Spring just sneaked in while winter is making a reluctant exit and yet I am already thinking about summer and our trip to Greece. And what says summer in Greece better than a refreshing glass of ouzo? Actually, I wouldn’t know … as Greek as I have been raised to be, as often as I have visited Greece, I'd never just sat and sipped on a glass of ouzo with a spread of mouthwatering mezedes surrounding me. Go figure ...
So when the call for entries for the March Foodbuzz 24,24,24 event was made, I jumped at the chance to submit an idea for an ouzo tasting. I was ready for a taste of ouzo, for a taste of summer, for a taste of friends enjoying a refreshing drink all the while discussing anything, everything or nothing in particular; just enjoying each others’ company. I know, I know; it’s March in New York … clearly not July or August on a sun-drenched island in Greece. But trust me: good friends, great food and ouzo make for an ideal party no matter where you are.
So, pull up a chair, close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting in a seaside taverna bathed in the light of summer’s sun, surrounded by crystal-blue waters, enjoying a glass of crisp ouzo. Can you smell the salty sea? Can you hear the waves breaking onto the beach? Now pick up a fork and enjoy a taste of Greece (be it from New York) … some traditional Greek mezedes (and a few contemporary ones at that) to help ease down that fiery ouzo.
Olive Oil Biscotti/Crostini Topped with Goat Cheese and Tomato/ Taramosalata/Kalamata Olives in Balsamic Vinegar
Ouzo Marinated Shrimp Wrapped in Kataifi with a Spicy Remoulade
Potatoes Sauteed with Onions, Garlic, Paprika and Kalamata Olives
Manitaropita (Mushroom Pie)
Sardines with Tomato and Capers
P.S. There was a beautiful fennel, walnut and pear salad made by my sister, roasted beets with crumbled goat cheese and a cider vinegar dressing and for dessert a yummy rice pudding made by my cousin who actually stenciled the Ouzo 12 logo in cinnamon on top! Unfortunately, we failed to take photos of any of those dishes--although some may surface as friends and family start uploading whatever shots they snapped that night. Oh, and stay tuned for some Ouzo trivia, what we found to be our favorites brands of ouzo, recipes for all the mezedes above, photos and more ...