Christina Xenos Shares Her Top Greek Produce Picks


Opa!

From ancient times to modern day, from Andros to Santorini, Greek food has been shaped by its culture, heritage and geography. The result? Family recipes made with fresh ingredients that provide a life of longevity. According to the Washington Post, natives of Greek islands live on average 8 to 10 years longer than Americans. You don’t necessarily have to live on the islands to adopt this lifestyle — you can start with your grocery cart. Greek-American chef, cookbook author and journalist, Christina Xenos, shares her top Greek grocery produce picks with us to get you started.

Chef Christina Xenos, who recently co-authored, “Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook: Modern Mediterranean Recipes for Living the Good Life,” is a great resource for more information on Greek cooking. From childhood memories of making dolmathes with her Yiayia to annual trips back to the islands, Xenos offers a wealth of information on this cuisine on her cookbook. Pair this produce list with some of her recipes and you’re well on your way to living a long life — Opa!

Christina Xenos
Tomato Diples by Theo Stephan

Greek Produce Must-Haves

Most of these ingredients should be available at your local grocery store. If not, reach out to your produce department manager and request that they have these items in stock. If you want quality guaranteed, make sure to look for the Melissa’s logo when you shop.

  1. Zucchini
  2. Eggplant
  3. Heirloom Tomatoes
  4. Bell Peppers
  5. Cucumbers (I love the mini ones)
  6. Lemons
  7. Garlic
  8. Scallions
  9. Onions (yellow and red)
  10. Fennel
  11. Celery
  12. Carrots
  13. Artichokes
  14. Pomegranate
  15. Oranges
  16. Arugula
  17. Spinach
  18. Chickpeas
  19. Dill
  20. Parsley
  21. Mint

Christina’s Shrimp Santorini

After you’re done shopping produce, pass through seafood to pick up some shrimp to make Christina’s Shrimp Santorini — grab the recipe below! “Christina’s first time enjoying this dish was at an open-air restaurant in Fira, the main city on the island of Santorini. Under a beautiful sunset, she noshed on succulent shrimp accompanied by rich, tangy tomatoes topped with feta cheese. The Greeks have been teaming seafood with cheese for thousands of years, so the old adage of not combining the two need not apply here.” —  Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook: Modern Mediterranean Recipes for Living the Good Life


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Print Recipe
Shrimp Santorini
Christina's first time enjoying this dish was at an open-air restaurant in Fira, the main city on the island of Santorini. Under a beautiful sunset, she noshed on succulent shrimp accompanied by rich, tangy tomatoes topped with feta cheese. The Greeks have been teaming seafood with cheese for thousands of years, so the old adage of not combining the two need not apply here. You'll love this recipe!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the salt, and season with black pepper.
  3. In a medium oven-safe skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
  4. Add the onion and season with salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent.
  5. Add the garlic and black pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring, until soft.
  6. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Sauté for 10 minutes. (If your skillet isn't oven-safe, you can turn the tomato mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.)


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