Inspired by Cava in Los Angeles and Souvla up here, my daughter recently requested Greek food for her birthday celebration at home. This is not part of my usual repertoire, so I tried some new recipes for our Greek-inspired dining experience. While I usually don’t like to experiment on guests, I didn’t have a chance to try out these dishes in advance. Luckily, they turned out great and will now be part of our new menu-rotation. Here’s our new Mediterranean-inspired Menu:
Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce — this was easy to make and super delicious. I was nervous about the chicken breasts turning out dry, so I used half thigh meat in the first go-around. This wasn’t necessary though, as even the white meat was tender and juicy (and easier to cube for skewers). We used store-bought Tzatziki (see below) to make things easier (but equally delicious).
Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad — another simple and nutritious dish. It takes a fair amount of time to cut and chop, but the light dressing and addition of red onions and feta really brings out the flavors of this colorful salad. Be sure to add the avocados right before serving.
Grilled Artichokes — we are big fans of artichokes, which are especially delicious when paired with aioli. Not wanting to make all new dishes though, I made this go-to kale salad (which is damn delicious, btw) instead. But now that the other dishes have been vetted, I’ll substitute these grilled artichokes into our menu.
Herbed Basmati Rice — this simple dish didn’t overpower the other flavors. To make things easier and avoid having to coordinate too many pots at once, I used a rice cooker and added the butter and salad during the cooking process (and the herbs later, as directed).
Relying on store-bought appetizers eased the workload without sacrificing taste. We picked up pita break from our local farmer’s market, and Tzatziki and Hummus from Trader Joe’s. Use the leftover tomatoes and cucumbers from the salad for extra dipping.