Category: Greece

Achilles Heel, Greek Legend

Nymph Thetis holding Achilles by the heel , Walker Art Gallery – Liverpool, photo by JMorton

 

Achilles Heel, Greek Legend

I love the look of the statue.  It was one of many beautiful statues on display at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

The statue gives credence to the legend why the Greek hero, Achilles, has a vulnerability, although becoming the greatest warrior of Homer’s Illiad.

Achilles was the son of an immortal nymph, Thetis and a mortal (person) Peleus, the King of Myrmidons.

Apparently it was foretold by the oracle that their son will die very young.

Thetis and Peleus went to great lengths to protect Achilles.

Thetis took the baby Achilles and completely submerged him to the river Styx  except for his heel, which he was being held.  Apparently this ritual would make him invulnerable.

Achilles was valiant as a warrior until he was shot on his heel by Paris during the bloody Trojan War.

Achilles heel had come to mean ‘Point of vulnerability“.

 

 

 

Tzatziki Cucumber Dip

Tzatziki dip, photo by JMorton

Tzatziki Cucumber Dip

Tzatsiki is a very refreshing Greek yogurt dip, which is ideal to go with toasted flatbreads such as naan and pita bread as well as julienne of fresh vegetables.

This cucumber yogurt dip is most beloved in Indian, Greek and Turkish restaurants usually served with breads as you peruse the menu.

This is easy to make at home:

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or according to taste
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a glass bowl, mash the chopped garlic with the salt.
  2. Cut the cucumber lengthwise then scoop out the seedy middle bit, throw away the seeds into the recycling bin.  Then chopped the rest of the cucumber finely.  Wrap the minute pieces of the cucumber in a clean muslin cloth or tea towel and squeeze out most of the juice.
  3. Stir in the cucumber into the bowl of garlic.
  4. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, dill and pepper; ensure to stir thoroughly.
  5. Cover the glass bowl with cling film then store in the fridge for at least a couple for all the tastes to come through,

Enjoy with bread, vegetable and grilled meat.

Greek Salad Recipe

One of the nicest salads you will ever taste is the Greek Salad.

If you happen to go to a Greek taverna, which is luckily popping up left, right and centre outside of Greece, a Greek salad is a must. It is fresh and colourful and most importantly – TASTY.

Of course you do not have to go to a taverna or Greece to get a taste of the salad. You can make it yourself quite easily.

Below is a very straight-forward recipe, which everyone can try and enjoy.

Greek salad

Greek Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 large vine tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, then roughly chopped
  • 1 small head of cos lettuce, chopped roughly
  • ½  red onion, thinly sliced into rings (not shown on the photo above)
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives (more or less, according to your taste)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 85g feta cheese (look for the barrel matured ones, they are the tastiest), cut into chunks
  • 4 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil

Method

Using a lovely large serving bowl, mix together the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion rings, olives and feta cheese.
Season with the oregano.
Drizzle the olive oil and then gently toss the salad.
Serve with some freshly baked crusty bread.  Don’t be shy, use the bread to mop up all the gorgeous juices from the salad.
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