Sunday, 18 April 2010

Colourful dips (Χρωματιστά ντιπ)

I can generally do without meat, but I find it very hard to go without cheese and milk. Hence, I never fast in the strictest sense during Greek orthodox lenten periods, because I just find it too difficult to do so. How on earth I managed to do it in the past, even for a week or two is beyond me. Dairy products are part of my family's life nearly every day.

Since our summer holidays in Northern Greece, we've been slightly overindulging in Greek dips made with cheese or yoghurt. Here are some of our discoveries of good Greek cheese and milky dips. They are perfect during the warmer weather for a light lunch, and especially now that summer is near us.

- feta cheese, tomatos and peppers, cooked till melting consistency, and topped with chili flakes.


Galotiri - a mild milky dip from Central Greece with a taste resembling cottage cheese, using both cheese and yoghurt, sometimes also called pseftotiri (= fake cheese), as it is a quickly made cheat's version of a kind of curd cheese, also called galotiri, made in Central Greece.


Htipiti - a Northern Greek hot feta cheese dip using roasted red peppers and chili peppers; htipiti (lit.: beaten) is also known as tirokafteri (lit.: hot cheese) or kopanisti (another word for 'beaten') in various parts of Greece.

pans and grills ladadika thessaloniki htipiti dolmadakia ladokolla
Tirokafteri (left) and tzatziki (right) served with dolmadakia

Tzatziki - the all-time taverna classic, hinting at reminisces of a summer spent in Greece.

tzatziki with carrot

Beetroot yoghurt dip - this is a very refreshing dip similar to tzatziki; instead of cucumber, it contains beetroot, which gives it its intense pink colour. It goes really well with seafood.

beetroot yoghurt dip

Guacomole isn't traditionally made with yoghurt, but it is another great dip that can take on a Mediterranean flavour with a dairy addition, turning it into a green version of tzatziki.

guacomole and nacho chips

And finally, melitzanosalata (eggplant dip) can also be added to this list; it isn't strictly a milky dip, but it can also be made with the addition of yoghurt for a creamier taste and texture.

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