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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 […]

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

This is probably considered the simplest, most everyday family meal in Greek families. Even then, a simple dish can have its secrets. Equally loved and loved by children, this starchy soup brings back childhood memories as a comforting and filling dish. Although soaking lentils is […]

Braised lamb with artichokes

Braised lamb with artichokes

Even though artichokes are in season both in spring and early autumn, seeing them always reminds me of spring, fresh tastes and new beginnings. Artichokes do seem to have a bad reputation as being difficult to clean and manage which put me off for years. Actually the are quite simple to handle once you learn how. And if your “yaya” (Greek for grandmother) is not able to oblige, there are plenty of online videos or step-by-step articles to show. However, nothing beats actually buying a few and trying them out yourself. If all else fails, you can substitute fresh for frozen ones, though the taste of the fresh ones is more distinctive.

Having said that in this spring dish with the strong flavors of the yearling lamb and black olives, frozen will do the trick. just remember to add them defrosted and later in the dish as they only need about 15′ cooking time.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg lamb or young goat, in large cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 4 thyme spigs
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 l. stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 fresh artichokes
  • 1 lemon cup
  • 600 g new potatoes, small and scrubbed
  • 175 g Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tbsp plain white flour
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

Pat dry the meat. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and fry the meat in batches until well browned, over a high heat. Remove and set aside. Lower the heat to low and add the onions. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes until softened and golden. Return the meat and add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, orange zest, juice, stock and season well. Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer gently, covered, for 1,5 hours.

Prepare the artichokes, brushing all cut surfaces with the lemon cup to prevent discoloration. Cut in half. Add to the casserole, along with the olives and new potatoes. Cook covered for a further 30 minutes.

Gently cook the butter and flour together to make a roux in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk in the strained liquid from the casserole and simmer for 10′ before returning to the casserole. Check seasoning, remove any herb sprigs and the bay leaves. Pour over the sauce, stir in the thyme and serve.

Calliope’s Mystery Seafood

Calliope’s Mystery Seafood

It’s a great blessing to have friends who share your interests, especially when they’re willing to share their own experience. Calliope comes from small Stomio Larissas in central Greece and is fortunate to receive regular reinforcements in the form of food parcels from her village. […]