Stock these ingredients for sunny Mediterranean flavor anytime.
March 08, 2016
1 of 8Photo: Iain Bagwell
A key ingredient in many Mediterranean cuisines. Cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi, creator of our Greek Vegetable Cooking recipes says Greeks prefer fruity oils because they blend more harmoniously into a dish, while pungently grassy or peppery oils can overwhelm the palate.
2 of 8Photo: Iain Bagwell
Bright-flavored lemons add acidity to Greek veggie dishes in the winter and spring. Come summer, Greeks turn to ripe tomatoes for a similar hint of tartness.
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Salted capers are used instead of oil- or vinegar-packed capers. Once well rinsed, they're more complexly flavored and lightly floral than their brined counterparts. "You can use capers instead of salt," Kremezi says.
4 of 8Photo: Iain Bagwell
Used in many dishes for a hit of briny salt, as with capers. Try fruity kalamatas or large green conservolias.
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Greek cooking leans heavily on dried and fresh herbs, especially mint. "All the herbs are important because we don't have a lot of spices," Kremezi says.
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Yellow Split Peas or Dried Fava Beans
A cheap but highly nourishing pantry staple, legumes are the base for many traditional Greek vegetarian dishes.
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"Feta and vegetables are a marriage made in heaven," Kremezi says. The cheese is salty, creamy, and pleasantly sour.
8 of 8Photo: Iain Bagwell
These dried chile flakes come from neighboring Turkey. They deliver mild to medium heat, a little fruitiness, and a hint of smoke.