Greek quesadillas with tsatziki

Greek quesadillas with tsatziki from Scrummy Lane

One of the things I have enjoyed the most about living in Greece is sitting on my balcony.

Granted, it’s a lovely large-ish balcony with a nice wooden table and chairs, a few plastic plants that I picked up from a certain Swedish furniture store and various lanterns and candle-holders. It also has a thriving oregano plant and a not-so-thriving basil plant that gets me into trouble with Mr. Scrummy when I rip off one of the four big leaves that it only seems to have at any one time for my latest pizza creation.

These things are all very lovely indeed (especially those plastic plants, as you can well imagine), but maybe I can explain what it really is that I love about this balcony of mine. You see, I’m sitting here this very moment at 7am (crazy 7am blogger that I am), cup of tea in hand, and it’s perfectly quiet apart from the sing-song of the birds. There’s the promise of a beautiful day as the sky is blue and it’s already warm. Later on, I’ll probably come here again with lunch for Mr. Scrummy and I. This time, there will be a little more noise on the street, but our sunglasses will be on as we soak up those wonderful Mediterranean rays. Still later, we’ll step out onto said balcony once more to watch the sun go down over the city and the mountains in fiery shades of orange, pink and purple.

the view from my Athens Greece apartment!

Yes, this is really one of the sunsets I’ve enjoyed from my apartment in Athens, Greece!

Now before you start thinking I have a smug blogger perfect lifestyle, then let me just enlighten you about the fact that the balcony is quite possibly the only place at the moment where I can be without getting lost in a sea of packing boxes. Yup, we are moving. We are moving from Greece back to the UK, in fact, in a short couple of weeks. And I’d better not get started on all the Greek bureaucracy I’m having to wade through in order to do that (tempting though it is).

So despite not being sorry to escape certain elements of being here, I will miss Greece on the whole. It’ll be goodbye balcony with the lovely view and stunning sunsets, goodbye sunshiny-weather-nearly-every-day, and goodbye Greek salads with the beautifully red and juicy tomatoes; the ones that leave a gorgeous pool of juice in the bottom of the bowl to mingle with the olive oil and be mopped up with crusty, freshly-baked bread.

Greek salad

I’m sorry. I know you now want to jump up immediately, dash down to the shops in search of some juicy tomatoes and make yourself one of these pretty unbeatable, in my humble opinion, salads. And perhaps even move to Greece.

Well, go on then, but before you do, just humour me by staying around for a tiny while longer to hear all about these Greek quesadillas. Basically, a very un-Greek Greek little snack that I decided to make for one of those between-packing-and-running-around-doing-jobs balcony lunches that I’ve got used to over the past week or so since I finished work.

Greek quesadillas with tsatziki from Scrummy Lane

Now quesadillas you probably all know and love, but have you ever tried a Greek ‘spanakopita’ or spinach pie, often made with filo pastry? A freshly baked one from a local bakery around these parts is hard to beat as a late breakfast or mid-morning snack, or snack anytime to be honest. The only ‘problem’ (depending on how you look at it) is that they do tend to be fairly oily so you don’t want to be eating them all that often.

So enter these little Greek quesadillas which cut out the oil but still deliver those perfectly-paired classic Greek flavours of spinach, feta and dill … right into your mouth! I added a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes to mine for a little extra tang. And of course they are super easy to make …

Making Greek Quesadillas

Making Greek Quesadillas

Making Greek Quesadillas

Making Greek Quesadillas

Instead of serving with a salsa, I decided to whip up a quick and easy traditional tsatziki sauce of yoghurt, garlic, cucumber, lemon juice and dill, with a drizzle of olive oil added at the end.

tsatziki from Scrummy Lane

This was simply lunch perfection.

Greek quesadillas with tsatziki from Scrummy Lane

Greek quesadillas with tsatziki from Scrummy Lane

So now you know how much I’m going to miss my balcony. But I’m sure there will be many of these types of small things that bring pleasure to a typical day waiting for us over in the UK as well. Things which are different but for which I’ll be no less grateful.  Like old pubs and roaring fires in the winter. Maybe a tiny garden for the summer. We’ll see.

What about you? What would you miss the most life-style-wise about the place where you live? And have you ever tried any Greek food? What did you think?

Greek quesadillas with tsatziki

Yield: Serves 2

Greek quesadillas with tsatziki

Have you ever tried Greek 'spanakopita' or spinach and feta cheese pie? If you have, you'll know how delicious it is. Try this lighter Greek-Mex version, served with a traditional side of fresh and tangy tsatziki sauce.

