Greece is a nation positively brimming with a deep history and a strong cultural identity. It also has a firm grip on the imagination of travelers with iconic scenery and cuisine to die for.

While plenty of variation exists in its regional dishes – whether an island visit or touring the northern stretches, Greek cuisine also transcends the seasons, making for good, wholesome, flavourful food, as well suited to a cold spring day as it is to a baking hot summer afternoon.

A counterpoint to island-hopping cuisine, Yiannis in Edmonton focuses more on the mainland of Greece with more meat than seafood, and everything is made in-house (except for their pita bread which has been made by the same Lebanese family at Mediterranean Pita Bakery since day one).

According to Sous Chef Elina Komusidi, it’s the simple character of Greek food that is so appealing, being: “spicy without heat, immensely satisfying without being (too) rich.” At Yiannis, the focus is on fresh ingredients with plenty of vegetables, citrus, zesty herbs, garlic, and tangy cheese.

Aside from a tip to buy the best feta cheese you can afford, Chef Komusidi points out, “There are many wonderful ingredients available locally. Alberta produces some of the best honey, lamb, beef, and wheat in the world! After that we have the Italian Centre Shop and Omonia Foods to supply us with the ubiquitous olives, cheeses etc. that are unique to Greece.”

A staple of Greek cuisine, try chef’s recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops and Lemon Potatoes!

Patates Lemoni
Serves 4

1 – 1.5 kg russet potatoes
Olive oil
To taste sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pinches oregano
1 lemon
Parsley, optional for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters lengthways. Place them in a roasting pan, and drizzle with oil, seasoning with salt and pepper and add oregano. Squeeze lemon over and add small amount of water to bottom of pan.
  3. Roast until golden brown and soft in centre, 30-40 minutes. Garnish with parsley and squeeze more lemon to serve.

 

Grilled Baby Lamb Chops- Paidakia Arnisia

Olive oil
1 large lemon, juiced
Oregano
1 kg lamb chops, around 4
To taste sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Mix the oil with the lemon juice and oregano. Pour over the lamb and make sure it coats them well.
  2. Let them stand for a few minutes or refrigerate for up to two hours.
  3. Grill on charcoal or gas turning frequently until desired doneness.

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