Thursday, June 7, 2012

Spotlight on Greek Cuisine: Seafood

The Greek diet, long touted as supremely healthy, is once more in vogue as the summer months come upon us. Rich in fresh produce and lean meat, the “Mediterranean” or  “Greek Diet” is a great way to stay healthy and eat well this summer.
Now that summer is upon us, seafood is the seasonal dish to keep in mind. The Greek diet is not complete without a thorough exploration of the many seafood dishes that have become popular – a look at a map of Greece can show you exactly how close to the sea the country is, and how easy it is to get fresh, delicious fish.

The simplest way to cook any fish dish only involves two ingredients: olive oil and lemon.  In Lesvos, the unofficial sardine capital, the small fish are quite sought-after, and are often cooked in such a way. Lesvos’ Bay of Kalloni hosts a Sardine Festival every August to show off their delicious sardine catch. Other ways to cook sardines include baking in garlic, or wrapped in grape leaves.

Another popular way to cook seafood is kakavia, a rich fish stew made of whatever is at the “catch of the day”. A recipe for kakavia can be found here .

Although a foreign food to many Americans, octopus and squid are also great Greek summer foods. Octopus can be served as part of a tomato sauce with pasta, in a stew, or simply grilled, as in this easy recipe. Calamari are known best for being fried in rings, although grilled calamari with feta cheese is a great way to cut out some of the fat in the deep-frying process.
Finally, a last popular Greek seafood is mussels. A great recipe from the North of Greece  is saganaki. Or, one can serve them with lemon and dill risotto.

This summer, remember that light, healthy Greek recipes can be a great choice. These seafood recipes and more will spice up your summer cuisine.

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