. Tomatoes are stuffed with a mixture that can vary from restaurant to restaurant and family to family — but which usually contains rice, various herbs and veggies, and some sort of minced meat. After the raw tomatoes are stuffed, they are roasted or baked, which results in them coming out tender on the inside, but crisp on the outside. Not only are these tasty, but they're also a balanced meal in one dish.
Fasolada is a Greek soup that is commonly served during the winter months. It consists of hearty white beans in a broth made from chicken stock, celery, carrots, and onion. Fasolada is seasoned with thyme and bay leaves, which makes the flavor more complex. The beans make it a more filling choice than many Greek soups.
While meat is an important part of many Greek dishes, there are some that don't make meat the focus. Give the above veggie-based dishes a try, and see what you think. You'll likely find you enjoy them!Share