Greek Orthodox Easter is just around the corner, so if you would like to get an idea of what to prepare, I have put together some of my Easter Recipes and a few ideas of what to do with your leftovers.
On Easter day a lot of people celebrate their name days: Lambros – Lambrini, Anastasios – Anastasia, Tasoula, Tasia, Paschalis – Paschalia, Anestis or whatever their pet names may be.
Depending on what date the Easter day falls, it may also coincide with other name days.
George, Georgia and Zoe will also be celebrating after Easter.
This happens whenever Easter is after the 23rd April, (the celebration of the feast of St. George), the name day is moved to the first Monday after Easter or, as it is sometimes called, to the Monday of Bright Week.
The feast of Zoodochou Pigis (Life-giving Source) is usually celebrated on the first Friday after Easter.
Happy Name day to you all!
The first thing we eat after the midnight church service is an offal soup called Magiritsa (pr. mah-ghee-RHEE-tsa). It is a light soup which is good for the stomach after the fasting period.
On Easter Sunday most families gather together to celebrate. Traditionally a whole lamb on the spit, called “ovelias” is made as well as “kokoretsi“.
They are accompanied by salads and appetizers, drinks and of course lots of Greek music.
Here are some of my Easter Recipes for you to try.
I have also included some desserts in the list, for those who will be celebrating their name days.
Greek Easter Recipes and more
Here are some of my Easter Recipes and a few ideas of what to do with your leftovers. I have also included some cakes for those celebrating.
Ovelias is a Greek Easter tradition where a whole lamb is roasted on the spit. The word ovelias pronounced Oh-veh-LI-as comes from the ancient Greek word “ovelos” which used to be a wooden or steel rod, where pieces of meat were skewered on and slowly cooked. Nowadays, the word “ovelias” means a whole lamb cooked for Easter on the spit.
Kokoretsi is a traditional Greek dish made mainly, but not only, during Easter, consisting mainly of seasoned pieces of lamb or goat offal (sweetbread, hearts, lungs, or kidneys), skewered on a spit and wrapped with lamb or goat caul fat and intestines and grilled together with the lamb.
Bogana is a traditional holiday dish from Argolida, with Leg of Lamb, roasted with whole baby potatoes and tomatoes. What makes it different and more delicious from other roasted lamb is the addition of ewe's and goat milk butter which gives its wonderful taste.
Patates Lemonates my way, are Greek Lemony Potatoes, which is a twist to the classic Greek side dish of roasted potatoes, with a sweet and sour taste. These Greek Lemon Potatoes are crispy from the outside and juicy from the inside with just the right amount of lemon flavors.
Flaounes pr. flah-OU-ness (singular flaouna) is a traditional Cypriot Easter cheese bread made with an aromatic yeasted phyllo dough, filled with a special Cypriot cheese, called Pafitiko, made during the Easter period especially for flaounes, flavoured with Masticha (mastic resin), mahlepi (mahleb) and mint.
Salads and Appetizers
A few ideas to make salads and appetizers for Easter
Melitzanosalata is a traditional Greek dip / appetizer made with eggplants which have been charred over charcoal or over an open flame, until the skin blisters, to get a smoky taste. The skin is then removed, as well as the seeds, if any, and the eggplant is either finely chopped, mashed with a fork or pureed.
Quiche, pronounced keesh, is a French, savoury open tart consisting of pastry crust, filled with eggs, milk or cream, and cheese, meat, seafood or vegetables. Discover a new twist I made to this French favourite with Greek cheeses.
An easy and delicious Greek Potato salad made with mayonnaise, extra virgin olive oil and Greek yoghurt. It is perfect to accompany you meat dishes, served as a light dinner or even add it in your sandwiches.
Pirozhki or piroshki or Piroski (as we call them in Greece, with stress on the last syllable), are made from yeast dough and filled with a variety of fillings and are great for snacks, appetizers, lunch or dinner.
Everybody loves a good lamb pie wrapped in puff pastry and this one is made with leftover lamb on the spit, a few days after Easter with the addition of leeks, spring onions, dill and graviera cheese, which is just delicious!
Kantaifi (pronounced Ka-ta-ee-fi), is a pastry made with a special form of shredded phyllo dough which looks like angel pasta. It is used to make a delicious dessert called kantaifi, which encloses a filling with chopped almonds or walnuts (and sometimes other nuts), scented with rose water, ground cloves and cinnamon. When baked it is then drenched in an aromatic syrup.
Tsourekia and Koulourakia are the most traditional Greek Orthodox Easter desserts, made especially for this occasion.
Tsoureki, plural Tsourekia, (pronounced TSOU-rhe-kee), is a slightly sweet Greek bread, similar to brioche, which is braided and made throughout the year. It is also part of our Easter and Christmas traditions.
Traditional Lambriatika Koulourakia (also called Paschalina Koulourakia), are Greek Easter butter cookies, which are traditionally made only during Easter and have a distinct flavour as baking ammonia is used as the leavening agent.
Cakes for Special Occasions
Here are some special cakes to celebrate your name day!
This Twix Banoffee Cheesecake is made from fresh and caramelized bananas, cream and toffee (made from boiled condensed milk, or dulce de leche), combined on a buttery biscuit base and decorated with Twix Chocolates and dulce de leche sauce.
An impressive strawberry chocolate coffee celebration cake for any occasion. It is made with a simple sponge, filled with chocolate mousse and cooked strawberries, topped with fluffy buttercream frosting and fresh strawberries
Tourta Fraoulita is a 100% homemade Strawberry Cake filled with strawberry yoghurt mousse and topped with strawberry white chocolate frosting, which I made from scratch to celebrate my husband's name day.