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 »
I have to admit, I like Thanksgiving even though here in Greece there is not much celebrating as it is not a holiday. Surprisingly though for me the holiday did not a have a special significance until I moved to Greece thirteen years ago. In the states we celebrated Thanksgiving but more likely with lamb or chicken and Greek style potatoes, rather than turkey and cranberry sauce. But in Greece things changed… Read more »
Sometimes Mediterranean inspired recipes appear in the least likely of places. We were visiting my in-laws and I found a cookbook from the 70’s called The Williamsburg Cookbook which includes recipes from Colonial Williamsburg’s taverns and restaurants. There are plenty of colonial recipes, but this recipe caught my eye: with the simple title Zucchini with Walnuts, the ingredients brought me straight to the Mediterranean. Read more »
When attending large food and nutrition expos like FNCE, one thing you notice is that the expo floor is huge. Especially in the U.S. you have hundreds of booths that represent companies, national boards and commissions and since it’s an expo for nutritionists there is a lot of free food and samples. Yes, we nutritionists like to eat. Read more »