Braised Chicken with Beet Greens in Avgolemono Sauce

We love to make this delicious, yet very simple dish with the greens and stems from the local beets that we get on Kea almost all through the winter, until early in the spring. Manuela, my neighbor often gives me beets from her garden that are especially delicious. Later in April, as the actual beets get tough, we only cook the greens, as we would spinach, chard, or any other local leaves. 

The sweet beet greens are especially delicious flavored with the tart, avgolemono sauce.



Serves 6 (more…)


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Irresistible Plant Based Pasta Dishes

While in most parts of the world pasta is closely associated with butter and cheese, in Greece we have lots of traditional plant-based pasta dishes, without a trace of animal components. They were the staple of the numerous Lenten days, almost half the year –according to the old Orthodox calendar.

A humble leftover lentil soup becomes a delicious vegan pasta with complex flavor, while in my Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts  I created the Lebanese-inspired Linguine with Spicy Lentils and Caramelized Onions. 



Our plant-based, vegan dishes are not contrived, but created by the women who had to bring a delicious, filling dish to their family’s table.




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Olive and Greens Pasta with Garlic and Lemon

I often make pasta with greens and lemon. Recently I found a recipe for pasta with green olives and feta in the NYT which was very close to what I often whip up.

But I wanted to try and make a completely plant based dish, with no cheese at all.

I was intrigued by a vegan pasta with greens and lemon in Food and Wine: It had white miso to add umami, but this ubiquitous Asian component is not part of our everyday ingredients, so I decided to use sliced Kalamata olives, the Mediterranean umami equivalent…

The resulting pasta is truly delicious, even for non-vegans like us!


See also my humble leftover lentil soup and the Lebanese-inspired Linguine with Spicy Lentils and Caramelized Onions. 

Serves 4-5 (more…)


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Spanakopita-like Bread with Greens, Scallions, Herbs, and Cheese

I usually have pieces of my basic bread or laganes dough in the fridge, so the other day I decided to use the wild greens Costas had collected from the garden to make this fast and irresistible greens and cheese tart, or pizza-like spanakopita. If you like, you can top the greens with a mixture of yogurt and egg just before transferring the skillet to the oven (see variation).

You can probably make this spanakopita-bread  with store-bought, whole-wheat pizza dough, if you are not up to making you own bread dough from scratch. 


For a 9-inch round bread, or 2 stuffed loaves  (more…)


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My Bread and/or Laganes (flatbreads)

Inspired from the traditional, fragrant festive Greek island recipes, this is the basic bread dough I use for various kinds of loaves but also for lagana (plural laganes) the flat, focaccia-like loaves that I make all the time, topped with any kind of seasonal vegetables or fruit —sliced fresh figs when in season, or wine-soaked dried figs in the winter, tomato or peppers in the summer, kumquat with spicy cheese etc.


Instead of baking the bread on the stone, I often heat a cast iron or clay casserole and when the loaf is ready, I carefully transfer it inside the heated casserole, close the lid and let it bake inside for about 30 minutes then uncover, and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until it is done. Baked inside the casserole the bread gets a more substantial crust. 


I also flatten and roll pieces of the dough stuffing it with greens or broccoli. Lately I invented a pizza-like spanakopita, topping this beautiful dough with the mixture of greens, herbs, feta, and other cheeses –the same one that I use for my winter greens’ pie, where I combine not just spinach but also a variety of wonderful wild, foraged greens. I shaped the round bread-spanakopita in a non-stick skillet, and fried it for about 6-8 minutes, until the bottom started to brown, then continued to bake it in the oven. 



Yields 1 large or 2 medium loaves, or 2-3 flat laganes (more…)


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