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.