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Fava Bean Spread

gorgeous, chunky, filling, fantastic fava bean spread on toast!

The avocado toast trend’s got nothing on this traditional amazingly tasty, incredibly simple Greek power breakfast: 5 minutes, 5 ingredients, one bowl, and done!

KouKOfava (κουκόφαβα) or fava bean spread originally hails from the island of Crete and is a positively delicious, incredibly nutritious and absolutely beautiful spread made from fava or broad beans. Each bite of fava bean spread comes with a natural boost of B vitamins, plant protein, minerals, anti oxidants and fiber.  I absolutely LOVE it on everything but most especially, on toasted multigrain bread drizzled in olive oil. Koukofava – the breakfast Continue Reading →

Roasted Garlic Skillet Bread

traditional, no-knead, Greek skillet bread

One bowl, one pan, four ingredients and no kneading – no joke! This scrumptious traditional Greek bread recipe will make a home baker out of every one of you 🙂

The roasted garlicky-goodness, perfectly distributed in each bite of this beautiful loaf of bread, is perfection. And baking it in the wrap-around heat of a cast iron pan? Well, that makes it just that much more amazing.  Yes, I am a fan! Continue Reading →

Greek Carrot Cake

traditional Greek carrot cake

This is, hands down, the tastiest, most flavorful, most delicate carrot cake you will ever enjoy. Authentically Greek and traditionally vegan, this easy recipe is a winner every time. Yes, I love it very much 🙂

Like to know the secret to this simple carrot cake’s divineness? Traditional Greek carrot cakes do not use raw, grated carrots and instead go a wonderfully different way. The carrots are first boiled in just a bit of orange juice and water with a few whole cloves and a cinnamon stick.  Right there you know this recipe is going in an amazing direction! The moist, dense and light crumb Continue Reading →

Pumpkin Sweetbread / Tsoureki

traditional Greek pumpkin sweet bread

traditional Greek pumpkin sweet bread

This traditionally dairy free sweet bread (tsoureki) was made during the winter months when eggs and butter were less available, using autumn harvested pumpkins.  Greek sweet breads are most often braided and have a moist, denser crumb than regular table bread as well as being just slightly sweet 🙂 This one is especially flavorful and amazing all on it’s own or slathered with your favorite jam. And don’t be afraid of making your own bread – it’s not difficult at all and this is a great recipe to start your homemade bread making career with! Continue Reading →

Sfakian Sweet Rusks

Sfakian Sweet Rusks – paximadia

My aunt would make this sweet bread (artos) for Great Vespers services when we were young. Five loaves would go to church and one small loaf stayed at home for us.  She would slice up the small home loaf and toast the slices in the oven until dried through and super crunchy.  Then we’d slather them with Merenda (Greek hazelnut spread similar to Nutella) and very happily munch through every slice!

You can enjoy these sweet rusks today, store bought and straight from Greece, or make your own – a wonderful rainy Saturday recipe! These sweet rusks are delicious on their own with a hot cup of coffee or topped with your favorite jam or Greek honey and the perfect afternoon snack. Traditionally from region of Sfakia on the island of Crete but enjoyed throughout Greece and the Greek diaspora, you will fall in love with this authentic, simple Continue Reading →

Pomegranates

a ruby, ripe pomegranate

a ruby, ripe pomegranate

Pomegranates are so unique and so sweet/tart delicious – I just love them! Cracking one open, its always a bit of a wonderful surprise to discover the gorgeous glistening ruby red seeds hiding just beneath their hard, leathery skin.

For many people, the pleasure of enjoying these beauties is tempered by the often times messy affair that peeling and seeding a pomegranate can be. I’m here to tell you, there’s no need to fear – The Greek Vegan is here! This post will quickly tell you how to know when a pomegranate is ripe and show you the quickest/cleanest way to peel and seed this fantastic fruit. You can do it, I promise!, and you’ll never be intimidated by a Continue Reading →

Halva Pudding

individual halva puddings with chopped pistachios and dried apricots

Halva is a delicious, traditional dessert made in a many different variations across Greece and throughout the Middle East. To be honest, halva is wonderful in all forms and flavors. We’ve shared our favorite family recipe below. Fine ground semolina flour, chopped nuts and sweet syrup make this the perfect pudding with it’s charmingly delicate texture flavored with aromatic cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. A very special way to end 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!

