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Leek and Onion Tart

caramelized leek and onion filling in light, flaky olive oil tart

caramelized leek and onion filling in light, flaky olive oil tart

Golden brown, savory sweet caramelized leeks and onions piled on top of a flaky, delicate olive oil crust – in every way, awesomeness. This extremely versatile leek and onion pie is delicious for weekday dinner, on the go lunch and is fantastic for parties. Make it as a single pie or individual tarts and even make days ahead. You’ve got a winner here.

Of all our Yiayia’s pitas this was my favorite. Usually she made pitas wrapped in either store bought or more often home made horiatiko filo dough and some were even wrapped in bread dough but her leek and onion pie was special. Baked in a light, flaky butterless, eggless perfect pie crust – these were always a treat. Since Yiayia passed away, I’ve tried so many times to recreate this incredible crust with little success……. UNTIL NOW!!!!!  Continue Reading →

Halva Pudding

individual halva puddings with chopped pistachios and dried apricots

individual halva puddings with chopped pistachios and dried apricots

Halva is a delicious, traditional pudding made with semolina flour, chopped nuts and sweet syrup – it’s charmingly delicate texture is always a wonderful surprise!  Flavored with aromatic cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, halva is the perfect ending to any meal.

The recipe is a simple one, using only a handful of ingredients, and is a dish that’s fun for children to help with too. You can mold it into all kinds of shapes using individual molds or even a large bundt or fluted cake pan. Halva pudding is quick to set up and can be dressed in an endless number of ways. I love topping halva with chopped pistachios and dried apricots or you can sprinkle a little cinnamon or powdered sugar over the top. Its easy to make this dish to suit your particular tastes – you can even drizzle melted chocolate over the top!

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Greek Peas / Arakas Kokinistos

Greek peas with tomato and dill

Greek peas with tomato and dill

Plump, sweet little green peas swimming around in a sauce of tomatoey, dill goodness – how good does that sound? Add a piece of crusty or grilled bread to help sop up all the crazy yummy soupy extra and you’ve got yourself one of the tastiest and simplest meals in Greek cooking.

Greek peas are phenomenal and hands down our absolute favorite way to enjoy peas. They’re perfection right off the stove and even a bit better than that a day or two later!  This dish is infinitely scalable and very easy to reheat. In Greece a big bowl of arakas kokinistos is often enjoyed as a meal in itself and Greek peas are also an amazing side dish to Continue Reading →

Grilled Bread / λαδοβρεχτό

warm grilled bread with olive oil, sea salt and Greek oregano

warm grilled bread with olive oil, sea salt and Greek oregano

Grilled bread  or λαδοβρεχτό is probably one of the most wonderful and simplest ways to enjoy a loaf of good bread. I make it right on the grill in summer and early fall and use a grill pan on the stovetop when its too cold to grill. Nice, thick slices are my favorite and just the thing to soak up the few but delicious flavors here. They also hold up well piled high with endless topping options (see list below!)

While the bread is still warm, preferably right off of the heat, generously brush each piece with good Greek olive oil and sprinkle with a coarse sea salt and crushed dried Greek oregano. Could it be any easier? Enjoy just as is, as a side to your favorite soup/stew or topped with Continue Reading →

Roasted Grapes

Roasted red grapes with coarse black pepper, brandy, olive oil, sea salt and thyme

Roasted red grapes with coarse black pepper, brandy, olive oil, sea salt and thyme

An insanely good snack on their own and a beautiful topping to a platter of steaming rice pilaf or salads – roasted grapes aim to please! Grape season in Greece comes all at once and hot and heavy, grapes are everywhere in August. Traditionally the first harvest of grapes was blessed on the feast of the Holy Transfiguration and from there the race was on to find ways to enjoy and preserve this native abundance.

Roasted red grapes – simply a handful of ingredients and a quick blast of hot oven – are one very lovely and very delicious such way. I found this dish on my mother’s island of Evvia. In front of me at lunch was a steaming platter of rice pilaf topped with this huge, gorgeous, bright pink and purple mound of sticky sweet savory red grapes. I was mesmerized! Around me people started, quickly so as not to be noticed, picking off a roasted grape or two from the platter. Our host stirred them into the pilaf right before serving and the entire Continue Reading →

Tourlou Tourlou / Briam

tourlou tourlou of summer vegetables

tourlou tourlou of summer vegetables

Tourlou tourlou, which literally means all mixed up, is really the most wonderfully delicious mix up of vegetables!  Perfect for summer when garden fresh veggies are everywhere, a few simple ingredients and you’re on your way to one of the best traditional vegetable meals in all of Greek cooking.

This dish also goes by the name briam from the Turkish version and is also very similar to the traditional French dish ratatouille. Full of flavor and so satisfying, you can enjoy tourlou tourlou hot right from the oven or the next day at room temperature. Serve as a filling meal or as a tasty veggie side dish to Continue Reading →

Melitzanosalata / Eggplant Dip

melitzanosalata drizzled with olive oil on grilled bread

melitzanosalata drizzled with olive oil on grilled bread

There couldn’t be a simpler or more delicious way to eat eggplant!  Not a fan of eggplant?  Melitzanosalata will knock your sox off and have you waiting for eggplant season to roll around next! This very traditional Greek summer dish is authentically vegan and is so incredibly flavorful you will be so surprised by how few ingredients you’ll need and how easy it is to make.

A couple of medium eggplants, an open flame (a grill ideally but a broiler will do!), roasted garlic cloves, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper – thats it! Slather this yummy goodness over grilled bread, scoop it up with homemade pita chips or put as a side to just about any dish and you will not be disappointed, I Continue Reading →

Marathopites / Fennel Pies

marathopites / fennel frond pies

marathopites / fennel frond pies

Fresh wild greens, aromatic fresh herbs and olive oil all wrapped in a simple dough = handheld heaven! Pites (or singular, pita) are a general word to describe hand held pies of all sorts. The variety of fillings is endless, many many of which are traditionally meat/dairy free. This particular pita, marathopita, comes from the island of Crete where wild fennel runs, well, wild!

The perfect lunch, snack or even breakfast and very child friendly – marathopites (μαραθόπιτες) use only the leaves or frilly fronds that grow on thin stalks above the fennel bulb. Here in the Northeast US its often difficult to find fennel bulbs with a beautiful bushy bunch of fronds attached as they’re usually trimmed for supermarket shelves.  They can, truth be told, get a bit unruly. Then comes July at the farmers market and fennel is at every stall, displayed in all her leafy glory. This is the time to make, eat and freeze for non-fennel seasons, marathopites! Continue Reading →

Apricot and Almond Cake

apricot almond cake

apricot almond cake

The sunshiny sweetness of fresh apricots is baked into every bite of this amazing cake! Just the thing with coffee or tea, its another wonderful recipe that incorporates the tradition of Greek baked fruits.   This light, delicious cake showcases fresh apricots that are baked to sticky sweet golden perfection. You’ll end up eating quite a few fresh or baked apricots just on their own Continue Reading →

Grilled Corn Salad

grilled corn salad with bell peppers, red onion and fresh dill

grilled corn salad with bell peppers, red onion and fresh dill

Street vendors sell grilled corn everywhere in Greece during the summer. Crazy salty and steamed inside their husks, you wouldn’t believe how good they taste. This recipe uses grilled corn in a quick, easy, amazing summer salad – just over half an hour and you can be tucking into a bowl!

So good for lunch or dinner, this simple, delicious recipe uses oven-grilled corn cooks up perfectly every time and cooking corn this way also makes Continue Reading →