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5 Must Have Items in the Greek Cook's Kitchen

A Greek cook's kitchen is well stocked with staple ingredients in order to create authentic, home cooked Greek dishes.

Greek cuisine makes good use of simple, fresh ingredients, for delicious, heart-healthy Mediterranean cuisine you will want to cook again and again.

Fresh Herbs
Greek cooking makes generous use of fresh herbs such as mint, parsley, coriander, oregano and basil. If you cannot get hold of fresh herbs called for in a Greek dish, have jars of dried herbs on hand. The fragrance of herbs to cooked Greek food, such as keftethes (Greek meatballs) adds to its mouth-watering appeal.

Lemons are a constant feature in Greek cuisine, from avgolemono soupa (Greek egg-lemon soup) to horiatiki salata (village-style salad) and are used as a seasoning. If you do not have lemons, limes will work as a close substitute for a Greek dish that calls for lemon juice.

Tomatoes are an integral part of the Greek kitchen and are added to stews, casseroles, salads, rizi pilafi (tomato rice pilaf), koubebia (stuffed vine or cabbage leaves) and much more. Use a combination of fresh, stewed and tinned tomatoes for an authentic Greek meal.

Olives grow in abundance in Cyprus, Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean, which is why olives and olive oil feature so heavily in Greek cooking. Kalamata olives, which grow in abundance in the Peloponnesus region, are delicious, but there are other Greek varieties of olives that will work just as well, such as Amphissa, a large black olive, and the oblong-shaped Agrinion, a green olive that has a bitter taste.

No Greek kitchen would be complete without onions to adorn raw and cooked Greek dishes. Onions are liberally used as the basis for souvlaki (Greek kebabs), stuffed vegetable dishes such as yemista, papoutsakia (little shoes) and more substantial Greek dishes such as a roast joint.

Greek cuisine makes good use of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Stock your kitchen with the basics such as fresh herbs, lemons, tomatoes, olives and onions, and you will find that you are already halfway there to creating delicious home cooked Greek cuisine that your family will love.