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 →

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 →

Ladopsomo / Fried Bread

ladopsomo / fried bread

ladopsomo / fried bread

A seamstress who worked for my father many years ago would bring me ladopsomo when she knew I was coming in to the store. Wrapped in aluminum foil and sprinkled with white sugar, I would be licking my lips the minute I spied that small silver packet next to her sewing machine!

Ladopsomo is simply fried bread and a more delicious result of a handful of plain ingredients there never will be.  Most countries have a version of fried bread or fried dough.  In Greece, it can be served as a side to savory or sweet dishes or stand on its own as the perfect snack. Ladopsomo is light, fluffy Continue Reading →

Tahinopita / Sesame Cream Cake

tahinopita / sesame cream cake

tahinopita / sesame cream cake

Tahinopita (ταχινόπιτα) or sesame cream cake is a delicate, traditional treat for Lenten periods of the year in Greece.  This cake bakes up light and high with walnuts and golden raisins, dusted with a bit of powdered sugar.

Perfect for breakfast with coffee or tea, tahinopita is equally delicious for an afternoon snack or tucked in a lunchbox. Its just ever so slightly crumbly and cuts neatly into slices that Continue Reading →

Tahini Walnut Swirl Cookies

tahini walnut swirl cookies

tahini walnut swirl cookies

These walnut pinwheel tahini cookies are so, so good! Filled to just bursting with sweet, crunchy walnuts, these almost bun like cookies rise up high and light to keep all the delicious filling wrapped up inside.  Also easy to make ahead of time as you can mix the dough days earlier and roll out/bake later!

We enjoyed these traditional sweets throughout the year growing up but especially on the first Wednesday afternoon of Lent. I know from family and friends that this is true of and a tradition in many areas of Greece but am not sure of the exact significance and would be very happy to hear if one of you might Continue Reading →

Apple Cake / Milopita

light, moist, traditional Greek vegan apple cake!

Milopita (Μηλόπιτα) or apple cake is traditionally enjoyed for breakfast in Greece. So moist, chock full of sweet, juicy apples and spiced with cinnamon and cardamom, milopita is a delicate breakfast or dessert that will become a fast favorite in your house!

This simple to bake recipe is a great way to use up apples that might be a little too bruised or old to eat on their own. And you can choose to mix in chopped walnuts or golden raisins for an apple cake with even more Continue Reading →

Koulourakia / Wine Cookies

koulourakia / wine cookies

These cookies will never last more than a few minutes in any cookie jar. They’re crunchy outside, soft inside and the perfect partner to coffee or tea. Our Yiayia, my father’s mom, started her day with these almost every morning. I can still see her at the kitchen table as we came down the stairs for breakfast, dipping a koulouraki into her coffee cup. I can see her there as if it were yesterday.

Koulourakia are simple and quick to bake up and so much fun to make!  The dough rolls out easily into a variety of shapes and it’s a job even little hands can do well. Cardamom, cinnamon and orange zest make these cookies so aromatic and full of flavor, they’ll become your favorites in no time! Mix up a big batch and refrigerate Continue Reading →

Bobota / μπομπότα (Cornbread)

bobota with orange syrup

bobota with orange syrup

A rustic village so-tasty cornbread, bobota is amazingly versatile in both preparation and presentation. I’ve included a  number of traditional variations in this recipe so you can easily make it your own. It’s the perfect breakfast, dessert or just anytime snack!

