Traditional recipes

Kokkari Dressing

Kokkari Dressing

We put this dressing in a squeeze bottle and drizzle it on virtually everything that comes off the restaurant’s spit or grill: dry-aged rib-eye steak, lamb chops, chicken, whole fish, shellfish, even grilled vegetables. You can do the same at home if you need to prepare the dressing ahead.


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried wild Greek oregano, crumbled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Kokkari Dressing - Recipes

Kokkari is a successful Greek restaurant located in the historic Antiques District in San Francisco. The restaurant has been at home on the San Francisco Chronicle's "Top 100 Restaurants" list every year since opening. Linda and I have dined at the restaurant and I was delighted that the restaurant's cookbook was released last year. The restaurant drizzles this dressing on almost everything that is grilled, including beef, lamb, poultry, seafood and vegetables. It's a swell idea. This dressing is mighty tasty on just about anything. It does wonders with blanched green beans or steamed asparagus.
I like to think of this dressing as a Greek chimichurri made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, oregano, parsley, garlic and olive oil. The restaurant recommends making the dressing in small batches, or you can prep everything in the morning and add the lemon juice as needed to keep the dressing "fresh and vibrant". This fantastic recipe is from Kokkari Contemporary Greek Flavors by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher (Chronicle Books, �).

6 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsps capers, rinsed and minced
2 tsps minced shallot
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsps minced fresh flat-leaf parsely
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp dried wild Greek oregano, crumbled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Let sit out for several hours, or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before using. Makes about 1/2 cup.

1 comment:

Thank you for sharing Salvation Sisters Kokkari dressing. I made this dressing and I put it on my roasted chicken, asparagus and my leafy green salad with feta and Kalamata olives. it was sooo yummy. I was watching the Kardashians, I was interested because they were in San Francisco and looked up the restaurant and noticed this recipe. Oh also had it on Boudins sourdough bread. So many thanks.

Grilled Whole Fish


  • 1 small whole fish, such as seabass
    (about 1 lb. cleaned and scaled)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • dried Greek oregano (optional)
  • 1 lemon, halved


To prepare the grill, About 45 minutes before cooking, pour charcoal over newspaper and kindling or an electric starter and light. When the charcoal flames, remove the electric starter. When the coals are all white, they are ready for cooking. Move some of the coals to one half of the grill to leave an area for indirect grilling. Just before you are ready to grill, lightly oil the outside of the fish. Sprinkle the fish inside and out with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. The grill should be so hot you can’t hold you hand over it for more than 4 seconds.

To cook the fish, place it directly over the hot area of the grill until the skin browns on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Then, move the fish, without turning, away from the coals and continue grilling until the flesh is almost fully cooked on the bottom side, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Turn over the fish and move it directly over the hottest part of the grill to crisp and brown the second side. Then, move it to the grill’s cooler part. Total cooking time for a two-inch thick fish is about 15 minutes.

Transfer the fish to a platter. Spoon over the dressing, and serve garnished with the lemon halves and extra dressing on the side. Serves 1. MSR (Recipe adapted from KOKKARI Contemporary Greek Flavors by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher)

Fish for compliments: Kokkari chef's deep secrets for grilling

If you want good advice on how to grill a whole fish, ask a chef who has done it a few times. Even better, a few thousand. In the Bay Area, that would be Erik Cosselmon, executive chef at Kokkari, the San Francisco Greek restaurant that serves 3,000 grilled whole fish each month.

&ldquoFish is so much better cooked on the bone,&rdquo says Cosselmon, &ldquoand you know what you&rsquore getting. If you buy it filleted and portioned &mdash well, halibut is sometimes not halibut.&rdquo

You might imagine that a whole grilled fish is the last thing Cosselmon wants when he cooks at home for his wife and two children. But the chef says he prepares it often, in part because he has such ready access to top-notch fish. (The restaurant&rsquos seafood bill is about $2,500 a day.) Another reason: &ldquoWith whole fish you get the head and the collar,&rdquo says the chef, &ldquoand the collar is the best part.&rdquo

Cosselmon recently demonstrated his grilling prowess with a whole gulf snapper on his backyard grill in San Francisco. &ldquoWhen you can get whole fish, practice on your family,&rdquo suggests the chef, &ldquoso you have confidence for guests.&rdquo

&bullThe best fish for grilling are relatively small (preferably under 4 pounds), firm-fleshed and not too lean. The fish needs to fit on your grill, so a whole salmon is not an option for most home cooks.

