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Ten Greek Herbs that each Kitchen Should Have
When it comes to Greek cuisine, herbs are the secret ingredient. While some eastern nations prefer spices, Greece uses freshly produced herbs to season its food.
This is why the Mediterranean diet has gained a reputation as one of the healthiest options for people. plenty of herbs, vegetables, and fresh fruits.
Greek Herbs are a key component of many Greek recipes, from sweet pastries to favorite sweets, and from street food to entrées.
As a result, here are ten Greek herbs that each kitchen should have.
Undoubtedly, this is among the most well-known Greek plants. The popular and light herb is a mainstay of Greek cuisine. Its subtle flavor gives meals a distinct Mediterranean flavor and is used in many greek dishes, from salads to flavoring meats. Even in ancient times, it was thought to be lucky.
Do as the locals and add a sprinkling of oregano on your chips for a flavorsome bite.
A favorite herb used in fish dishes, the light flavor of parsley is often seen as both a garnish and ingredient in Greek cuisine. It is commonly found in fish dishes baked in the oven for its lively flavor.
Growing throughout the many gardens in Greece, rosemary is a typical go-to herb favored by locals. But perhaps the greatest reason why is because it beautifully goes with the national dish of lamb and potatoes.
Known for its antioxidant properties, rosemary has been long used to aid digestion, making it a herb that’s worth investing in for your herb garden.
Herbal tea is back in vogue these days, and Sideritis is the Greek’s answer to this. Brewed in boiling water, this flowering plant is better known as ‘Greek Mountain tea’ for its herbal properties – a well-known local pick-me-up.
The versatility of this herb makes it one of the most popular the world over, especially in Greece.
For locals, this features heavily in all kinds of dishes, from salads to meatballs, and many other oven-baked meals. One of the most famous Greek foods featuring mint is a ‘flaouna’ – a cheese, raisin and mint baked good, originating from Cyprus.
In drink, fresh mint is a wonderful choice for herbal tea, helping to aid digestion. It is also popular in cocktails like mojitos too.
The subtle taste of dill makes it hard to pick out, however it is widely used in Greece as a popular herb. Most famously, it is used in tzatziki – a delightful yoghurt and cucumber dip and also hidden in spanakopita – the local spinach pastry. Rich in iron, thiamine and Vitamin B6, it’s another herb that has plenty of health benefits associated with it.
There are a few herbs that were popular in ancient Greece that are still used in kitchens today. Sage was also a popular herb among the ancient Greeks. Greek food is all about punchy flavors, and sage is one of the top herbs helping to deliver this. Used occasionally in Greek cooking, it is used to bring out the flavor of meats such as pork, chicken and duck. It can also be used in pasta to bring out a subtle sweet taste.
Although basil is a much-loved herb, it has only been integrated into Greek cooking in the past century. Unlike the Italians that use it in salads, Greek cooking tends to use it in more hearty rice and pasta-based dishes, as well as their favorite broad bean sides.
Visit any Greek restaurant or family home, and you will find your main meal garnished with coriander. This light green herb is one of the most used in Greek cuisine, typically seen in soups, fish and meat dishes, as well as lentil-based sides.
Known to be good for your stomach, it’s one of the many herbs that make up the world-renowned Mediterranean diet.
You can learn more about Greek herbs here >>>
A team of foodies, cooks, and travelers. Alios Tours was founded out of our passion for Greek food. We share the delicious side of Greece.