It’s the season of asparagus and were loading up on it as much as we can, as soon it will be over. Here in Greece we get plenty of the white asparagus and less of the green type and then if you are lucky, you can find wild asparagus which is thinner and slightly bitter. Read more »
I’m back from an exciting event the Mediterranean Diet Roundtable, where I had the honor to speak about the Mediterranean Diet, its portrayal in the U.S. and show how easy it is to follow it. The event was basically a first discussion on how the Mediterranean diet can be applied in a variety of settings from hospitals to schools. I’ll be writing about that later, but for now I would like to share this recipe I “discovered” during my stay in New York. I had dinner at a restaurant near my hotel that just happened to be Mediterranean with a strong Greek influence. I noticed on the menu spinach fritters, which I ordered and were great. Read more »
Easy and quick is what I need right now. After being sick on and off for several weeks, I’m slowly trying to catch up. So when I needed some sort of appetizer one day, this was it.
This is a dip from the island of Syros (one of the Cyclades islands). Parsley is its main ingredient but you will definitely taste the garlic. This dip resembles in preparation as skordalia (Greek garlic dip) and taramosalata where you add a steady stream of olive oil to the dip, so you end up with a pesto like texture, rich and flavorful, however there is no cheese or nuts s in pesto. Read more »
These are the easiest appetizers you will ever make. We make these at least once a week, on a weekday! That’s how easy they are.
The filling is made with easy to find ingredients, and you can play with the amounts. You can also make the filling earlier and keep it in the fridge. I use barley bread crumbs, or you can use whole grain breadcrumbs as well. I used a Greek soft goat cheese (katiki), but you can also use cream cheese, and I’ll be trying yogurt in the future. I find that goat cheese adds more flavor though. These are pretty healthy, I use olive oil and plenty of herbs and feta for flavor. Read more »
It’s been a toughish winter. Athens actually had snow a few days (well not anything crazy, but still). The city can have a bit of a temperature difference as the north suburbs are next to or on a mountain, while the south suburbs are next to the sea. So some areas are icy and snowy, while others are not. This causes nice traffic jams and school closures everywhere. But what has made this winter a bit more difficult is everyone getting sick. Cold, flu, whatever it’s making everyone feel lousy.
And when we feel lousy (or even lazy) we want comfort food and easy food. These potatoes are exactly it. Yes, this is a traditional meal from the area of Arcadia in Pelponissos, where my parents are from. It is so simple and so cheap. The beauty of the real Greek diet, making something out of nothing. Read more »
Saragli is basically a type of syrupy sweet that resembles baklava. The phyllo is rolled in a long tube and then cut in pieces and baked. Obviously this is not baklava but a savory version, called cheese saragli.
I first noticed them when my brother’s mother in law made them for parties and get-togethers. They were really tasty, they looked nice and everybody liked them. Crunchy phyllo with little chunks of feta and a bit of spiciness from the kefalograviera cheese (cheese used for saganaki), what’s not to like? She shared her recipe with me and here it is. Read more »
These sesame bars known as pasteli in Greek are the original power bars. They actually go back to antiquity, the ancient Greeks had a similar recipe that included a variety of nuts and honey. Today you can pretty much find pasteli anywhere in Greece. When I’m out and am looking for something quick I’ll stop by a periptero (kiosks that are everywhere) and that is what I’ll get. It is basically honey and sesame seeds. You can also find other types of pasteli that include other nuts such as pistachios. Read more »
The fennel bulb is generally not very common in Greek cooking whereas the fennel leaves are part of a very popular Cretan dish fennel pies – marathopites. The greens are also used in fritters, cooked with beans and seafood. I have never used the fennel bulb apart from adding it raw to a salad, so roasting it seemed simple enough. Read more »
Now that Thanksgiving and the weekend is over, with all the meat and desserts, I crave vegetables even more. And this one hits the spot. This is the classic way Greeks cook cauliflower which we call kounoupithi. Surprisingly this is a comfort food for many of us. Yes, imagine that, cauliflower a comfort food. But we associate it with winter, it is a dish traditionally made in the cool months as this is when cauliflower is available. Read more »
Pomegranates have a special place in Greek culture, they represent good luck, fertility and prosperity. For the New Year it is very common to bring (and receive) a gift of a silver pomegranate for good luck throughout the year. At weddings it is common to smash and break a pomegranate so that the marriage is fertile. Curiously enough, the pomegranate is also associated with death as it is supposed to symbolize re-birth after death. Ok… Read more »