Ingredients

    For the quesadillas
  • 7 ounces/200 grams fresh spinach
  • 2 scallions/spring onions, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 2.5 ounces/70 grams feta cheese
  • 3 or 4 chopped sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 4 flour tortillas (I used 20cm-diameter ones)
  • salt and pepper for seasoning and a little olive oil for cooking
  • For the tsatziki sauce
  • 1 cup/285 grams Greek yoghurt (don’t use ordinary yoghurt – it’s too thin)
  • ½ a small clove of garlic, chopped finely or minced
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced finely
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • a couple of squeezes lemon juice
  • black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil

Instructions

  1. Wash the spinach, then wilt it down in a pan (or even in the microwave) for a few minutes. Afterwards, squeeze out as much of the water as you can by pressing it down into a colander or even squeezing it with your hands. Put it into a large bowl.
  2. Add the chopped scallions/spring onions, dill and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) to the bowl. Then crumble in the feta. Give it all a good mix together and put aside while you make the tsatziki.
  3. For the tsatziki, put the yoghurt into another smaller bowl or dish and add the garlic, cucumber, dill and lemon juice. Mix it all together well.
  4. Grind some black pepper onto the top and drizzle over a little olive oil. Done!
  5. Now heat up a skillet/frying pan. Spread half of your spinach mixture over two of the tortillas and top with the other two. Press down a little then place one of the rounds into the pan. (the pan can be dry or you can add a drizzle of olive oil to help the tortillas to crisp up. I added a tiny bit of oil. But be careful the tortillas don’t burn!) When it’s nice and browned and crispy, carefully turn it over and let the other side cook for a minute or two. Repeat with the second round.
  6. Slice each round into six quesadillas and serve with the tsatziki sauce immediately.

Notes

Inspired by a recipe for spinach and feta quesadillas with tomato salsa from UK Olive magazine (March 2014 edition).

If you were going to be really ‘proper’ about the tsatziki, after deseeding the cucumber you would sprinkle a little salt over it to draw out any excess water, leave it for a while, then dry it with paper towels. I didn’t actually do either of these things, but if you do you’ll end up with a thicker and I suppose more authentic tsatziki. :-)

Any leftover tsatziki will keep in the fridge covered for a few days. Eat it with salads, as a dip or drizzled over grilled meat or roasted vegetables. This is actually a very versatile dip/sauce indeed!

http://scrummylane.com/greek-quesadillas-tsatziki/

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh how I would love to join you on your balcony in Athens! My dream is to go to Greece, more than anywhere else in Europe. If I ever go, I might have to invite myself over. Will you make me these yummy quesadillas?

    • says

      Nathalie, I would make you anything you like! :-) Unfortunately though we probably won’t be here as we’re moving back to the UK in 2 weeks. But you can come to visit there instead! :-)

  2. says

    Lucky! I’ve always wanted to visit Greece & the UK and you get to LIVE in both of those places. The sunset is stunning!

    The quesadilla looks so tasty and so does the tzatziki sauce.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Pam! Both Greece and the UK have many things going for them, but I’m sure I’d be envious of things in the place you live, too! ;-)
      So pleased you like the quesadillas and sauce!

  3. says

    Such a lovely view. I would miss that too. One of my favorite things to do is sit on my deck, look out through the forest and see the mountains. Like your view, I think it is peaceful :D
    So, I just happen to have made some Tzatziki that I’ve been trying to figure out how to use up. These quesadillas would be perfect :D
    Good luck on your move!

    • says

      That’s fantastic that you have some leftover tsatziki, Cindy! I really hope you do give these a go. It sounds like you have a beautiful view as well. That must be amazing to be able to see the forest and mountains. :-)

  4. says

    HI Helen, Your balcony life sounds dreamy. In the winter here in Arizona our patio is our “balcony”. It must be a little tuff to give up but sounds like you have a new adventure coming your way. Love how you stuffed the quesadillas with greens. Looks amazing!

    • says

      I am consoling my balcony-losing self with the ‘new adventures’ mantra, Cheri. Really looking forward to going back to my own country, Cheri, but the good weather is definitely one thing I’ll miss. So glad you like the quesadillas!

  5. says

    Moving in a couple of weeks and you’re already in a sea of boxes? I really feel for you :( (and then you will for me when its my turn). Your quesadillas look heavenly. I especially like seeing them open with the filling because they look even more wholesome and enticing. Hugs!

