All posts tagged: starter

Canapé Gaudi

Nothing prepares you for the sight of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. You have seen pictures and documentaries about this unfinished cathedral, but the scale of its surreality hits you in the face, no matter the sheer number of tourists flocking to take their selfies. It is surreal in the sense of Salvador Dali, but on a giant scale, an extravaganza of architectural components, not unlike exotic fruits, that somehow fit together to something bigger than the parts. And what a great introduction to the Spanish cuisine. At its best is it not a combination of heterogeneous ingredients exploding in the palate? Inspired from tapas based on tinned seafood served in Quimet & Quimet, here is a not so obvious canapé. Greek strained yogurt and thinly sliced smoked salmon on top of your preferred crackers, drizzled with truffled honey and glazed balsamic vinegar. Enjoy with a glass of sauvignon blanc!  

fig salad

Figs, rocket and ‘xinotyri’ salad

When in Naxos we have more figs than we can handle. Just two fig trees produce such quantities than we do not even have to stretch more than where our arms reach to collect whole baskets. We feel somehow obliged not to waste such glorious fruits and we try to come up with new ways to prepare and preserve them. Two years ago we decided to use them for chutney. I do not remember with how many kilos of dubious fig chutney we ended up. This year we continued to explore. We wanted to combine with other local ingredients. Potatoes, fish and protocyladic art were opted out… but honey and xinotyri    – the local variety of goat cheese – were a hit! We adapted the following salad from Ottolenghi’s ‘The Cookbook’. Serves 4 600g figs ( approximately 8 large figs), washed and cut into quarters 200g xinotyri from Naxos ( or any goat’s cheese of your liking), cut into large chunks 100g rocket leaves (preferably wild) handful of basil leaves 2 Tbsp thyme honey …



Before food globalisation lahmajoun existed on the fringes of food choices in Greece. You could find it mostly in Armenian restaurants and did not even feature in culinary choices of the part of my family that arrived from Asia Minor. Nowadays it is very much in vogue, and some of the best street food in Athens. This healthy pizza alternative (without the chilli flakes) is a great dinner idea for kids. For the dough 620g all purpose flour 2 tsp sea salt 300g milk 45g olive oil 9g dried yeast dissolved in 3 Tbsp lukewarm water 1 tsp caster sugar For the topping 580g minced beef (or lamb or a mixture of both) 140g onion 80g red bell pepper 2 plum tomatoes, deseeded (you can use canned tomatoes) 1 clove of garlic (optional) 20g parsley leaves 40g olive oil 2 Tbsp tomato paste 2tsp sweet paprika 2tsp ground cumin 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional) 1 tsp sea salt Start with the dough. Add the sugar to the dissolved yeast and stir. Set …


Bruschetta Improvisation

It is Saturday, you are running around like crazy, you had no time to prepare a decent lunch, you want to stay at home and you are not in the mood to make compromises. What can you do? Open the fridge and reach out for some basic ingredients. Make something simple, festive and delicious. Spread it over some toasted bread and voila! Bruschettas extraordinaires! Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a quick main dish For the avocado spread 1 ripe avocado 1/2 tsp dijon mustard juice of 1 lemon (or less) 3-4 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped salt to taste (optional) freshly ground black pepper For the bruschettas 8 toasted slices of sourdough bread avocado spread 1/2 quantity of spicy feta cheese spread (tyrokafteri) sliced cherry tomatoes very thinly sliced parmesan very thinly sliced ham extra virgin olive oil red bell pepper, cut into thin strips pickled  gherkins, sliced parsley leaves for garnishing Combine the avocado, dijon mustard and lemon juice in a mini food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, add the chopped tomatoes, …