Friday recipe: go Greek this weekend!

One of my very favorite annual events in Des Moines takes place this Saturday and Sunday: the Greek Food Fairof the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, just up 35th Street from the DMU campus. I love this wonderful tradition because of its very friendly people, the fun and festive atmosphere, the music and dancing (you can participate!), the beautiful church and the opportunity to learn about another culture.

You. Cannot. Resist.

But let’s be honest: On top of all of that, one of the best aspects of the fair is, of course, the food. Just to name a few options: the mouth-watering gyros (ohhh, let me sing the praises of tzatziki sauce!) and the tender souvlakia (marinated shish kabobs of pork or chicken). The hearty moussaka, exotic dolmathes and the Greek salad, which is like a party in your mouth. The loukoumathes, which are the freshly made honey puffs that my kids and I fight over. And please don’t stand between me and my absolutely two must-haves at the fair, the spanakopita, which is spinach, cheese and spices baked in phyllo dough, and the other phyllo-fallen-from-heaven treat shown in the photo, baklava.

I think another reason I look forward to the Greek Food Fair so much is that despite my general fearlessness in the kitchen, I’ve yet to tackle the aforementioned favorites. Instead I get my annual fix at the fair, desperately hoping one of the kind chefs on hand will adopt and feed me for the rest of my life.

My excitement for this weekend’s fair has given me heart, however. While I’m not ready to construct my own pan of baklava (which is probably good, given it’s a deliciously sinful dish), I think I can handle melding the marvelous flavors of this traditional Greek salad. You can combine different portions of the ingredients to fit your preferences.

Greek salad

  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • Feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • Oregano
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Olive oil

Slice the tomatoes, onion and cucumber; combine. Toss with the feta cheese, oregano, olives and olive oil to taste.

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