&bullA fish larger than 3 or 4 pounds is challenging to cook evenly it tends to burn outside before the thick interior is fully cooked.

&bullAs for yield, a 1-pound branzino makes a generous serving for one. A slightly larger branzino could serve two. A 3-pound snapper should serve four people easily. The larger the head in relation to the body, the lower the yield.

&bullTo serve six to eight people, Kokkari chef Erik Cosselmon recommends cooking two smaller fish rather than one large one.

&bullOily fish like mackerel, sardines and pompano are the most grill-friendly. West Coast soles are too delicate and Pacific rockfish too lean and unevenly thick. A rockfish tends to overcook in some parts before it&rsquos fully cooked throughout.

&bullCosselmon&rsquos grilling favorites include wild red snappers from the Gulf of Mexico, farmed branzino (Mediterranean sea bass) and farmed Arctic char. If you do want to grill whole sole, put it in an oiled pan and put the pan on the grill.

&bullBuy whole fish the day you plan to cook it. If you must keep it for more than a day, refrigerate it in a plastic bag, and place that bag inside another bag with frozen gel packs.

You can make the dressing several hours ahead, but for best flavor, whisk the lemon juice in just before serving. Adapted from &ldquoKokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors,&rdquo by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher (Chronicle Books, 2010).

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons brined or salted capers, rinsed and minced

2 teaspoons minced shallot

1 teaspoon minced Italian parsley

½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

¼ teaspoon dried Greek oregano, finely crumbled

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. (If made ahead, whisk in lemon juice just before serving.)

1 3-pound fish, such as red snapper, cleaned and scaled, gills removed

Sea or kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

3 lemons &mdash 1 thickly sliced, 2 halved

Parsley, fresh oregano or thyme

Grape leaves (jarred are fine), fig leaves or fennel fronds, if desired

Rinse the cavity and pull or cut out any membranes, soft tissue and congealed blood.

Run a finger along the skin from the tail to the head to probe for any sharp scales that still may be on the fish, paying special attention to the areas around the cheeks and fins. Using the tines of a fork, scrape from tail to head and the scales should come off easily. Sardine and anchovy scales can usually be rubbed off with your fingers, and mackerel and Arctic char typically have fine scales that don&rsquot need removing. Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels to catch any loose scales.

&ldquoScoring makes the fish easier to fillet after cooking,&rdquo says Cosselmon, &ldquoand it evens out the cooking by opening up the flesh at the thickest part. It also makes it easier to see when it&rsquos done.&rdquo

To score, lay the fish on a work surface. With a chef&rsquos knife, make one lengthwise slit down the middle of each side, from the gill to the tail, piercing all the way to the bone.

Rub the fish all over with extra virgin olive oil to keep it from sticking to the grill. Season generously inside and out with sea salt and lightly with freshly ground black pepper. Tuck a thick slice of lemon and sprigs of fresh oregano, thyme or parsley into the cavity.

Charcoal grill: Cosselmon likes lump mesquite charcoal because it produces a hotter fire than briquettes, but either type of fuel works. Mound the charcoal on one side of the grill, so that half of the grate has no charcoal underneath. With all vents open, light the charcoal and let it burn down until covered with gray ash. Stoke the coals once or twice, stirring them up to prod the fire and keep it lively. It should take about 30 minutes for the coals to become ready for grilling.

Put the grate in place and let it preheat thoroughly. When the grate is hot, scrub it clean with a wire brush. (Residue comes off more easily when the grate is hot.) Rub the grate with the cut side of a half-lemon to clean it further.

Cosselmon uses his hand to judge when the fire is ready. If he can&rsquot hold it a few inches above the grate for more than a few seconds, the fire is hot enough.

Gas grill: Turn all burners to high and preheat the grill to 500 degrees with the lid down. Clean the grate as directed for charcoal grilling.

If you are concerned about the fish sticking to the grill (more likely with thin-skinned fish), place some grape leaves (fresh or jarred), fig leaves or fennel fronds on the upper surface of the fish, overlapping them slightly. Set the fish on the grate, leaves down. Before turning the fish, arrange more leaves on the top in the same fashion, then flip.

