Here’s out ultimate list of our 19 favorite Greek cookbooks available on the market in English today. Why nineteen? Just because “Top 10” and “Top 20” are so ordinary that we wanted to be different. These selected books are a compilation of old classics and newly published books– even one soon-to-be-published, each with its own personality and eclectic selection of recipes, tips and other food-related fun. The list appears in no particular order. Enjoy and Kali Orexi!
(1) Three Sisters Around the Greek Table: A Cookbook by the Three Greek Sisters
This award-winning cookbook, celebrates both food and family. Written by three Greek-Canadian sisters, this cookbook shares the secrets to eating better with today’s busy families. The ingredients are simple, rustic and true to the Mediterranean diet. There are 105 recipes and 112 stunning food photographs that will inspire the chef at home. The pages are filled with tips, variations, and make-ahead suggestions. There are even 12 complete menu ideas to help one put together a meal from start to finish. Heart-warming tales of how the recipes came to be staple dishes in the three sisters’ homes are also shared throughout. The anecdotes are enhanced by a storybook of black and white photography. The stories remind us that eating is more than just a means for survival; it is a chance to pause with family and friends and connect with loved ones. Three Sisters Around the Greek Table is a reflection of Greek cooking and of living Greek. This book sets itself apart with its beauty, simplicity and thoroughness. More than a cookbook, it is a work of art, making it a must-have cookbook for the coffee-table and the kitchen. Buy this book!
(2) Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors by Eric Cosselmon
Traditional family recipes and the ancient Greek custom of welcoming the stranger as a friend known in Greece as philoxenia have inspired the uniquely welcoming ambience of Kokkari restaurant in San Francisco. A whole spring lamb spit-roasting over an open fire greets diners, and the menu offers familiar dishes like dolmades, avgolemono soup, and lamb moussaka along with more unusual Greek dishes such as deep fried smelt, watermelon and feta salad, and grilled octopus. Through its use of fresh seasonal ingredients, Kokkari brings a refined, cosmopolitan sensibility to a beloved Mediterranean culinary tradition. Its owners and chefs are proud to have ushered in a new era of appreciation for vibrant Greek flavors. Now they invite you to try some of their favorite dishes at home, and wish you a Greek bon appetit: kali orexi! Buy this book!
(3) It’s All Greek to Me: Transform Your Health the Mediterranean Way with My Family’s Century-Old Recipes by Debbie Matenopoulos
Debbie Matenopoulos, the first member of her family born in America, grew up in a traditional Greek household, eating delicious, authentic Greek cooking that her family had passed down for generations. By the time Debbie had started her television career in New York on The View, she began eating a standard American diet. But despite carefully limiting how much she ate, she found herself gaining weight and lacking energy. As Debbie’s career as an entertainment news reporter and television host on BS, MTV, E!, and other networks had her constantly on the go, she was grabbing whatever food was readily available. It was only when she returned to her traditional Greek diet that she found herself easily—and healthily—realizing her natural weight and regaining her natural energy, stamina, and physique. Now, in It’s All Greek to Me, Debbie shares 120 of her family’s traditional Greek recipes and adds her own touch to make them even healthier and easier to prepare. After tasting Debbie’s dishes, such as her mouthwatering version of Spanakopita (Spinach Feta Pie), Kalamaria Kaftera (Spicy Calamari), her family’s secret recipe for Baklava, and, of course, Arni kai Patates (Classic Roasted Leg of Lamb with Potatoes)—you’ll be amazed these delicious foods are good for you. With a foreword by Dr. Michael Ozner, one of the nation’s leading cardiologists, the recipes in It’s All Greek to Me adhere to the healthiest diet on the planet: the traditional Mediterranean Diet. Modern science is catching up to what Greeks have known for millennia: health comes from eating natural, whole-food ingredients that haven’t been processed or pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives. Let It’s All Greek to Me bring your friends and family together to share in the experience of a Greek meal and way of life. Opa! Buy this book!
