Tuesday, September 22, 2009



15-20 zucchini blossoms
1 cup rice
½ cup olive oil
½ minced red onion
¼ cup fresh tomato pulp
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup sultana raisins
4 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
4 Tbs. finely chopped dill
½ tsp finely chopped mint leaves
Sea salt and pepper

Heat 5 Tbs. olive oil in a pan. Sauté the onion, rice, and pine nuts for 7-10 minutes. Add the raisins, tomato pulp, parsley, dill, and mint. Remove from heat, mix well and allow to cool. Add salt and pepper

Prepare your zucchini blossoms by rinsing them under cold water and remove the inside stem. Fill the blossoms by holding each blossom while adding about 2 tsp. of rice filling. Turn in the ends of the blossoms and place them in a pot tightly next to each other. Add the remaining olive oil and 1 ½ cups of water. Cover and allow to cook for about 1 hour. Remove to serving platter and drizzle with the pan drippings.

The above ingredients are to be used for the mango, peach, orange and cilantro salsa enjoy! recipe down below
1/2 red Onions, finely sliced
1 Mango, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch Coriander, finely chopped
1 sweet orange, peeled and finely chopped
1 peach, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Olive oil
2-3 green and red chillies, chopped
Simply mix all above ingredients and allow to sit for one hour before you serve it. An amazing company to grilled chicken, pork chops along with basmati rice.

The street market close to my house

This beautiful picture is taken again at the street vegetable market
To make preserved vegetables in vinegar and salt brine follow the recipe below

9 cups water
6 cups Distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup Pickling salt, Kosher salt or other non-iodized salt
1/2 to 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2-3 whole cloves of garlic2-3 hot dried chilesWhole cloves, dill, tarragon, and or basil [optional]Carrots [cut in 3 inch rounds or quartered and cut into 2-3 inch lengths]
Cauliflower (optionial cut in small flowerlettes)
Celery stalks (cut into 2-3 inch pieces)Small white onions (peeled)
baby cucumbers cut into 3 inch rounds
green sweet chillies (whole)

Prepare the vegetables in the desired amount of each and place in a large covered jar or crock and pour the liquid and spices over the vegetables. Stir occasionally for about three weeks when pickles are ready to eat. Serve chilled.

Twice a week there is an open neighborhood vegetable and fruit market close to our house in Glyfada. I visit the market as often as I am able to since the produce is proudly set up by local small producers and amazingly fresh. The problem is that when I go to this market I come home with more ideas, inspiration and recipes I intended for the day. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the baby eggplants, baby zucchinis and baby chili peppers were in season. So was baby okra and fresh tarragon. Anyway I got home with more stuff than I could really cook for the day or the week for that matter. I usually go towards the end, 2pm. when the vendors are ready to go home and sell just about everything for half or less price.

So, I now want to share with you some of the pictures I took from the market and recipes I used. I preserved a variety of vegetables in brine made of water, salt and vinegar. Made some amazing fresh mango, peach, red onion, cilantro salsa. Finished by making stuffed zucchini blossoms and sweet eggplant preserves. I know you might think this is so...unusual, but please know that eggplant is really a fruit and not a vegetable which fact qualifies it ...for preserves. It is delicious and a staple of every Greek home, prepared in early fall to be used throughout the winter.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


This is a fantastic dish to keep company to any grilled meat or fish. It is no more work than just knowing how to boil water and that is precisely all you have to do. You can change the look of this golden grain by adding anything your pantry owns. Of course you need to keep in mind that food is like clothes, they need to match. So you can have a seafood tabouli, a sundried tomato, olive and prochiouto tabouli, a Greek salad tabouli, a fresh vegetable tabouli, a grilled vegetable tabouli or even a left over from last night bits and bites tabouli or even a pistachio nut apricot and cinnamon tabouli.

The one below is my favorite.
2 cups plain bulgur (cracked wheat) or cous cous
2 cups hot salted water

Tomato and parsley vatiation
2 cups fineley chopped tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup finely chopped green onion
2 cups finely chopped parsley
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped red pepper
¼ cup roughly chopped mint
A hand full pitted kalamata olives
½ cup olive oil, salt and pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Dried fruit variation
½ tsp fresh lemon juice
A few leaves of fresh tarragon
A few leaves fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dried apricots, finely chopped
½ cup dried figs, finely chopped
½ cup sultana raisins
¼ cup grated carrot
½ cup sliced toasted almonds
½ cup halved pistachios
¼ cup green onion, finely chopped

In a large salad bowl place the dry bulgur. Pour over the hot boiling water, salt and 2 tbs olive oil. Cover with a dish towel and allow to sit for a couple of hours . Remove the towel and fluff the bulgur working with two forks.

