Some­times find­ing a theme for a gath­er­ing makes ev­ery­thing fall into place. Hos­pi­tal­ity lies at the heart of Greek cul­ture and so does the idea of nib­bling on mezethes (a va­ri­ety of first cour­ses) while shar­ing a com­pan­ion­able ouzo or glass of wine.


You know the sce­nario: friends are com­ing over—but not for a full meal. Still, they’ll need some­thing more than peanuts to eat. You have time to nip out to the store but not to cook… No wor­ries! We can help. We’ve imag­ined four dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions and found a so­lu­tion for each with a plat­ter of mostly store-bought treats and some suit­able drinks. En­ter­tain­ing doesn’t get much eas­ier than this. Greek flavours con­jure up a Mediter­ranean mood that suits a sum­mer night. Cut some feta cheese into thick slices and driz­zle it with a lit­tle runny honey. Brush three or four rounds of pita bread with olive oil, sprin­kle on salt and oregano and warm them in the oven with small chunks of cooked loukaniko sausages (mild chorizo sausages would be a fine sub­sti­tute). Put some pick­led turnip in a bowl. Add some black olives and two dips—rich, gar­licky tzatziki and tara­masalata dusted with pa­prika.

Greek wines are the ob­vi­ous choice for Greek food. Assyr­tiko is the su­per-trendy grape grown on sun-parched San­torini, and

Santo San­torini pro­duces a fine ver­sion (LCBO 459032, $23.30) full of a dry min­er­al­ity and sharp acid but with a big round body. Boutari Moschofile­ro (LCBO 172387, $14.05) is a more easy­go­ing white with tangy cit­rus and flo­ral aro­mas. Renowned pro­ducer Do­maine Hatz­imichalis of­fers its 2011 Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon (LCBO 538074, $18.95), a big friendly red full of dark fruit and cedary spice, while fans of retsina should try Mala­matina’s ver­sion (LCBO

422725, 500 mL, $6.20). It’s clean and fresh with delicate cit­rus notes un­der pine resin aro­mat­ics.

Top­ping tzatziki with a gar­nish of cu­cum­ber helps tip off its iden­tity to guests. In­stead of honey, you can driz­zle the feta with a good flavour­ful olive oil and sprin­kle with dried oregano.

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