    • says

      Thank you for the ‘good moving wishes’, Sofia! Are you moving soon, too?
      I like the photos showing the open tortillas, too. :-)

    • says

      Well, I’ve been here in Greece for years, Melanie, and have only made tsatziki a couple of times, so this was almost like the first time for me as well. It’s incredibly easy, though – definitely give it a go!

  6. says

    That view is AMAZING! What a wonderful experience (well, the living there part, not the moving back home). How long were you in Greece for? I’ve visited 2 times and loved it!
    I’m obsessed with these Greek style quesadillas!

    • says

      Tina, I’ve actually been here for YEARS (and years … over 10!) … it has been a great experience, but I admit that I’m ready to go back home now. So glad I impressed you with the quesadillas! :-)

    • says

      Aw, thank you for saying these lovely things, Mary Frances! I thought it was about time I posted another ‘Greek’ recipe and I guess I liked how easy this one was. Hope you give it a go some time! :-)

  7. says

    Wow, these look amazing Helen! I love the fusions of flavours and it’s so cool seeing a Greek quesadilla recipe- really unique! And I absolutely love tsatziki- my favourite! Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great weekend! :)

    • says

      Thanks so much, Jessica. I really enjoyed making (and eating!) these. I guess it’s my first ‘fusion’ recipe … haha! Hope you have a great weekend, too! :-)

  8. says

    This is such an amazing idea!!! I love it! I love Greek food. I love Mexican food. Greek-Mex makes PERFECT sense! And good luck with the moving… I feel your pain. We have boxes ALL over the house! Moving is no fun!

    • says

      So glad you approve of the Greek-Mex thing, Chris. It’s fun, isn’t it? The worst thing about moving from here is the BUREAUCRACY, as I said in the post. Unbelievable!

    • says

      It’s a pretty cool sunset, isn’t it? The winter ones are actually the best. So glad you like the quesadillas!

    • says

      Ahhh … yes, thanks for the reminder about gozlemes! That’s something else that I’d love to try making. I had one in the market in Melbourne and loved it!

  9. says

    What a terrific idea for quesadillas! I’ll definitely make these for a light dinner this summer…they look scrumptious. Good luck with your move, Helen!!

  10. says

    Oooh these look fabulous! Love all of the spinach packed in there, and it’s such a clever idea combining Greek flavors in a traditionally un-Greek cooking method. Best of luck with your move, Helen!

  11. says

    First, these quesadillas look absolutely amazing. I love all the flavors in here – and it would be such a great weeknight meal too! I love getting up early and sitting quietly with coffee before anyone else gets up – it’s such a great time of day!

    • says

      I guess this would be an easy week-night meal – my favourite! I’ve been up earlier lately because I have so much on my mind, and I have to admit I appreciate that early quietness. It feels like you get a couple of extra sneaky hours while everyone else is still sleeping! :-)

  12. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a quesadilla with feta – let alone tsatziki sauce – what a genius idea!
    When I left Abu Dhabi as a teen – i so missed the safety there – my friends and I (in our teens at that time) didn’t think twice about walking home from the library at 10pm or going for a run by ourselves at 4aa…safe travels back to UK!

    • says

      So glad you like the quesadillas, Shashi. They work really well with the feta. That’s something I love about Greece, too. I have actually walked home many times in the early hours of the morning without needing to worry. It’s a precious thing to feel safe, isn’t it? :-)

    • says

      So glad you like this, Mariana, and thanks so much for pinning! The best thing about it is that it’s so easy!

    • says

      Hello, Ella! Thanks so much for paying me a visit! And so glad you like these quesadillas, too. They seem to have been a bit of a surprise hit!

  13. says

    I’d love to borrow that balcony :)
    I lol’d about your basil plant… I just bought one today, fully knowing it will be a bare wreck in 2 days. I think everyone should own two pots of basil – one to be pretty, one to rip all the leaves from!!

    Best of luck with your move, hope it goes quickly and smoothly.

    • says

      Hey, great plan to buy two plants each time. I love basil but I don’t think I’ve made a plant last more than a week or so, either.
      Thanks for the good wishes. Things are so crazy right now, but it’s just a few more days!

    • says

      Hello Natalia! Thanks so much for passing by – your blog name sounds intriguing so I’ll definitely be paying you a visit, too! We Greece-loving-bloggers need to stick together!
      Please do let me know what you think of this. It was a busy week throw-together really, but I did enjoy it.

Trackbacks

  1. […] world from the comfort of home? Go Greek with this fast “spanakopita,” which has spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta sandwiched between tortillas, instead of the traditional phyllo dough. Head east for a […]

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