(4) The Complete Book of Greek Cooking: The Recipe Club of St. Paul’s Orthodox Cathedral by the St. Paul’s Cathedral Recipe Club
Over fifty years ago, a group of dedicated women decided to write a Greek cookbook in English, something not available at the time. Due to their determination, their efforts proved to be a success, producing four books! All the earnings from every book have been donated to St. Paul, which is quite a lot of money. What started out as a way was to contribute to the “burn the mortgage drive”, has now been used to pay for many worthy projects in the cathedral, including two chandeliers , two large mosaics, the wonderful organ, the downstairs kitchen, and liturgy books in the cathedral for the members. Another major project was having the name of our cathedral situated in front of our church along with suitable landscaping. The Recipe Club also paid for the front walkway, as well as donating to the Restoration Fund. They actively support the idea of an elevator installation in the community.
Their organizational name, “Recipe Club” is a misnomer, since it was never a club , but rather a chartered group of 17 dedicated women who tested and wrote their recipes to preserve our treasured foods. Throughout the years, all the expenses incurred to test and promote their books have been absorbed by the women themselves. Their first book called “The Grecian Gourmet” was self published, and because of the raves of the NY Times food critic, it became an instant bestseller around the country. As a result, the publishers of Doubleday approached the group, and they published “The Art Of Greek Cookery”. Based on that success, they wrote a follow up book called “The Regional Cuisines Of Greece”. Since food techniques and the Greek cuisine became increasingly popular, the women decided to retest and rewrite their best recipes, which produced their current bestseller “The Complete Book of Greek Cooking” published by Harper Collins. These recipes emphasize freezing and simpler baking techniques. This last book is available in the Cathedral office, online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and bookstores around the country.
It is important to note that all the monies earned from the books have been given to St. Paul. This small group of dedicated women has devoted years (since 1958) to promoting and preserving our culinary history. They have authored and published four books on Greek cooking. All of the monies from the books have been donated back to The Cathedral of St Paul. Buy this book!
(5) How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking by Michael Psilakis
A rising star in the food world, Michael Psilakis is co-owner of a growing empire of modern Mediterranean restaurants, and one of the most exciting young chefs in America today. In How to Roast a Lamb, the self-taught chef offers recipes from his restaurants and his home in this, his much-anticipated first cookbook. Ten chapters provide colorful and heartfelt personal essays that lead into thematically related recipes. Gorgeous color photography accompanies many of the recipes throughout. Psilakis’s cooking utilizes the fresh, naturally healthful ingredients of the Mediterranean augmented by techniques that define New American cuisine. Home cooks who have gravitated toward Italian cookbooks for the simple, user-friendly dishes, satisfying flavors, and comfortable, family-oriented meals, will welcome Psilakis’s approach to Greek food, which is similarly healthful, affordable, and satisfying to share any night of the week. Buy this book!
(6) Greek Revival: Cooking for Life by Patricia Moore-Pastides
Take eighty-seven ambrosial recipes designed for the needs and appetites of everyday cooks, leaven with delectable anecdotes about the Greek lifestyle, then pepper with revealing scientific insight, and the result is Greek Revival: Cooking for Life–an appetizing introduction to wonderful flavors and health benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet. Patricia Moore-Pastides, an accomplished cook and public-health professional, presents dozens of easy-to-make and impossible-to-resist recipes that infuse a healthful diet with the enticement of great taste. Greek Revival showcases a pantheon of healthy recipes, accompanied by beautiful color illustrations, helpful preparation techniques, and tips for making the most of familiar ingredients, from colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, to whole grains, beans, and seafood. These natural flavors are enhanced by rich extra-virgin olive oil, so the delectable dishes are savored without guilt. Following Greek tradition, meat is not eliminated from the diet, but rather saved for special occasion, and you will find a variety of succulent and creative meat recipes in Greek Revival as well. Always mindful of time, health, and budget, the author makes wonderful use of natural, minimally processed ingredients readily found in most neighborhood supermarkets. Recipes include dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with cracked wheat and pine nuts), imam baildi (caramelized eggplant), gemista (vegetables stuffed with barley and mint), xifias souvlaki (herbed swordfish kebabs), tavas (oven-roasted onion, tomato and lamb stew), karidopita (spiced walnut cake), and many more. Throughout the book Moore-Pastides shares lively stories of her days living in Greece and Cyprus that exemplify the enduring charm of an Old World lifestyle. Through her tales we see a snapshot of a world lost to fast-paced modern living, and we are introduced to the health benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Her observations are supported with illuminating summaries of current scientific research. Health-conscious readers looking to improve their diets and protect themselves from the perils of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease will find hope in the author’s research, presented in a way that is accessible and inspiring. Buy this book!
