A Taste of Greece: Gyros, Spanakopita and Baklava

Need some recipe ideas? Get some inspiration from the places to which SI Swimsuit has traveled.
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Since we are all working from our couches, sitting in our PJs and snacking on whatever pantry staples we have left, some creative culinary inspiration may be needed. We here at SI Swimsuit are fortunate to have the opportunity to travel the world, taste local cuisines, sample delicious cocktails and spirits made famous by the regions we have visited and open our palettes to all the amazing flavors the world has to offer. I love nothing more than traveling to a locale and learning all about the regional cuisines and how to make them. Let’s take a look back at some of the places SI Swimsuit has traveled to and revisit the delicacies and drinks we have sampled along the way with some recipes to help you create them.

This week we are heading across the Atlantic to the beautiful country of Greece. A country SI Swimsuit has surprisingly only visited once, back in 2001. While Europe’s doors are still closed to visitors from the U.S., you can take yourself there by cooking up some staples in your kitchen. Pour yourself a glass of wine, open up the windows, play some ocean sounds, it’ll be like you’re really there. O.K., not really but we have to work with what we’ve got.

Gyro - Next to a spanakopita and moussaka, this is probably one of the most famous Greek foods on earth, and rightfully so. This salty, creamy and delicious pita dish is filled with tzatziki, lamb, lettuce, spices and more. Think of a burrito but better. If you’re a vegetarian, swap out the lamb for some tofu, you’ll be able to achieve a similar taste by using the incredible spices (marjoram, rosemary and garlic). While you may think it’s impossible to capture the taste of a freshly-made gyro at home, here’s a recipe that comes so close to the real thing, you’ll be able to pretend you're sitting on a balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea in Santorini.

Photo courtesy of Christina's Cucina

Photo courtesy of Christina's Cucina

Spanakopita - Greeks really love their pies, and this staple is so popular you can find in the grocery freezer section here in the U.S. But why buy the frozen stuff when you can make your very own mouth-watering spanakopita at home? Spanakopita is a savory pie made of flaky phyllo dough filled with heaps of spinach and melted feta cheese. You can find phyllo dough anywhere so head to the grocery store and whip up this recipe for that perfect Fourth of July BBQ side dish.

Photo courtesy of The Mediterranean Dish

Photo courtesy of The Mediterranean Dish

Baklava -Pick up some extra phyllo dough while at the supermarket and round out your meal with this crunchy, sweet and decadent dessert. Once baked the phyllo dough becomes so flaky and brown, the layers of cinnamon-spiced nut filling melt in your mouth and, to finish, there is that layer of sweet syrup. Top it off with some maple ice cream perhaps? This buttery dessert will be the perfect ending to a meal that will transport you straight to the Mediterranean.

Photo courtesy of Natasha's Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Natasha's Kitchen