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Community Social to bring Greek to islands

By Staff | Jul 30, 2019

Island residents and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy some rarely-accessible foods.

The Community House will host a Community Social on Aug. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m., offering items prepared by Resident Chef Jarred Harris. Created around the theme of “Greek Night,” the menu will feature two appetizers, two salads, a handful of main dishes, and two dessert options to partake in.

“Greek food is healthy delicious food and it’s unique to the area,” Harris said, explaining that there exists only a handful of authentic Greek restaurants locally and none are located on the islands.

He added that the Community Socials are a chance for the public to get together.

“It’s to bring people together through food, and these are people who have probably never met,” Harris said, noting the banquet-style seating provided. “We have it set up where everybody sits together.”

Kicking off the August menu, the appetizers will consist of spring onion fritters with red pepper hummus and lamb and mint souvlaki with tzatziki and warm pita bread. He explained that fritters are kind of like hush puppies but made with flour and the hummus is chickpeas, oil olive and tahini.

“It’ll be sweet and savory,” Harris said.

Souvlaki are made out of ground meat and flavored with mint.

“It’s almost like shish kabobs in an Indian restaurant,” he said. “They’re beautiful.”

Tzatziki is made from yogurt , onions, cucumber and mint.

“It’s basically a dressing,” Harris said. “Some people put dill in it, as well.”

Diners will also have two salad options to try out: a tomato, feta and pistachio salad with yogurt and dill dressing, plus the traditional Greek salad with olives, cucumbers, onions, peppers and such.

“Basically, the traditional salad fixings that you would make yourself at home,” he said.

The Greek salad comes with a vinaigrette of oregano, olive oil, honey and a little bit of vinegar.

As for the tomato, feta and pistachio salad, Harris explained that tomato and feta always work great together and the pistachios help to give the combination an additional unique flavor and texture.

“It is refreshing and delicious,” he said.

For the main dishes, there will be spanakopita, dolma and beef moussaka.

“That’s basically a spinach and feta cheese pie made with filo dough,” Harris said of spanakopita.

Dolma are lamb-and-rice-stuffed grape leaves.

He described the moussaka as “ground beef and eggplant pie topped with bechamel sauce.”

Diners can also partake in briam – made from zucchinis, eggplants, peppers, onions and tomatoes.

“It’s a vegetable and potato casserole,” Harris said. “And then we’re going to have some vegetable kabobs, too.”

While some of the items feature meat, there are plenty of vegetarian-friendly ones.

“They’ve got five options, so pretty good,” he said.

The desserts will consist of an ice cream sundae bar and baklava. The sundae bar – a Community Social staple – comes with Harris’ homemade chocolate and caramel sauces, plus toppings.

“Baklava is a sweet dessert,” he said. “It’s so good.”

Harris explained that it is made with crushed nuts, sugar, honey and filo dough. The nuts can be cashews, pistachios, almonds or any kind. His is made with a combination of pistachio and cashew.

Event tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door.

An additional $5 donation is requested to enjoy the desserts.

Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

The public is encouraged to come out.

“A very good reason to come out is there’s no Greek food on the islands, and it’s very very good food for very little money – $15 gets you in the door,” he said. “It’s going to be good and different.”

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

Event tickets can also be purchased in-person at the facility.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.