(7) Vefa’s Kitchen by Vefa Alexiadou
Vefa’s Kitchen is the first truly comprehensive bible of Greek food in English. Rapidly increasing in popularity, Greek food is simple to prepare, healthy and delicious, and, more than most other cuisines, bears all the hallmarks of the rich cultural history of the land and sea from which it is drawn. It is the original Mediterranean cuisine, where olive oil, bread, wine, figs, grapes and cheese have been staples since the beginnings of Western civilization. With hundreds of simple recipes by Vefa Alexiadou, the authoritative grand dame of Greek cookery, the book also includes information on regional specialities, local ingredients and the religious and historical significance of the dishes, and is illustrated with 230 color photographs. Vefa’s Kitchen is the definitive work on the rich and fascinating cooking of modern Greece. Buy this book!
(8) Greek Cuisine by Vefa Alexiadou
This collection of wonderful Greek specialities has served to revitalize the interest of a whole new generation of cooks in traditional Greek cuisine. Vefa Alexiadou invites readers and cooks to her table, which is laden with the tasty dishes of porridge, vegetables, fish, traditional cheeses, and olive oil, key ingredients in the nutritious diet of the Eastern Mediterranean. These 300 authentic “life-tested” recipes have been adjusted to modern tastes without sacrificing traditional textures and flavors. Buy this book
Stretching from the shores of Turkey to the Ionian Sea east of Italy, the Greek islands have been the crossroads of the Mediterranean since the time of Homer. Over the centuries, Phoenicians, Athenians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottoman Turks, and Italians have ruled the islands, putting their distinctive stamp on the food. Aglaia Kremezi, a frequent contributor to GOURMET and an international authority on Greek food, spent the past eight years collecting the fresh, uncomplicated recipes of the local women, as well as of fishermen, bakers, and farmers. Like all Mediterranean food, these dishes are light and healthful, simple but never plain, and make extensive use of seasonal produce, fresh herbs, and fish. Passed from generation to generation by word of mouth, most have never before been written down. All translate easily to the American home kitchen: Tomato Patties from Santorini; Spaghetti with Lobster from Kithira; Braised Lamb with Artichokes from Chios; Greens and Potato Stew from Crete; Spinach, Leek, and Fennel Pie from Skopelos; Rolled Baklava from Kos. Illustrated throughout with color photographs of the islanders preparing their specialties and filled with stories of island history and customs, THE FOODS OF THE GREEK ISLANDS is for all cooks and travelers who want to experience this diverse and deeply rooted cuisine firsthand. Buy this book!
(10) The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook by Peter Minaki
People who live in the Mediterranean region enjoy one of the healthiest diets in the world–they have the lowest rates of chronic diseases and one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Thanks to a local diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and of course, olive oil, a healthy lifestyle is a staple of the Mediterranean culture. Open The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook, 2nd Edition to find 300 of the most sumptuous–and healthy–recipes that the Mediterranean has to offer, including: Breakfast baklava french toast, Fried calamari, Roasted beets with almond-potato skordalia, Greek summer sangria and Lemon meringue phyllo tarts. Just because you don’t live in the Mediterranean doesn’t mean you can’t eat like you do! With this easy-to-use cookbook, you have everything you need to enjoy the lush, vibrant foods of the Mediterranean–all at home!
Peter Minaki is the founder of the Kalofagas food blog, which focuses on Greek and Mediterranean foods. Kalofagas is Greek for “gourmet” and the blog began as a means to introduce the depths of Greek cuisine. Known for adding twists to his recipes, Peter balances his posts between traditional, reworked, and his own recipes by gathering inspiration from his yearly trips to Greece. He endlessly promotes the diversity of Greek cuisine, all while maintaining a significant interest in various other foods and cultures. Always curious, he refers to himself as “a tourist in my own town” and welcomes every opportunity to try new foods. Peter is a frequent contributor to Greece’s Free Press gastronomy website and his recipes have been featured in Canadian Living Magazine. Buy this book!
