The word yiayia means grandma in Greek. My mom now is known as “yiayia”, as she has grandchildren, and this is her recipe. Now, this is not some really old recipe but it is a Mediterranean diet approved recipe and an example how my mom can turn any recipe into a Greek recipe.
For a few years in the 80’s my family and I moved from Chicago to Athens. At that time Greeks were already going through a transition in their eating habits and loving everything foreign (xenomania as we call it). At that time it was very much in style to make certain types of casseroles that were called soufflés (but not really) that were really gratins. My mom came across a recipe on a margarine package called “Yiayias potatoes”. The recipe called for layers of potatoes cooked with margarine (of course) and in between layers of shredded -foreign- yellow cheeses such as emmental (Swiss), ham and even cream. Now, apart from that, many of these cheeses have little taste for Greek standards, and when they cool they get hard and rubbery. My mom thought, why not do this with feta cheese and olive oil? She also added her favorite herb; oregano, along with some lemon. The result is delicious and healthier as well.
When she makes these we eat the whole casserole dish, because they are irresistible but not so heavy..