This past weekend was one of my favorite holidays, Easter! I think I love it because it’s set in one of the most beautiful times of the year, Spring.
Also, it’s a chance for everyone to get together and enjoy each other without the pressure of gifts. That Spring themes of detoxing and renewing follows Easter and really makes this time feel different than the other holidays.
We need it now...more than ever!
Of course there was lots of food is involved and last year on the blog I talked about my favorite traditional greek dishes. My family is Greek and the traditions are every important to us but this year I decided to experiment a bit. I tried out a few fun modern Greek-esque dishes and I wanted to share in case you might need some inspiration as well....and, of course, the major difference was we all got together and had Greek Easter via Zoom!
Below I have included two different dishes I made: an appetizer and of course a dessert! Since we all are at home more now...maybe you can try when you get a chance.
Appetizer - Grilled Bread with Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, and Oregano
- 4 3/4-inch slices of bread (country style)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- 1 tbsp. feta cheese (crumbled)
- To Taste: olive oil (extra virgin)
- Garnish: Greek oregano (dried rigani)
Note: Quantities depend on the number of people and the size of their appetites. Be creative!
Grill the bread over coals, in the oven, or on a countertop grill until the ridges are clearly defined and the bread is crusty. Brush well with olive oil while hot. Top with enough chopped tomatoes to cover, and add crumbled feta cheese to taste. Sprinkle with oregano, and serve.
Dessert - Butter Cookies with Sesame
- 1 lb. unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 6 eggs (reserve 2 for brushing cookies)
- 6 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 oz. Ouzo
- Sesame seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using the mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and ouzo and mix well. While the mixer is running, add eggs one by one and mix until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture little by little. The dough will be soft and malleable but it should not be sticky.
You should be able to pinch off a ball of dough and roll it in to a cord or thin tube.
If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit more flour. Allow the dough to rest a bit before rolling into shapes.
To shape the cookies, pinch off a piece of dough about the size of a walnut. Roll out a cord or thin tube of dough about the length of a dinner knife. Fold in half then twist two times. You can also make a coiled circle or an “S” shape.
Beat the remaining two eggs in a bowl and add a splash of water to the egg. Brush the cookies lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
Bake cookies on parchment paper or on a lightly greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until they are nicely golden brown.