The sole mission going to the grocery store this past Saturday afternoon was to gather as many Greek and/or Mediterranean staples as fast as I could before being lured into purchasing all the specialty items that are all too appealing to a shopper whose stomach started rumbling 30 seconds after she left for the market.
I managed to escape with minimal damage to my bank account. I consider my $15 Malbec an investment in my wine education - with it’s origin of a stony terroir and proclamations of deep cherry and black currant…
I got all the things I needed to eat Greek for about five days, or maybe a week if I water down the tzatziki a little lot.
To prep for the week, I chopped up cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and red onion, added a small squeeze of lemon juice, tossed and refrigerated to use for Greek salads.
Central market has an excellent array of Mediterranean side dishes in its to-go section, so surely I could replicate at least one of those with ease. Couscous with spinach and feta. Cook couscous, add spinach while warm, toss in some feta while cool. Refrigerate. Meh.
What did turn out fabulously was the tzatziki sauce, with a little help from Ina Garten.
1 container Fage plain nonfat Greek yogurt + 1/2 cucumber, grated + juice from 1/2 lemon
Cut cucumber in half, then cut lengthwise to scoop out the seeds. Grate one half, wrap in paper towel, and gently squeeze out excess water. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate to allow the flavors to come together.
What I love about the Mediterranean diet, other than getting to play up my nostalgia for days spent traveling through southern Italy and Greece, is that I am always satisfied. Plenty of lean meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, protein-packed Greek yogurt. This is most likely a base description, but I’m happy, my wine glass is happy, my kitchen is happy, and due to my habit of playing Italian opera loudly when I cook, my neighbors most likely are not too happy.