A Reprise of Greek Appetizers


Ask a bunch of Greeks over for dinner and drinks and it’s expected that your spread’s going to have some dips for noshing on .

In continuing with my replay of my Birthday dinner, today I’m offering up three Greek dips, Cretan Dakos and to help stave off palate fatigue, a simple and delicious fruit salad.

To greet my hungry guests…I surprised them with a platter of dressed Cretan Dakos. These double-baked rusks get drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, some grated ripe tomatoes and finished off with crumbled Greek feta and pungent Greek oregano.

I then presented a trio of dips…first up was Tzatziki. Strained Greek yogurt that’s flavoured with minced garlic and fresh dill and spiked with a shot of Ouzo. The Tzatziki vanished by the time the souvlaki was served.

Next is a specialty of Thessalonki called Htipiti or Tyrokafteri. It’s a dip of mashed hot banana pepper, Greek feta and Myzithra cheeses and finished off with some good extra-virgin olive oil.

The last dip and one of my favourites is Melitzanosalata. It’s a dip of roasted eggplant, garlic, olive oil and balanced with some chopped fresh parsley. To truly make this dip a head turner, the eggplants have to be roasted over open coals or at the very least, on a gas grill.

Finally, I’ve been reading alot about palate fatigue and I wanted to offer a course that would “cleanse” my guests palates.

Palate fatigue occurs when one is presented with multiple rich savory courses in a row. This fruit salad gave my guests a break as there were more delicious food to be had through the course of the night.

Taken from the latest issue of Canadian Living Magazine, this Mango Melon Salad was the perfect cleanser – offering a palate a break from the rich flavours, even thought we were only into the appetizers.

It’s quick, it’s summer and mangos are easily available now through much of the world. In fact, the mango has out-shined the banana as the most popular fruit!

Mango Melon Salad

3 Tbsp. each lime and liquid honey
2 cups of cubed mango
2 cups of cubed cantaloupe
2 cups of cubed watermelon
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

  1. In a microwave, zap your mint juice and honey for 30 seconds and then whisk to combine. Let cool.
  2. Add mango, watermelon and cantaloupe, lime juice, honey and mint in a bowl and toss gently to combine. Serve slightly chilled.

© 2008 – 2009,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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54 Comments for “A Reprise of Greek Appetizers”

Kim

says:

Very nice Peter, I especially like the fruit salad and the eggplant which is a favorite in my home. I am in search of a good Greek Wedding cookie recipe, do you have one to share?

Peter G

says:

What a feast…well, a starter in Greek families actually!…LOL Love the cooling Mango salad…perfect ending Pete.

Sam Sotiropoulos

says:

Peter, I only wish I could have been there! Tremendous spread of apps and like Peter G. stated, the melon mango salad was a fantastic clean up! Perhaps next year?

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

This would have been sufficient for me, but I’m sure this was followed by a main course of note!!!!!I love the egg plant dip!!!

Heather

says:

I experienced a close call with said palate fatigue at brunch yesterday – rich (brioche French toast with candied bacon) and richer (steak and eggs with duck fat-fried potatoes), then a cheese course that was so intense it took the paint off the walls. You know what they served to finish it off? Fucking ice cream, that’s what. Nothing light or refreshing, just some nice heavy whipping cream, half whipped and frozen, and fruit and sugar. Whew, I’m tired.

Leah

says:

Oooh Peter, I wish I could have that gorgeous fruit salad for breakfast tomorrow, it’s going to be 92 degrees…the mango and watermelon look cool, refreshing, and summery. Very nice!

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver

says:

Oh, what is this Htipiti/Tyrokafteri…

Are you posting the recipe for it soon?

canarygirl

says:

Oh, wow, Peter! What a spread! Your dips look gorgeous, and delicious…I’m especially intrigued by the banana pepper one. But I think I want that fruit salad first. Like right now. I’m heading off to the grocery soon, and will be picking up a mango and a hunk of watermelon. This is on today’s menu. :)

OH! And a VERY HAPPY Belated Birthday to you, my friend! Cheers!

