A few years ago, Matt and I took a trip to Greece. It was filled with natural beauty, history and of course, lots of food and olive oil. We visited Crete and Santorini and then went on to Athens where we spent our last 5 nights. In the middle of our Athens stay, we made the last-minute decision to do an overnight in Istanbul. We took a short flight from Athens early one morning and set off for a “24-hour taste” of Turkey. In the end, what the entire trip did was make us realize going back to Greece (and Turkey) is a must. Of all the places we have been, it is still one of our very favorite trips.
It is hard to beat the azure waters of Aegean Sea, the sun, and the overall beauty of Greece. The stuffed squash blossoms, stuffed grape leaves, lamb, octopus, the tiny Santorini tomatoes and the local Assyrtiko white wine were the icing on cake. Greek and Turkish food is an exotic blend of east and west. If you are at all familiar with O’Live A Little and my past recipes/blog posts, you may recall seeing Middle Eastern info and recipes. As my husband is half Lebanese, I was introduced to this wonderful cuisine thirty-five years ago when we met. So, visiting Greece and Turkey was like coming home. The foods of these countries share many similarities to Lebanese cuisine.
One of the recipes I came home with was Santorini Tomato Patties. I now make them every summer when tomatoes are fresh and delicious. Santorini is known for its little tomatoes that are power packs of flavor. It seems the volcanic terrain and super-hot sun work in tandem to give the tomatoes their specialness. All over the island restaurants include them on their menus. And, although we can’t get Santorini Tomatoes in the USA, this recipe is still delicious when farm fresh tomatoes are used.
These tomato patties can be used as a main course or as an appetizer. They are meatless, so they make a perfect meal for vegetarians. Even for carnivores the patties are substantial enough that meat will not be missed. But, just as a suggestion, they are excellent with lamb. I will make the tomato patties and grill up lamb loin chops to pair with them.
The side dish that is a must with these Santorini tomato patties is Tzaziki Spread. This ultimate Greek condiment is a mixture of yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic. What does Tzaziki go with? Uhh… just about everything. The cool, fresh flavor compliments beef, lamb, chicken, fish, eggs, and most vegetables. It is super easy to make. The only mistake you could encounter is not making enough of it!
Whether you make Santorini Tomato Patties as an appetizer or an entrée, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!