Continue by adding the rest of the olive oil with lemon and all the rest of the ingredients. Omit the lemon if you are making the dried fruit edition. Place in the fridge and take out when ready to serve. Your guest will be indeed impressed.
“Pick me up”
½ pound mascarpone cheese
½ liter whipping cream

4 tbs instant Nescafe or espresso
1 liter fresh milk
4 Tbs coffee or chocolate liqueur

36 “lady fingers” or “savoyardi” cookiesor 1 pound of cookies
1 cup cocoa powder

In a clean mixing bowl whip the cream with 1tbs of powder sugar until it is very thick. Do not over beat as it will turn into butter!! Fold into cream room temperature mascarpone cheese. In a second bowl mix the milk with coffee and liqueur.
You will now need a pyrex pan about 9X13 in.
To assembly the dessert you start by dipping, not soaking!!, very fast the cookies into the milk coffee mixture. Cover the bottom of the pan by layering the cookies next to each other and spread half of the cream. Continue with a second layer of cookies and finish by spreading the rest of the cream on top. Refrigerate and when ready to serve generously dust through a fine sieve the cocoa powder. Only good comments and compliments are echoing as your family and guests get to taste the “pick me up” dessert. This is what “ti ra misou” means in Italian. A little help with the coffee, the liqueur and the cocoa certainly can “pick you up”…anytime, anyplace.
In case you feel like making your own savoyardi cookies here is the recipe since they can be used for a tea party and other occasions as well…eating occasions I mean. You will need:

6 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
3 egg whites
¼ cup + all purpose flour

Whip the yolks with ¼ cup of sugar until they hold stiff peaks. Continue by whipping the egg whites with another ¼ cup of sugar until they get pale and light. Fold the two mixtures by folding in the flour through a fine sieve. On buttered baking paper shape long cookies by dipping a wet spoon into the mixture. You cannot hold this dough, it is very light and wet. There are special molds to be filled that give a better looking cookie. Bake in 350 degree preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Before baking sprinkle with sugar. Allow to cool and can be kept into a air tight container for up to two weeks once they are cool and dry.

Friday, May 29, 2009


1 kilo (2.2 lb.) of fresh spinach.
1(1 pound) package of Athens Phyllo dough.
2 large good-looking leeks.
2 green onions, sliced
1-½ cups of good green olive oil.
½ cup cut up fresh dill.
½ pound Greek feta cheese
4 lightly beaten eggs

First clean the spinach from dry and yellow leaves, wash it well, let it drain and then chop it up, medium roughly. Do the same with the leeks and green onions. Put the spinach, leeks, green onions and dill in a deep bowl add salt, pepper and ½ of olive oil and “knead it” until it looses volume and spinach looks wilted and has a dark color.
Add the crumbled feta cheese, lightly beaten eggs and put the mixture aside. Take a nice 9x13 baking deep, lasagna pan dish and brush it with olive oil.

Open the package of the phyllo dough, cover it with a damp towel and start layering one sheet at a time by brushing them with the olive oil. Allow part of the dough to go up on the sides of the pan, because later you will fold them in. You want this to be a somewhat sealed pie on the sides. When you have used half of the dough spread the spinach mixture in it. Continue by layering the rest of the dough. Finish by brushing the top final layer with olive oil. Take the bottom dough that overlies on the ends of the pan and bring in over the top layers of dough. Pat it down and brush with more olive oil. Let that extra dough hang outside the pan and you finish with layering all of it, go back and turn in by folding it at the ends. As you work with this pie you will find out some other little way you like to do this or that! It is your pie; your dough and you are the boss!!

Now before you bake it you HAVE to score it in diagonal pieces. If you do not you will have to find a new way to serve it because the dough gets real crisp and there is no way to cut it in pieces. Bake it in an already heated oven 350 f. For at least one hour or until the phyllo has a light golden baklava color like. Place your rack pretty low, or maybe in the middle rack, since when you use phyllo dough the top gets cooked faster than the bottom.
Enjoy this pie as an appetizer serving it in diagonal pieces in a nice platter or as a main meal if there is nothing else to eat.


1 large cut up chicken
1 pound orzo pasta
1 cup chopped tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
4 - 5 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry the chicken pieces well. I always love to cook chicken with skin and bones on. You will need 11x13 baking pan that will eventually hold about five cups of liquid.
Place the chicken pieces into the baking pan and season with salt, pepper, olive oil. Add garlic and tomatoes. Cook in a 370F. oven for about 45 minutes or until meat is tender αnd still has a light color. Then remove from the oven add about 4 cups of salted hot water and return to the oven. Let juices get almost bubbly and real hot and then add the orzo pasta. Make sure the pasta is all over and around the pan. You might have to add extra salt, cook until all pan juices are absorbed and pasta is cooked. Optional accent would be some sundried tomatoe pieces and or sliced kalamata olives.
Serve with a good portion of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top