Foodycat

says:

I’d forgotten about htipiti – it’s one of my favourite snacks. I know what I am making this weekend!

joanne at frutto della passione

says:

Wow Peter, everything looks amazing, I can’t wait to see the rest of the meal!

Jan

says:

Well, you could have invited me! LOL – It all looks REALLY yummy. Wish I was back in Thassos….

Peter M

says:

Kim, what’s the Greek name of this cookie?

Sue, thank you so much…I’ll be right there to collect!

Sam, the fruit salad did indeed give us all a break, as more food ensued. Kai tou xpono! ;)

Nina, the eggplant dip is one of my faves.

Cathy….sneaky aren’t ya? You want dinner AND drinks? OK!

Heather, I see you’re off your tofu craze, thank God! Serving up ice cream is fine but some fruits and such would be a good bridge in between…f-ing peasants!

Leah, hop over to the market this morning and pick up the ingredients…it’s most easy.

Ts, basically it’s equal parts feta (mashed) and Myzithra (ricotta) with pureed roasting hot banana pepper and some olive oil in the mix. I’ll post it soon but it’s really straight forward.

Nikki, it’s super easy…I’ll lay it down on the blog very soon. Enjoy the let me know how the fruit salad’s like, k?

Foody, I’ve been enjoying it on Dakos too…just that hint O’ heat.

Jan, I’ll send you an invite next time and we’ll see who “walks the walk and talks the talk”! ;)

Ann

says:

What a fabulous collection of delicious bites! And so smart to introduce the fruit as a refresher!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI

says:

lovely spread of good greek summer food, your birthday table must have looked like a mezedopoleio!

Anonymous

says:

Peter — you’ve become a regular Nick Manojlovich (from the show “Savoir Faire”). LOL

Keep on blogging,

Paul

Christie @ fig & cherry

says:

I’ve never heard of Htipiti – it sounds absolutely delightful!!

Fearless Kitchen

says:

The fruit salad looks great. Of course, I always think things with mangoes look great. I was interested to see the shot of ouzo added to the tzatziki.

Núria

says:

Chico, I bet your guests were more than happy with this wonderful spread!!!
One of the things I hated about changing my gas stove into a vitroceramic was that I couldn’t have my roasted aubergines as I like :(

~~Louise~~

says:

Hi Peter,
Just dropped in via Coco Cooks and so incredibly glad I did. I am especially fond of home style greek dishes. Although I have never been to Greece, (someday:) My daughter did bring me home the best honey from Greece. It was Greek Heather Honey. My mouth is watering just thinking about it and your inspiring post.

Happy belated birthday. Now, I must visit your Tomato Salad with Fried Feta post.

Dragon

says:

It all looks wonderful but I especially loved the colours of the Mango & Melon salad. Yum!

Gloria

says:

Peter I love appetizers!!! These are yummy,yummy, I love specially the eggplant’s dip is so nice and dleicious. xxGloria

Jen of A2eatwrite

says:

All those appetizers looked absolutely wonderful. I love the idea of the palate cleansing fruit salad, too. I adore anything that involves grilled eggplants, so I will certainly need to try my hand at the Melitzanosalata.

Grace

says:

i don’t think i’ve ever suffered from palate fatigue. thank goodness.
i adore tzatziki, and the eggplant dip sounds amazing as well. so…when’s your next party? :)

Peter M

says:

Ann, I remembered to include a palate cleanser this time as I’ve felt overwhelmed at times with the array of foods at a party.

David Thanks…they are easy to make and even easier to eat!

Kiwi, mezedopoleio is a good way to put it.

Paul, where do you come up with this stuff? lol

Forkful, we share similar tastes…it’s my fave too.

Christie, think spicy cheese dip.

Ben, beam me up…to the party that is!

