Greek Salad Sandwiches
This is Greek salad perfection: Michael Psilakis tops warm bread with garlicky red-pepper tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt spread) and a piquant combo of cucumbers, olives, peperoncini, tomatoes, radishes, greens and feta. It's stellar with homemade ladopsomo bread and yogurt, but equally good with store-bought.
Grilled Manouri Cheese with Caramelized Plums
Michael Psilakis likes to riff on saganaki—fried cheese with lemon. He uses manouri, a fresh, milky white cheese made from the whey that’s drained off during feta production. Like nearly all Greek cheeses, it’s produced from either sheep’s or goat’s milk.
Roasted Sea Bass with Summer Squash
"We had a boat when I was a kid, so fishing was a part of my youth," Michael Psilakis says. Here, he mixes ladolemono (lemon juice and olive oil) with mustard and yogurt to create a tangy, creamy sauce for succulent roasted fish and vegetables.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Salad
Michael Psilakis describes this delicious dish as ’like pork souvlaki tossed with a salad.’
Orange Spoon Fruit with Feta and Spiced Almonds
"I have such an emotional connection to spoon fruit," says Michael Psilakis of the marmalade-like confection. Greeks might eat a spoonful of the sweet with an ice-water chaser as a midday pick-me-up or dessert; Psilakis likes spreading it on slabs of brioche toast and topping it with feta and almonds for breakfast or a snack.
Spiced Crab Tacos
Chef Michael Psilakis’s bright, fresh crab tacos incorporate traditional Latin ingredients and a hit of Asian chile sauce. Cooked shrimp would be great here as well.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Ladolemono
Michael Psilakis dresses these luscious lamb chops with ladolemono, a supersimple Greek sauce of lemon juice and olive oil. The sauce is often spooned over fish, but it’s delicious on meat and vegetables, too. "This is real Greek cooking," he says.
Fragrant Gigante Beans with Garlic Confit and Mussels
Mussels are lean, but the huge hunks of bread and french fries they're usually served with are very caloric. Chef Michael Psilakis of New York City’s Kefi and Fish Tank cleverly serves his mussels with fiber-rich beans instead to sop up the delicious juices.
Grilled Watermelon with Yogurt
This is Michael Psilakis’s modern take on the traditional Greek combination of watermelon and feta cheese. It features the creamy yogurt he grew up eating in New York’s Long Island: "My mom made it at home all the time, and we’d snack on it with honey after school."
Chopped Greek Salad
Michael Psilakis feels strongly about using dried Greek oregano to make this vinegary, feta-packed salad. Greek oregano, he claims, has a lovely floral fragrance that ordinary dried oregano doesn’t. Look for it at specialty food markets.
Greek Grilled Scallop Sandwiches
Michael Psilakis uses a grilled, sliced scallop as the "bread" in his playful version of a finger sandwich, filled with plums, prosciutto and pea tendrils and topped with Greek yogurt. He says, "It's English high tea meets crazy Greek chef."
Homemade Greek Yogurt
Homemade yogurt requires surprisingly little prep and keeps in the fridge for a month.
Greek-Style Vegetable Risotto
This is a play on a Greek dish called spanakorizo that’s popular during Lent because it’s made without egg, cheese or meat. Psilakis updates it with zucchini, arugula and peas. To make the dish richer (if less Lent-appropriate), he recommends topping the risotto with sharp goat cheese or grated Parmesan.
Spaghetti with Cauliflower
For Michael Psilakis, macaronia ("pasta") has always meant chicken stewed with spaghetti, tomatoes, cinnamon, raisins and pine nuts. Those are the dominant ingredients here, except he’s substituted chicken with cauliflower.
Chicken with Zucchini Salad
This simple dish uses lemony vinaigrette in two smart ways: as a quick marinade for chicken and as a dressing for crispy slices of zucchini and squash.