If cooking over charcoal, place the fish on the grate so that it is near but not directly over the coals. Do not cover the grill.

If cooking over gas, place the fish on the grate directly over the front burner. Turn the front burner down to medium and cover the grill.

Once you place the fish on the charcoal grill, stand back and don&rsquot fuss with it. If you think it&rsquos cooking too slowly or quickly, rotate the grate, not the fish.

&ldquoThe mistake people make is that they try to turn the fish too early and they leave skin on the grill,&rdquo says the chef. &ldquoI even have to train my cooks on this.&rdquo

Grill on one side until the flesh inside is mostly white with just a touch of pink at the backbone.

Cosselmon uses a carving fork, a two-pronged fork with long tines, to peek into the cavity and check for progress. He also uses the fork to gently lift the fish and check that the skin is not charring too fast. Unlike a metal spatula, which may tear the skin when you try to slide it between the fish and the grate, the fork can get under the rails of the grate and loosen the fish to prepare it for flipping.

Flip the fish and cook on the second side until the flesh is white at the backbone. Use a fork to probe the scored area, too, to make sure the flesh is white at the bone. A 3-pound snapper will take about 30 minutes.

Bring the serving platter to the grill. Squeeze some lemon over the fish, then transfer the fish to the platter. Put some lemon halves cut side down on the grill to warm while you fillet the fish.

Using a table knife and spoon, cut away and remove the fins. You can discard them, although Cosselmon puts these bony bits aside for himself.

&ldquoThe best meat is around the belly fin,&rdquo he confides, &ldquobut you have to be patient. My mother-in-law fights me for it.&rdquo

Working from head to tail and following the lengthwise score, slide the flesh off the bone. Flip the top fillet so the skin side is down. Lift the skeleton from the tail end and discard it. You can leave the head in place or remove it with the skeleton.

Pick out and discard any visible bones and the lemon and herbs from the cavity. Tap the flesh with the edge of a table knife if there are buried bones, you should hear them. Even with vigilance, you are likely to miss some tiny pinbones, so warn diners to watch for them.

Season the boned fish lightly with salt and pepper, then spoon Kokkari Dressing (see recipe), salsa verde, arugula pesto or skordalia, the garlicky Greek sauce, over it. Accompany with grilled lemon halves.

Low Carb Kokkari Dressing

Low Carb Kokkari Dressing. I was on the internet looking for some other sauce to go with all the rack of lamb I eat, other than my own Mint Sauce, and came across this Kokkari Dressing which sounded pretty good. I would never be without lamb in some form so I decided to try it as I found it. It was as good as it sounded. I also eat, from time to time, a ½ lb. ground lamb patty and it was fabulous on it too. I did tweak a couple things from the original Kokkari Dresssing recipe and you can (compare the two). Since the recipe seems a bit obscure I thought I would put it out there for you. Oops, I did change a couple things since I have never used, and didn’t even know what it was, and that’s the wild Greek oregano-I just used regular ole oregano. Added a bit of dried mint because…I think mint and lamb are a match made in heaven. Apparently, this dressing not only sets off lamb, but also beef, chicken and fish. I think I would call this a kind of a do everything sauce and I’m sure I will eventually try it on all the above mentioned and when I do I’ll try to put up pictures. There is certainly no doubt that a small side of Greek Tzatziki would be a great accompaniment.

For a list of products you may not be familiar with and used on this site, please read Low Carb Pantry Essentials. I am NOT sponsor-compensated for recommending a product that I use*** And here, in one tidy package, are over 550 Keto

As I am a Type II diabetic, all recipes on this website are keto or low carb and diabetic friendly.

Kokkari Dressing - Recipes

By Meera Nagarajan // September 14, 2016

Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors
is compilation of dishes from the titular restaurant located in San Francisco. While it was filled with fresh salads and sides, I was after a winning entree.

Most of the meat and fish dishes in the book overwhelmed. Preparing whole fish on a Monday night was out of the question. Proteins lean heavily toward lamb and rabbit, which makes sense for a Greek restaurant, but I don't eat either. Many require grilling over charcoal, which I don’t have. I settled on a rib-eye. The recipe required only a simple rub, a few minutes on a grill (or in my case, a cast-iron skillet) and a douse in the restaurant’s Kokkari Dressing.