When making this recipe for myself, I like to bake in a loaf pan and cut it into long biscotti or paximadi type slices and toast them in the oven to have with coffee. For company or to serve as desert, I cook it in a 8×8 inch brownie pan, cut into 3x3inch squares and dust with powdered sugar. My mom and her mother both bake it in a round pan, cut like you would a pie and soak it in sweet syrup. Any way you choose, this Continue Reading →

Peach Barley

peach barley with chopped pecans

peach barley with chopped pecans

This delicious dish hails from the peach orchards of northern Greece. Growing up, we often had a bowl for lunch on hot summer days. It was cool from the fridge, full of sweet peaches and honeyed chewy barley  – almost like eating desert and always a treat!

One taste and you’ll see what an amazing flavor combination peaches and barley make in this authentic Macedonian village dish. A touch of honey (or agave), a bit of orange juice, a dash of cardamom, a few sprigs of fresh mint and a pinch of cinnamon make this simple recipe so delightful Continue Reading →

Fig Jam (Μαρμελάδα Σύκο)

fig jam on toast

fig jam on toast

Fig jam is a taste that brings me back to summer in Greece with each bite.  A delicious, sweet flavor combination of apples and pear with it’s own special citrussy twist – fig jam is just fantastic!

Spread on toast, this jam is one of my favorite quick breakfasts. It’s also a simple and lovely desert served in a filo tart shell. Once you make a batch, you’ll find so many ways to enjoy fig jam – that is if you can stop yourself from eating it right out of the mixing bowl! Continue Reading →

Baked Figs

 

baked figs with pistachios

A fresh, ripe fig warm from the sun is one of the most delicious things you will ever taste – seriously, put this one on your bucket list! As I live in the Northeast US, the local fig season is short and figs shipped in from other states are good but not the same.This traditional, simple, quick recipe takes good figs and makes them great.

A hot oven, a little orange juice, lemon peel and a bit of honey (or agave) and you’re good to go. I often make these for breakfast on a lazy Saturday with sliced almonds on top. They also make a beautiful, light dessert at fancy dinners. However, whenever you choose to indulge, these sticky sweet gems of pink velvety goodness will not disappoint!

Continue Reading →

Quick Kritsinia (Sesame Bread Sticks)

kritsinia sesame bread sticks

You’ll find these crunchy sesame bread sticks wherever you go in Greece. With dozens of varieties to suit every taste, some are sweet, some savory and made with everything from honey and cinnamon to zucchini. Kritsinia are delicious with coffee for breakfast or snack and are a perfect side to any lunch or dinner.

This recipe makes about 2 1/2 dozen and uses store made bread dough. Sea salt, olive oil and sesame seeds dress up the basic dough and give you a positively addictive Continue Reading →

Wheat Berry Pudding / Varvara

wheat berry pudding

I’ve always eaten this dish for breakfast. We jokingly called it Greek oatmeal and it’s still one of my favorites today! Then one day a few years back, I came across it served as dessert in a little village on the island of Chios. The clouds parted, the sun shone, angels sang – I could enjoy this sweet, creamy, nutty pudding any time of day, hooray!

Served warm from the stove with golden raisins mixed in, wheat berry pudding is a fantastic way to start the day. Served at room temp as dessert, appetizer or even lunch with your favorite fruits and nuts Continue Reading →

Oven Baked Apples (μήλα ψητά στο φούρνο)

oven baked apples with almonds and golden raisins

oven baked apples with almonds and golden raisins

Oven baked apples are one of the simplest, most naturally delicious dishes you’ll ever come across. We often ate this dish for breakfast as children. Now I enjoy baked apples more as a dessert sprinkled with cinnamon. Whenever you serve them, these baked apples will be gobbled up as soon as they hit the table!

This dish is a specialty of northern Greece with its beautiful orchards and you’ll find many different versions in Greek Continue Reading →

Grapefruit Marmalade

A breakfast of toast and grapefruit marmalade is so Greece in summertime. It’s sweet and just a bit bitter, so delicious. It’s a unique flavor and one I happen to love.

morning sun, marmalade and toast

This recipe uses only the grapefruit skin and not the fruit which you might think Continue Reading →

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