All posts tagged: healthy

Eggplant, Green Peppers and Feta Mille-feuille

Eggplants might be common in the Mediterranean kitchen, but can become bland if not deep fried or combined with something intense, like feta. At least this is what one of us believes-the other one doesn’t. In any case, this mille-feuille applies to hard-core eggplant aficionados and the ones that need something extra to go with them. As an extra challenge for this recipe, we sourced all ingredients from a range of 3km. We bought the tomatoes, the eggplants and the peppers from a local farmer and the feta from Stratoula, the best dairy producer in the area, according to Popi, whose olive oil we used. Serves 6 Base ingredients 1,5 kg eggplants,peeled in stripes and cut into 1cm thick slices 3 medium potatoes (350g), cut into thin slices olive oil, for brushing the eggplant and potato slices salt and freshly ground black pepper For the tomato sauce (4 cups) 1,5kg ripe tomatoes 1,5-2 tsp sugar (depending on the acidity of the tomatoes) 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup olive oil To assemble the mille-feuille 200g green bell peppers, …

tomato and watermelon gazpacho

Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho

When we are staying in our summerhouse in Anavyssos, (about 50kms from Athens, on the Saronic Gulf) we almost feel compelled to use local products. In the summer the population doubles in Anavyssos and the beaches get packed with  day trippers from Athens. Nevertheless stubbornly and somehow out of context we navigate through the Touristenströmung to local  farmers and cheese producers to source our daily ingredients. The last time we visited one of the producers for vegetables, he offered us a watermelon. Here is the result: tomato and watermelon gazpacho. Serves 8 For the Gazpacho 2kg ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled and roughly chopped 400g watermelon flesh, deseeded and roughly chopped 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped 150g onion, roughly chopped 50g celery, leaves and stalks roughly chopped 150ml tomato juice 10g basil leaves 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 200ml extra virgin olive oil 3/4 tsp sea salt freshly ground black pepper To serve croutons or bread in small cubes cucumber, cut into small cubes feta cheese, cut into small cubes watermelon flesh, deseeded and cut …

Gemista (Stuffed Vegetables)

Gemista in greek means ‘stuffed’, and the most common vegetables to stuff are tomatoes and green peppers. We can however argue that Gemista was a popular dish, with the same name, before tomatoes and peppers were introduced to Europe after the discovery of America. They probably stuffed eggplants, that were introduced by the Arabs in the middle ages, and vine leaves. Rice was available in Greece ever since the soldiers of Alexander brought it home from Asia, so it could be used in the stuffing. We can deduce that Gemista have existed at least since the 15th century, because poor Gemistos, a byzantine scholar and teacher had to change his name to the more archaic “Pletho’. How can you keep your academic dignity, if you are named after stuffed vegetables? Serves 8 The vegetables 5 tomatoes, ripe but firm 8 green bell peppers 3 sweet red long peppers 20 vine leaves 3 large onions (make about 10 stuffed onions) 2 medium potatoes, cut into thin wedges The rice filling 500g white middle-grain rice (risotto rice), …

Greek Mess, in a good sense

This is not Eton Mess – it is Greek Mess in a good sense. Eton Mess is probably more relevant right now, but a Greek Mess is always possible. It is the Mediterranean summer now, and it is hotter than usual. This means that it is a good idea to have something light and cold for lunch. Our favourite is greek low fat (2%) yogurt with fruit. You can combine any fruit you want, but our combination for this summer is peach and blueberries. They have to be very cold and of the best quality, of course. Serves 1 200g low fat (2%) strained greek yogurt 1 peach, cubed 10 blueberries Place all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

Grilled Sardines Greek Style

Full of Omega 3,  without the mercury and very affordable. That is the power of sardines. Of course, you have to like them – and not everybody does. In any case the smell of grilled sardines is inexorable connected to the Mediterranean summer. We like them slightly “overgrilled”. Do not let the blackness of the grilled fish put you off, it adds extra flavour. Serves 2 250g sardines, cleaned,gutted, scales and heads removed 160g onion, finely sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 200g potatoes very finely sliced 1 cup parsley, finely chopped 225g tomatoes, peeled and deseeded 1/4 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional) 10 cherry tomatoes, halved 2 Tbsp capers 2 pinches dried oregano 1/2 cup olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup water (or more if needed) Preheat your oven grill to high temperature. Wash and drain the sardines on paper towels. Blend the peeled and deseeded tomatoes with the sugar in a mini food processor until smooth. Arrange the onions, garlic, potatoes and sardines in a baking dish large …

watermelon salad with feta

Eat Watermelon Salad with Feta

Not only is this easy to make summer salad very refreshing, but it contains 80% more light than other food, because of the watermelon. If it was not for the feta, it  would contain even more light. If you eat it you help release trapped light back to the cosmos – at least this is what a now extinct gnostic religion of the Late Antiquity, the followers of Mani,believed! It sounds even more bizarre than the Jedi Church, but the cult existed indeed. The last standing temple of the religion is in the southeast coast of China, transformed to a buddhist shrine now, and surrounded by watermelon plants I suppose. Serves 2-4 400g chilled watermelon, rind removed, desseeded  and cubed 150g cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped 100g feta, cubed 1 Tbsp mint, finely chopped 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar freshly ground black pepper Place the watermelon, cucumber, feta cheese and mint in a large bowl. Combine the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, pour over the watermelon mixture and toss gently …

blood orange salmon

Blood Orange salmon

Fast, simple, light and delicious. This recipe makes a weekday dinner without much hassle. Serves 2 2 salmon steaks 2 Tbsp soy sauce zest of 1 blood orange 3 Tbsp mirin 3/4 cup blood orange juice 1 clove garlic, minced 1 Tbsp very finely grated fresh ginger root freshly ground black pepper Combine orange juice, zest, mirin, garlic and ginger in a large food container. Rinse and pat dry the salmon with a a paper towel. Place the salmon steaks in the marinade and allow to coat for 10 minutes each side. Preheat a large heavy  nonstick skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Remove the salmon from the marinade, place it on skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, turn the steaks over, pour the marinade over the steaks, dicrease the heat to low-medium and let simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn the steaks once more, increase the heat to medium-high and let simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Serve over steamed rice or mashed potatoes or/and a green salad.