Rich rib-eye is always a winner, but the dressing was the standout here. This lemony, herbaceous, garlicky vinaigrette complimented the meat, cutting through the fatty steak. I normally baste my steaks in butter, but this vinaigrette offered the same rich finishing touch.

Skill level: Intermediate. Recipes are a little complex but doable.
This book is for: People who want light, fresh fare and are willing to work for it.
Other recipes to try: Kokkari Potatoes and Grilled Whole Fish with Kokkari Dressing
The Verdict: Check back soon when Kokkari takes on the next challenger.

Grilled Rib-eye with Kokkari Dressing
4 servings

2 20-oz. bone-in rib-eye steaks, preferably dry-aged, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. Steak Rub (recipe follows)
Kokkari Dressing (recipe follows)
4 lemon halves, each wrapped in cheesecloth

• Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to high. Season each steak on both sides with the steak rub, using a total of ½ tablespoon per steak. Massage the seasoning into the steaks well on both sides.
• Grill the steaks on both sides to desired doneness, about 7½ minutes total for medium-rare. Watch for flare-ups from dripping fat, moving the meat away from the heat until the flames die down, if needed. Transfer to a platter, drizzle the steaks with dressing, and serve at once with the lemon.

½ cup sea salt
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

• In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until the herbs are completely pulverized and the mixture feels like moist sand. You can use the rub immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. For longer keeping, spread the freshly made mixture on a baking sheet and leave it at room temperature until it is completely dried out, a day or more, depending on humidity. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

Kokkari Dressing
Makes ½ cup

6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. capers, rinsed and minced
2 tsp. minced shallot
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ tsp. chopped fresh oregano
¼ tsp. dried wild Greek oregano, crumbled
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

• In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, capers, shallot, garlic, parsley and fresh oregano. Add the dried oregano and whisk in salt and pepper to taste.

Notes about this recipe

Member Rating


Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

At Eat Your Books we love great recipes – and the best come from chefs, authors and bloggers who have spent time developing and testing them.

We’ve helped you locate this recipe but for the full instructions you need to go to its original source.

If the recipe is available online - click the link “View complete recipe”– if not, you do need to own the cookbook or magazine.

Notes about this recipe

Member Rating


Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

At Eat Your Books we love great recipes – and the best come from chefs, authors and bloggers who have spent time developing and testing them.

We’ve helped you locate this recipe but for the full instructions you need to go to its original source.

If the recipe is available online - click the link “View complete recipe”– if not, you do need to own the cookbook or magazine.


Some months the recipes that inspire me are things I made once, were thrilling and delicious, and I just had to share - a laborious but beautiful pasta, or special enchiladas thanks to a trip south. But other times when I think back on my month of cooking, a recipe stands out because I loved it so much I couldn't help but make it over and over.

Since discovering this easy but really delicious feta dressing in mid-January, it has dressed a chop salad with lots of fresh dill, been smeared on grilled veggies and slabs of focaccia, dolloped over grain salad with lots of radish, and accompanied an oregano rubbed chicken as an ideal dipping sauce. This feta dressing is heavy on the feta, but cut with lots of fresh lemon juice and can easily be thinned out to make it less rich.

It comes from the Kokkari cookbook, a Greek restaurant here in downtown San Francisco. The food there is so incredibly good. The flavors are simple - lots of herbs, good olive oil and supremely fresh fish, and the preparation isn't fussy either. This makes it a great cookbook to own, as it's possible to (almost!) replicate their food in your own kitchen. Kali orexi (Bon Appetit!)

Feta Dressing
From Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher

6 oz (about 1 1/4 cup) crumbled feta cheese

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup good extra-virgin olive oil

Pound the garlic clove with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle, or sprinkle salt on clove and press, smearing with the back of your knife. You want a garlic paste. In a bowl, combine feta, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and the garlic paste. Mix with a large spoon and smash the feta as you mix. You don't want really large chunks of feta, but some texture is good - you don't want a smooth dressing. Add a few turns of freshly ground pepper and taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt, lemon or olive oil as necessary.

Watch the video: Kokkari Samos (January 2022).