(11) Greek Cookery: From the Hellenic Heart by George Calombaris
A unique and beautifully photographed book with delicious recipes for eating at home with family or entertaining with friends. The author, one of the most famous celebrity chefs and restaurant owners in Australia, shares family, food and culture from the Greek tavern where food, family and friends unite. The Greek taverna is a place for quiet reflection and spirited discussion; a place for love or war; a place to feed the belly and the spirit. The taverna is the kitchen table of the village or the street – a place for family and friends to gather, a watering hole, debating hall, gambling den and cafe rolled into one. George Calombaris’ Hellenic Republic restaurant captures that mood and combines it with a menu that champions the full breadth and myriad influences on peasant cuisine across the islands, territories and regions we call Greece. Here you’ll find the fingerprints of Phoenicians, Florentines, Cypriots, Macedonians, Byzantines, Cretans, and Spartans. From breakfast rich in yoghurt and Cypriot sausage, move on to plates of Tzatziki and peppered figs. Taste the slow-cooked pork, moussaka and wash down the saganaki with crisp white wine. From Cypriot pies, meat balls and hummus to the tender Afelia that is braised pork and coriander and the fabulous Kolokassi with pork and taro. Buy the book!
(12) Three Sisters Back to the Beginning: Timeless Greek Recipes Made Simple by the Three Greek Sisters
Three Sisters Back to the Beginning is the much-anticipated sequel to Three Sisters Around the Greek Table. It is sleek and elegant and reads like a gift. In the hands of the sisters, the classic Mediterranean kitchen of Greece becomes exciting and achievable. Fast and easy family favourites such as Shrimp Saganaki are balanced with recipes that slow you down, and make you wait with anticipation like Homemade Yogurt and succulent Lamb Shanks. As with their first book, the layout is clean, the recipes are approachable and the food photography is beautiful. Once again the sisters have dished up a poignant and inspiring cookbook. This time around, readers are taken on a nostalgic journey that documents the magic of childhood and the connection between family, place, and identity. Three Sisters Back to the Beginning is both a cookbook and an inspiring art book to be cherished. Buy the book!
(13) The Olive and the Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking by Susanna Hoffman
It was 2004 when this book was first released— the year “It’s Greek to me” became the happy answer to what’s for dinner. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the epic Troy, the 2004 Summer Olympics returning to Athens–and now, yet another reason to embrace all things Greek: The Olive and the Caper, Susanna Hoffman’s 700-plus-page serendipity of recipes and adventure. In Corfu, Ms. Hoffman and a taverna owner cook shrimp fresh from the trap–and for us she offers the boldly-flavored Shrimp with Fennel, Green Olives, Red Onion, and White Wine. She gathers wild greens and herbs with neighbors, inspiring Big Beans with Thyme and Parsley, and Field Greens and Ouzo Pie. She learns the secret to chewy country bread from the baker on Santorini and translates it for American kitchens. Including 325 recipes developed in collaboration with Victoria Wise (her co-author on The Well-Filled Tortilla Cookbook, with over 258,000 copies in print), The Olive and the Caper celebrates all things Greek: Chicken Neo-Avgolemeno. Fall-off-the-bone Lamb Shanks seasoned with garlic, thyme, cinnamon and coriander. Siren-like sweets, from world-renowned Baklava to uniquely Greek preserves: Rose Petal, Cherry and Grappa, Apricot and Metaxa. In addition, it opens with a sixteen-page full-color section and has dozens of lively essays throughout the book–about the origins of Greek food, about village life, history, language, customs–making this a lively adventure in reading as well as cooking. Buy the book!
(14) Meals and Recipes from Ancient Greece by Eugenia Ricotti
Ancient Greek literature contains a wealth of culinary information on everything from etiquette to menu planning. Fifty-six delicious–and preparable!–recipes, gleaned from ancient sources and updated with ingredients available to the contemporary American cook, are compiled in this book. Readers will also learn about the role of food in ancient Greek culture–from simple family menus to lavish wedding feasts–beginning with the age of Homer and culminating with the ostentatious banquets of the Hellenistic era. Drawing from Athenaeus’s The Deipnosophists, the most important source on ancient Greek food and cooking, as well as from comic writers, the author brings to life the delights of the food and wine and conviviality that were an important aspect of meals in ancient Greece. Buy the book.
(15) Feasting & Fasting in Crete: Delicious Mediterranean Recipes by Diana Farr Louis
This volume is more than a cookbook. It is a portrait of the island of Crete through the anecdotes, stories and traditions which are presented via the 140 delicious local recipes. This rare and hard to find book has become a coffee table favorite with folklore, food and local festivities, all documented through food. Diana Farr Louis was brought up in the Big Apple but has lived in the Big Olive (Athens, Greece) far longer. After Harvard, she went to Greece, where she lost her heart to the people and the landscape. She learned to eat and cook at Cordon Bleu, earning her first $15 writing fee for a piece for the International Herald Tribune. Ever since, travel and food have preoccupied her. She moved to Greece permanently in 1972 and has contributed to every English-language publication in Athens, particularly the Athens News. Buy the book!