Fearless, our neighbor in Greece showed us the Ouzo trick…it heightens the dip.

Nuria, everyone left thoroughly stuffed!

Louise, welcome – sit back and enjoy the food…I look forward to seeing you again.

Dragon, I think I’ll use honeydew melon next time for the colour contrast.

Gloria, melitzanosalata is so good when it has the smoky aroma and flavour.

Jen, the melitzanosalata is real easy and just email me if you need any help.

Kat, I’d love to…be careful what you wish for! ;)

Grace, you’re lucky…I get it sometimes so, the fruit salad stepped into the roster.

Helen

says:

Peter! The shot of ouzo in the tzatziki!!! I think you may have just changed my life. Seriously.

Pam

says:

Peter, the banana pepper dip sounds really intriguing. My hot banana pepper plant is producing like crazy!

familiabencomo

says:

Dips are the best! It’s impossible not to relax when you are eating with your hands. All of these look wonderful. AND, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I’m sorry I missed it (in my own little world lately). I hope your year is full of happiness, good food & great wine!

xoxox Amy

Natashya

says:

Oh that looks so good and so refreshing. I just got in from walking the dogs and am feeling too hot to cook. Please just make me up a plate. Would white wine be appropriate?

Proud Italian Cook

says:

All I can say is that your friends and family are a very lucky group of people to have you cook for them! I bet they all jump for joy when you invite them over, I know I would!! Everything here is calling my name!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

says:

Want to cater my next birthday party??? This is quite the spread!

maybelles parents

says:

wow, this looks wonderful. I am curious, is rusk something you buy in a store? In Indian stores we get sort of double toasted bread that is called rusk.

Helene

says:

I’m starvin Peter, you should not have done that. That looks like you had a good feast. I would have tasted everything.

Maria

says:

Ouzo in tzatziki – that is brilliant. I can taste it playing off the cool yogurt and cucumber.

And thank you for the restaurant tip – I see its patio packed most nights and have heard they make a mean braised anything (too bad I’m a vegetarian, eh?)

Peter M

says:

Helen, did you just have an Ouzo epiphany? lol

Pam, I’ve just posted details of the dip.

Amy, this year has been good so far but good health is most important. all else is secondary.

Natashya, a bottle of white would be grand…c’mon down…all the action is in the 416!

Marie, let’s just say I didn’t get any RSVP w/ regrets and some asking for a n invite next yr.

Lydia…send a ticket for me to MAss and I’m in! ;)

Maybelle, you can buy rusks in a store but these Cretan Dakos are barley flour based.

Helene, you know better than to come here on an empty stomach.

Maria, I learned the Ouzo thang from our neighor, Gregory in Greece…stand-up individual.
Also, what kind of veg are ya…any seafood?

Kevin, they’re alll gone!!!

Lore

says:

Oh noooo, I missed it!!! Happy belated b-day Peter and best wishes!
I have a soft spot of tzatziki…to the extend that I might need my own bowl haha :D.
Melitzanosalata looks great, we call it eggplant salad..don’t ask why because I don’t know. We just make it with onion instead of garlic. When I was a kid moms use to give their kids a slice of bread spread with this dip, topped with some tomato slices and send them to play outside. Boy those were the days!

Bellini Valli

says:

Sounds like you had a fantastic B-day surrounded by friends,good food and great wines:D

Lori Lynn

says:

I didn’t know to put Ouzo in Tzatziki. Excellent. What doesn’t improve with a splash of booze?

I love your fruit presentation, martini glass, shards of mint…my palate is cleansed and ready for the next course Peter.

Burcu

says:

My mom’s side of the family, half of which came from Thessaloniki during the ’23 population exchange makes a dish similar to htipiti; they fry the peppers rather than roasting them. I definitely want to try the roasted version, too.

Jeanne

says:

What a feast!! I love dips, especially Greek ones – such fresh flavours. Lso love the fruit salad as a palate cleanser – a lot prettier than most boring sorbets too.