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Free-range chicken with flat green beans

Free-range chicken with flat green beans

At home we prefer traditional or free range chickens. Their taste is incredible, the conditions of rearing are much better and their nutritional value is increased. Even though the difference in cost might seem high, 2 large 3 kg hens with proper management, can provide…

Greek “Briam” traditional veggie traybake with sausage

Greek “Briam” traditional veggie traybake with sausage

This is a classic summer dish that I keep making well into October as the produce and the weather is still so summery. A little bit of sausage goes a long way in persuading my kids to happily down this trayful of veggie goodness. As…

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

This is my mum’s recipe, which was usually the centerpiece of our birthdays as children. I still rely on it for my own children and for their friends. It is a delicious cake, dairy free, moist and firm enough to cut into any shape the kids have dreamed up.

To give you an idea of its versatility, so far, it has become a fairy hill, a bulldozer, a butterfly, a dragon, a rabbit, a house, a pool for minions, a rainbow, a piñata, Elsa’s palace, a Ninjago ship, a train, a Mcqueen track and so many more that I do not remember anymore.

You can glaze it as it appears in the main photo and decorate it with carrot truffles and broccoli for the carrot tops. Just pass the grated carrot from a small pan with a little sugar to make it sticky. Let it cool a little, so you can touch it and shape it.

You can also add mascarpone cheese beaten with a little honey, a drop of vanilla and add some chopped up walnuts.

Ingredients

  • 1 mug brown sugar ( or palm sugar)
  • 4 eggs (add 2 more eggs if using palm sugar)
  • 1 mug all-purpose flour
  • 1 mug self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon grated or a mix of cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, all grated in the ratio you prefer
  • 1 mug coconut oil, melted
  • 3 mugs carrots, grated (approx. 500 gr.)

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture turns white with the whisk attachment. Sift the flour, baking soda and spices together. Add the dry mixture gradually to the bowl. Once it’s mixed in well, add the melted coconut oil. Finally, take the bowl out of the mixer, add the grated carrot and fold into the mixture, gently using a large spoon.

Pour in a well greased cake mould and bake for about 50 ‘ or in muffin forms and bake for about 12-15 ‘. Check with a clean knife. It’s ready when the knife comes out clean.

When it comes out of the oven, leave it 10 minutes in the form to sweat a little and then unmold it on a wire rack to cool completely.

Grassfed beef in lemon sauce with green beans

Grassfed beef in lemon sauce with green beans

This is such a classic Greek summer recipe. Bringing wonderful aromas and nourishment in the same dish, combining the fresh tastes of green beans, lemon and herbs. The best way to prepare green beans is in good company. Casual conversation and plenty of helping hands,…

Braised yearling goat with peas

Braised yearling goat with peas

Potato, rice, pasta… Potato, rice, pasta. And yet there are so many other combinations for meat. It is not a modern tendency not to rely on starches every day. It is the wisdom in all the traditional kitchens that maximizes nourishment at the family table…

Zucchini e fiori risotto

Zucchini e fiori risotto

I love spring and all the variety and freshness it brings. One walk through the Farmer’s market and there is just such an incredible choice of produce. You just need to be extra careful and cook it while it is super fresh. I mean winter potatoes or even summer tomatoes will give you a few days to figure out what you want to do with them, but zucchini flowers are another story. Though delicious, they are also very delicate and so pretty.

This is a quick and very simple recipe and the kids are delighted to be eating flowers. My daughter is certain she is eating fairy food every time petals show up on her plate. As always, very fresh vegetables and good homemade stock will guarantee a delicious result.

  • 1+1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 zucchini, diced
  • 6 zucchini flowers
  • 300 gr carolina rice
  • 1 Lt homemade stock
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra to serve.
  • Fresh mint to serve

Remove the zucchini flower petals, tear into strips and set aside. Melt half the butter along with the oil in a large wide pan on a low heat. Add the onion and carrot with a pinch of salt and gently fry for a few minutes until softened. In the meantime heat the stock in another pan until almost boiling point.

Add the garlic to the onion and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the rice to and stir well until coated in oil and translucent. Turn the heat up to medium and start adding the stock one ladleful at a time. Stir well and wait until the stock is absorbed each time before adding more. Once you’ve added half the stock, add the zucchini and flower strips, then season well. Stir through and continue adding the stock until the rice is cooked through, soft and creamy. With the last ladleful, add the cheese and butter and stir through. Take off the heat, leave to stand for a couple of minutes and serve with some fresh mint.

Stewed Octopus with pasta

Stewed Octopus with pasta

I have been meeting the most wonderful people from all over the world at the Onion Athens‘ cooking workshops over the past few months. I adore sharing traditional Greek recipes just as much as learning participants favorites too. Just last week Garry and Cindy mentioned…

Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary

Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary

Probably the most iconic Greek roast dinner, a classic choice for Sunday lunch or Easter, lamb is the go-to crowd pleaser in most Greek homes. This is my grandmother’s version with tiny slits filled with garlic and rosemary to scent the meat that she called…

“Lathenia Kimolou” flatbread

“Lathenia Kimolou” flatbread

A delicious and filling meze made from almost nothing: flour, oil, onion, tomato and herbs. It seems to symbolise all the simple beauty of the Cycladic islands. A traditional flatbread made in the tiny island of Kimolos with plenty of olive oil, to which it owes its name. It is very easy, vegetarian, smells of Greek summer and is easily transported for a picnic or as a snack on the beach. Come to think of it, always tastes better outdoors, even if we’re just on the verandah, where there’s often a couple of rocket leaves growing in a little pot, to add on top.

Although I have heard it called Greek pizza, to me it seems more similar to a focaccia, so I sometimes replace the more traditional oregano with rosemary or sage. You can also add olives or capers if you prefer. Just like focaccia, our Ladenia can make a great sandwich, cut in half and filled with lovely Greek traditional cheeses or deli meats.

The recipe is available in many versions with small differences between them. I use Chef Peskia’s one that you can watch here from the master himself. The only small change is a little more vegetables.

What works for me is to make the dough the night before and let it gently rise in the fridge. This way it doesn’t not need kneading, just a good stirring to incorporate all the ingredients. This way I can bake it the next day without waiting for it to rise. Once the ingredients are well mixed, just cover the bowl with a plate and refrigerate. It lasts for days, waiting patiently. If you choose this method, you will spread out the dough in the baking tin as described below and just leave it for a total 20 ‘ to come to room temperature. It’s just enough time for you to preheat the oven and prepare the vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 450 g. bread flour
  • 300 ml warm water
  • 8 g. dry yeast
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 tbsp dry oregano
  • 70 g. olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • Fresh thyme

Using a large bowl, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water, then add the flour, sugar, salt and oregano immediately. Mix well and knead for 10 minutes. Grease the dough, cover and leave it for 45 ‘ to double in volume.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 170 C. Cut the tomatoes and onions into thin wedges. Not too thin so that they don’t burn during baking. Mix in a bowl along with the salt, pepper, thyme and 2 tbsps of the measured olive oil. Spread the remaining oil around your baking pan and spread the dough out with your hands, making small indents with your fingers. Scatter the vegetables over the top and bake for 50′ to an hour.

“Fakoriso” lentils with rice

“Fakoriso” lentils with rice

Respect for food, our own effort and the ingredients that went into it is so important, especially when traditional kitchens give us so many creative things to use leftovers to create a new dish with minimum effort. That is why traditional “fakorizo” is made in…