Octopus Grilled at Mystiko
Octopus Grilled at Mystiko

Octopus Grilled at Mystiko

Octopus is a great favourite in Greek cuisine, and the Greeks are true masters at preparing it on the grill. The Mezze dish of Octopus Grilled shown above was served to me at the Mystiko Greek restaurant in Ottawa’s Centertown district and was the star offering in a really splendid meal.

The menu described the Octopus as being marinated, but I really wasn’t able to taste any particular flavoring beyond the added dressing. Possibly, some lightly acidic marinade without any additions was used to tenderize the flesh of the octopus after simmering it, but I couldn’t t detect that in taste or texture either.


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A ‘True’ Greek Salad
A ‘True’ Greek Salad

I have read, and been told, on many occasions that a ‘true’ Greek Salad never (ever) contains lettuce. I never questioned this assertion before but, when I came to actually reflect upon the notion, it began to strike me as a bit suspect.

Think for a moment… one can probably encounter scores, if not hundreds of different types of salad in Greece so trying to specify the ingredients of a ‘Greek Salad’ is no different than dictating what constitutes an American, or a British Salad.

What most people mean by ‘Greek Salad’ is, I suspect, something that contains (vaguely) Greek ingredients but is only called a ‘Greek Salad’ outside of Greece…


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Lemon Stuffed Olives
Lemon Stuffed Olives

These Lemon-Stuffed Olives were inspired by an appetizer I once had served to me in a Greek restaurant. Like many recipes for lemon stuffed olives, the ones I had on that occasion used the zest for the stuffing and were served in a simple herbed-olive oil. Here, I substitute the flesh of the lemon for the zest, and include a little white wine in the marinade.


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Red Pepper and Feta Meze
Red Pepper and Feta Meze

This Red Pepper and Feta Cheese Appetizer dish is very Mediterranean in spirit. It enhances the sweetness of roasted Red Peppers and the tang of Feta Cheese with a combination of garlic, lemon and green onion. It can be a dip for vegetable sticks, or bread, used as a topping for Crostini, or else served as a small salad at any Meze table.


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Grilled Octopus Greek Style
Grilled Octopus Greek Style

Grilled Octopus Greek Style is a simple dish featuring tentacles that have first been marinated in the Grecian style using olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano. The finished result, served piping hot from the grill, makes for a terrific Meze type appetizer.

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