Did you know that Greek Cuisine and especially Cretan is a vegetarian’s heaven?

Greek cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors, vibrant colors, and the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. While traditional Greek dishes often feature meat as a central component, the Cretan diet also offers a plethora of delicious and nutritious vegetarian options. Let’s explore a variety of dishes that Blue View Villas recommend that do not rely on meat.

Horiatiki Salad (Greek Salad):
Ingredients: Tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, red onions, bell peppers, olive oil, oregano.
The iconic Horiatiki Salad is a refreshing and simple dish that captures the essence of Greek flavors. It’s a vibrant combination of crisp vegetables, briny olives, and creamy feta cheese, all drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with aromatic oregano.

Spanakopita (Spinach Pie):
Ingredients: Spinach, feta cheese, phyllo dough, onions, dill, olive oil.
Spanakopita is a savory pastry filled with a delightful mixture of spinach, feta cheese, and aromatic herbs. The crispy layers of phyllo dough add a satisfying crunch to this classic Greek dish, making it a favorite among vegetarians.

Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves):
Ingredients: Grape leaves, rice, pine nuts, currants, dill, olive oil, lemon juice.
Dolmades are grape leaves stuffed with a flavorful mixture of rice, pine nuts, and aromatic herbs. Served cold or at room temperature, these bite-sized delights are often enjoyed as appetizers or snacks.

Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup):
Ingredients: Cannellini beans, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, olive oil, oregano.
Fasolada is a hearty and nutritious bean soup that is considered the national dish of Greece. This comforting soup is made with cannellini beans, tomatoes, and a medley of vegetables, creating a flavorful and filling meal.

Melitzanosalata (Eggplant Dip):
Ingredients: Roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley.
Melitzanosalata is a smoky and velvety eggplant dip that is often enjoyed as a meze (appetizer). Roasted eggplant is blended with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to create a dip that is both savory and satisfying.

Gemista (Stuffed Vegetables):
Ingredients: Tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, rice, pine nuts, herbs, olive oil.
Gemista involves stuffing vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini with a flavorful mixture of rice, pine nuts, and herbs. Baked until tender, these stuffed vegetables are a delicious and wholesome option for a Greek vegetarian meal.

Dakos: A Rustic Cretan Delight:
Ingredients: Barley rusks, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, oregano, olive oil.
Dakos is a simple yet satisfying dish featuring barley rusks topped with diced tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, and Kalamata olives. Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with oregano, this dish encapsulates the essence of Cretan flavors.

Chorta: Wild Greens Galore:
Ingredients: Wild greens (dandelion, chicory, purslane), olive oil, lemon, garlic.
Chorta is a staple in Cretan homes, showcasing the island’s abundance of wild greens. These leafy vegetables are boiled or sautéed with olive oil, lemon, and garlic, creating a nutritious and flavorful side dish.

Briam: Cretan Ratatouille:
Ingredients: Zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, olive oil, oregano.
Briam is a hearty and aromatic vegetable medley, often referred to as the Cretan ratatouille. Layers of zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes are generously drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with oregano before being baked to perfection.

Fava: Creamy Yellow Split Pea Puree:
Ingredients: Yellow split peas, onions, olive oil, lemon juice.
Fava, not to be confused with the broad bean variety, is a creamy puree made from yellow split peas. Cooked with onions, olive oil, and a touch of lemon juice, this dish is a protein-rich delight often served as a dip or spread.

Kolokythokeftedes: Zucchini Fritters:
Ingredients: Zucchini, feta cheese, mint, dill, flour, olive oil.
Kolokythokeftedes are savory zucchini fritters mixed with feta cheese, fresh mint, and dill. These crispy bites are a popular appetizer or meze on the island, showcasing the local produce and culinary craftsmanship.

Revithia: Chickpea Stew:
Ingredients: Chickpeas, onions, olive oil, lemon, oregano.
Revithia is a comforting chickpea stew that exemplifies simplicity and depth of flavor. Slow-cooked with onions, olive oil, and a hint of lemon, this dish reflects the rustic charm of Cretan home cooking.

From the vibrant colors of dakos to the heartiness of briam, Cretan vegetarian food invites you to savor the unique flavors and culinary heritage of our enchanting Greek island. Ask Eva’s mom for some homemade snack or explore these dishes at the nearby tavernas Eva recommends.