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Chef’s Note:

Nicole and I had a fantastic time sailing west along the north coast of Crete. The coastline was lovely, the towns had amazing architecture, the food was the best we had in Greece, and the people were friendly. Of course, we were some of the very first tourists that Greece had seen since the Covid-19 lockdown began. As a tourist destination, I highly recommend it, especially Hania, of course, once travel is possible again.

Crete is reported to not having any cases of Covid-19 so far—making it a fantastic and safe vacation destination if you can get there. (Greece has been one of the most successful countries in the world at controlling the virus.) Yet, in Crete, their employees still wear masks in restaurants and public buildings, and everyone wears one in museums and any time you venture inside a building. (You are not allowed to enter a public building or store without a mask and use of hand sanitizer.) I appreciate that they are being cautious and hoping to stay COVID-free. I think they got it right—they practice social distancing and use masks to prevent COVID infections—they are not waiting to have rampant levels of new cases every day that need to be controlled.

Many of the Greek islands import their food from the mainland, limiting the quality of the food that they can create. Crete is an exception as they are large enough to produce their own food, and export food for other parts of the country. They have a tradition of excellent food ingredients, making eating and shopping there a total pleasure.  Enjoy the recipe below!

Tamam Salad

I had this delightful salad in a restaurant in Hania (Chania), Crete. It is a lovely combo on a hot day, easy to prepare, and not only delicious but loaded with heart and brain-healthy nutrients. Recipe adapted with permission from the Taman Restaurant in Hania, Crete.

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Serves: Four

Ingredients for the Salad:

1 cup white cabbage finely chopped

½ cup red cabbage, finely chopped

1 cup carrots, grated

2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

½ cup arugula, finely chopped (rocket salad)

½ cup parsley, finely chopped

½ cup fresh dill weed, finely chopped

½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped

8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Ingredients for the Vinaigrette Dressing:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

Ingredients for the Avocado Sauce:

1 Haas avocado, skin and pit removed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (low-fat or full fat)

¼ teaspoon sea salt


2 ounces walnuts, chopped and toasted lightly


Add salad ingredients to a large salad bowl and mix well.

Wisk vinaigrette dressing ingredients and toss with the salad.

Combine avocado sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Add salad to serving plates.

Pour avocado sauce over the top of the salad, then garnish with toasted walnuts. Enjoy! 😊


Steven Masley, MD


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