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Add a bit of zing to your weekend with these tasty recipes

As the warmer weather sets in and we are continually reminded of the health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine, Hilary Scott shows you how to serve up a feast, Greek-style.

Add a bit of zing to your weekend with these tasty recipes

Greek yoghurt dessert

Easy Greek Roast Lamb Serves 8

1 large leg of lamb, about 3kg
6 garlic cloves
1 bunch oregano
Zest and juice 1 lemon
6 tbsp olive oil
1½ kg new potatoes
400g can chopped tomatoes
Large handful Kalamata or other olives

1 Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. In a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic, half the oregano, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Add lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Pierce the lamb all over with a knife, then push in the paste.

2 Put the potatoes into a large roasting tin, then toss in remaining olive oil and any remaining herb paste. Top with the lamb and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Roast for 1 hour 30minutes for medium-done lamb, basting twice with the juices and toss the potatoes.

3 When the lamb is done, remove from the tin and let it rest. Scatter remaining oregano in with the potatoes, take from the tin and keep warm.

4 Place the roasting tin over the hob, add the canned tomatoes and olives to the pan juices, then simmer for a few minutes. Serve.

Tzatziki: The traditional Greek dip with cucumber and yogurt. You can serve this as a starter with pitta bread to dip or alongside the lamb

½ a large cucumber, unpeeled
1½ cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp minced fresh dill

1 Grate cucumber and drain through a fine mesh sieve for one to two hours.

2 Combine yogurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3 About an hour before you want to serve, transfer the grated cucumber and fresh dill to the yogurt mixture and mix. Chill and serve.

Greek green beans in a tomato sauce: a lovely accompaniment to the lamb 

½ kilo fresh green beans, topped and tailed
3 tbsp olive oil
About 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (5 or 6 cloves)
1 large fresh tomato
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ to 1 tsp dried dill

1 Blanch the beans: Place in a pan of boiling water for
two minutes, drain, rinse with cold water or drop into a bowl of ice.

2 Take a large, heavy pan or casserole dish that has a
tight-fitting lid. Add the olive oil, scatter the garlic over
it and add the blanched green beans. Scatter the tomato over the beans. Don’t stir.

3 Cover pan with lid. On a low heat cook, without stirring, for about 40 minutes. When the beans are soft, lift the lid and stir gently. Turn off the heat and season. Sprinkle with dill and serve.

and for dessert

Greeks love rice pudding – make your favourite recipe and add grated lemon zest.
Buy some Baklava, the sticky filo and nut pastry glazed with honey syrup.
Or simply serve fresh fruit salad, Greek yogurt, chopped walnuts and drizzle with honey.

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