What’s moussaka with you? Greek food makes its street fest debut at the Taste of Greece August 23-24 in the heart of Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood. To know which foods are a must to sample (or try making in your own kitchen), Executive Chef Tom Leo of Grecian Delight Foods, a title sponsor of the Greek fest, shares his top picks:
- Gyro: The standard when it comes to classic Greek street fare, the gyro consists of sliced meat (typically lamb or beef) that is folded between fresh pita bread. For a truly authentic flair, don’t forget the tzatziki sauce, a refreshing concoction of Greek yogurt, minced garlic, and cucumber.
- Spanakopita: The traditional trio of phyllo dough, spinach, and feta cheese is used in a variety of Greek dishes but spanakopita is one of the most popular. Featuring a creamy spinach and feta cheese filling and wrapped in crispy phyllo dough, spanakopita is available in a variety of shapes.
- Baba Ghanouj: Think of it as hummus’ eggplant cousin. A creamy spread made from roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and minced garlic, baba ghanouj can be used as a dip for veggies and pita chips or as a spread to spice up sandwiches. The Opaa! brand variety offers authentic flavors without the mess in the kitchen.
- Saganaki: Opa! This fried cheese dish is flaming hot (literally) and is served in many restaurants with a festive flambé. To carefully try this dish at home, Chef Leo suggests placing seasoned Kasseri cheese in a small sauté pan with butter. When ready to serve, add a splash of brandy and flame the liquor for added effect.
- Baklava: There is always room for dessert and baklava is no exception. A sweet pastry made with layers of flaky phyllo dough, honey, and chopped nuts, this sweet treat is the perfect way to end any meal, Greek-inspired or not.