Something magical happens when Greek cuisine is at the heart of a dinner party.

The conversation is loud and lively. Platters are set right on the table, and dishes are doled out casually. A leg of lamb is carved at the head of the table, its faintly pink center fragrant and earthy. Inspired by the flavours of Greece this casual menu brings it home.

Greek cuisine is extremely healthy and is characterized most notably by the generous use of olive oil, featured prominently here, whether emulsified in the salad dressing, drizzled over potatoes or rubbed over the meat. Lamb is another staple of the Greek table especially in the spring, with the country’s climate and terrain favouring the breeding of sheep and goat over cattle. Traditionally, sheep were also responsible for Greece’s famous feta cheese, which is made by skimming milk curds and then packing and curing them in a brine. Greek yogurt, which is the base of the tzatziki, is unlike any other, with its whey having been strained to give it a denser texture. Because it’s strained, it also has a higher protein content — up to 20 grams per cup.

Styling Kari Wardrop. Recipe Beth Jacob. Photography Jerry Grajewski.

Styling Kari Wardrop. Recipe Beth Jacob. Photography Jerry Grajewski.

Here, a Greek lamb gyros with tzatziki and feta salad is accompanied by Potato salad with roasted lemon and garlic, drenched in lemon. Spinach salad is flecked with dill and studded with feta. Thick, garlicky tzatziki is the cool and luscious accompaniment for golden pita made slightly crisp by a quick turn on the grill. The finale comes with Frozen vanilla yogurt and silky fig syrup, with notes of orange and honey, topped with crunchy sugared walnuts.

The flavours of Greece are some of our favourites; try your hand at this delicious meal, whether for dinner or a casual lunch, it will become yours too.

Potato salad with roasted lemon and garlic
Frozen yogurt and sugared walnuts with figs