(16) Food from Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros
No one captures the spirit and soul of a place quite like Tessa Kiros, the best-selling author of Falling Cloudberries and Apples for Jam. Who better than Tessa to take readers on a colorful and magical journey into the kitchens of her friends and family in Greece. Food, culture, celebration, and memory are inexorably tied together inside Tessa Kiros’s Food from Many Greek Kitchens. As the follow-up to her best-selling Venezia and Falling Cloudberries, Food from Many Greek Kitchens explores Kiros’s Greek-Cypriot heritage and takes readers on a colorful journey into the Greek kitchens of her friends and family as she catalogs the traditional foods for fasting, festivals, and feast days. Recipes like Vassilopita New Year Wish Cake, Lamb in a Flowerpot with Dill and Red Wine, Gamopilafo Wedding Rice, and Easter Soup are accompanied by short introductions that explain each dish’s cultural significance. In addition, lavish full-color photographs take readers on a tour from the local Mediterranean fishmongers and markets into Greek family homes and kitchens to experience the best in authentic Greek cooking. With a glossary and more than 200 classically prepared Greek recipes, Food from Many Greek Kitchens adds a greater depth of flavor to each dish through Kiros’s warm anecdotal writing. Buy the book!
(17) Prospero’s Kitchen: Island Cooking of Greece by Diana Farr Louis and June Marinos
Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, and the other Ionian islands are home to one of the finest cuisines of the Mediterranean. The stomping ground of Captain Corelli and Lawrence Durrell, the Ionians have always held a particular, almost mystical, fascination for visitors, and, for many of the thousands who travel to the region each year, it is the special nature of Ionian cooking that forms an essential and unforgettable part of their experience. Together, the recipes in this book provide a unique and tantalizing taste of the variety of Ionian cuisine—from starters and snacks including the ever-popular meat and vegetable pies (pittes) and stuffed artichokes; to main courses such as Kythera-style fish and a unique chicken recipe from the village of Agalá in Zakynthos; and to desserts and sweets including Ithacan chocolate cake and Corfiot sweet potatoes. Buy the book!
(18) Around a Greek Table: Recipes & Stories Arranged According to the Liturgical Seasons of the Eastern Church by Katerina Katsarka Whitley
Around a Greek Table explores the intricacies of Greek cooking and makes these once-mysterious recipes both understandable and possible, and organizes 100 unique recipes around the Eastern Church’s yearly seasons. The book also delves deep into tales of Greek life with intimate and historical essays exploring the ancient stories that are told around Greek tables in the honored tradition of combining myths with food. Buy the book!
(19) The Greek Diet by Maria Loi and Sarah Toland
Science and sensuality meet in The Greek Diet, your guide to losing weight while looking and eating like a deity, from the “Martha Stewart of Greece,” world-famous chef Maria Loi, and health journalist and former Olympic athlete Sarah Toland. This book isn’t even published yet but we know we’re going to love it! Grounded in the Mediterranean lifestyle and developed by world-renowned Greek chef Maria Loi, The Greek Diet combines classic Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil, yogurt, and honey in delicious, healthy recipes that satisfy the soul and the palette. New research shows that the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest food plan in the world, and is especially noted for its positive effects on heart health. With The Greek Diet, you eat to enjoy yourself, just like the ancient Greek gods. There is no starving, no long, grueling hours at the gym, and no restrictive plans eliminating carbs, dairy, caffeine, or alcohol. Structured around the 12 food pillars of the traditional Greek diet, The Greek Diet includes 100 healthy, authentic, sensual Greek recipes that use delicious unprocessed ingredients, as well as tips for incorporating easy exercises and improved sleep—both metabolism boosters—into your Greek lifestyle. Sprinkled throughout the book are charming and insightful anecdotes from the authors that add flavor and fun. There are also several different meal plans to personalize your journey and help you lose the weight you need while enjoying the foods you love, including a kick-start plan to shed pounds quickly and safely and jumpstart your journey to a slimmer, healthier, happier you. Pre-order the book!