Olive oil is the definitive ingredient of Greek and generally Eastern Mediterranean cooking. Greeks even have an entire category of foods called ladera. What defines ladera is the abundant use of olive oil.
In our Greek Family Kitchen we cook mainly traditional food but we have updated it to serve the ingredients, habits, recommendations and tastes of our times. As a result, we normally use much less olive oil than our ancestors. But we still do use much more of olive oil than other cuisines.
Most Greeks have some sort of access to home-grown and pressed olive oil. Even if you don’t, do yourself a favour and invest in a large tin (5lt or more) of extra virgin olive oil. It’s a much cheaper and high quality way to cook and very convenient.
Ladera, a summertime culinary treat
Especially in the summer, these dishes are an integral part of the seasonal diet.
Despite the presence of olive oil in the recipes, ladera dishes are considered healthy as they include lots of fresh vegetables and hardly any processed ingredients.
What’s more, most of these dishes taste delicious in room temperatures. An added bonus is that ladera seem to taste better with every hour that passes.
As a result they are very convenient, not just for large families but even for busy singles who don’t want to cook every day.
Some ladera dishes are very suitable for freezing as long as they do not contain any potatoes which are just a big no no when it comes to the freezer, at least in our books.
Just set a bit of time aside and give ladera a try!