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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Salud! at Whole Foods - Greek Mezes

You know how I enjoy cooking classes. Himself is a pretty good cook too and enjoys hearing about my classes. So I signed us up for a couple class at Whole Foods.

The class taught the preparation of Greek “mezes” – finger foods. Very similar to Spanish tapas. As you’ve probably figured out by now (since this is my third Greek foods class!) we are very fond of this cuisine.

We did 8 dishes – Manitaria Yemista (Stuffed Mushrooms), Lakerda Politili (Marinated Ahi Tuna with Olive Oil), Favakeftedes Me Kapari Yakhni (Lentil Rissoles with Caper & Tomato Sauce), Eggplant spread, Khaloumi Cheese with Olive Oil, Keftedakia (Small Meatballs), Spanakotiropota (Spinach & Cheese Pie), Loukoumades (Honey Doughnuts).

The recipes were pretty straight-forward, though one gave Himself pause… the marinated tuna was a ceviche (raw ‘cooked’ using the acid of citrus). ‘Cooked’ is a loose term, as it still has the look and texture of raw. I, who likes sashimi, looked forward to trying it. Ahi is one of the raw sushi I like. Himself however, was not so eager. Gotta give him credit though. When it was served up, he ate his portion.

It was on the night of the start of rain that flooded Nashville. There’s usually about 5 ‘helpers’ working with the instructor… that night, only 2 could make it in and one of them left a house that was close to being flooded. He said he’d rather be out having fun than sitting at home being miserable since there was nothing he could do about it. (From the phone pics he showed us and knowing how bad it got, I just know his house was lost.) Because there were fewer assistants, we all pitched in and did the things that needed to be done. It was one of the more fun classes I’ve taken, as everyone was interacting and talking more.

Each couple did a different recipe and we all floated around to take a look at what the others were preparing.

Here are a few photos from the evening and one of the recipes (it’s the one we put together).

Busy in the kitchen.

Khaloumi Cheese with Olive Oil

Me plating the Khaloumi.

Preparing the mushrooms for stuffing.

Ready to go in the oven.

Stuffed Mushrooms.

Eggplant Spread

The Ahi marinating in lemon juice.

The Ahi after it has been flattened.

Sauteing the meatballs.

Himself helping to mash the lentils.

Each person fried some of the doughnuts.

Instructor Merijoy taking one of the spanakotiropota out of the oven.


Doughnuts just starting to cook.

Hot and yummy!

Glazing the doughnuts.


½ pound Khaloumi (or Halloumi) cheese, cut into ½ inch strips long ways

2 Tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (chopped/torn to small fingernail size pieces)

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (preferably Greek – which is stronger in flavor than Italian or Australian), plus more for serving

1 lemon, halved

Pita bread, warmed and sliced into strips.

Arrange pita on serving tray so it’s ready for the cheese.

Brush cheese with olive oil and place onto a medium hot coated sauté pan for 2 minutes on each side OR until lightly browned. (Don’t have too hot or will brown before getting ‘melty’.) Do only about 4-6 strips at a time because it can quickly get away from you.

Transfer hot, browned cheese onto pitas. Sprinkle with oregano, lemon juice and a bit of additional olive oil.

Enjoy while still hot!



  1. I love learning how to cook new things. This was almost like being there. Great pics. Okay, now I'm hungry.

  2. Thanks for the recipe, that sounds sooooo good! Now, I'll have to try to find that cheese. There are no cooking schools anywhere near us, so I'm enjoying your cooking school posts. ~Lili


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