Roasted Leg of Lamb with North-African Spices, Lemon, and Onions

Adapted from Mediterranean Hot and Spicy

I call this herb and spice rub ‘North-African’ because besides the classic oregano and rosemary, it contains such Tunisian and Moroccan spices as caraway, cumin, and turmeric. In addition it is spiked with harissa, the ubiquitous hot pepper paste, that is to Arab North-Africa what chili oil is to Asia.


With the same spice mixture you can rub poultry, beef, or pork, two to three hours before grilling, and leave at room temperature. Or you can mix 3 tablespoons of this rub with 3 tablespoons thick yogurt and baste chicken breast or legs, or skewered lamb and pork, before grilling. Better yet, leave in the refrigerator overnight, in the spicy yogurt marinade.

Makes 6 servings (more…)


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MAGIRITSA –Easter Lamb Soup

Magiritsa is traditionally made with the parts of the lamb not used for spit-roasting. Remember that Greek Easter lambs are very small (about 24 pounds). In the classic recipe, all the innards –heart, lungs, and so forth– go into the pot, but they do not really contribute to taste. The flavor of the stock comes from the boiled head and neck, and the soup gets its distinctive taste from scallions, fresh dill, and egg-and-lemon sauce. There are lots of different magiritsa recipes.

Adapted from The Foods of Greece.




A friend described to me the one her family prepared in Halki, a small island in the Dodecanese. In her family’s version, no innards are used because, on Halki as on all the Dodecanese islands, people do not roast the lamb on a spit, but slow roast it in a wood-burning oven, stuffing the cavity with rice and chopped innards. In Halki’s magiritsa, many lamb’s heads were boiled to make a very tasty stock. The heads were not boned, but as they cooked for many hours, even the bones softened. Each member of the family got one head and ate it with the broth. No scallions or dill were added to that unusual magiritsa. (more…)


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Aglaia’s Mousaka (or Moussaka)

My Mousaka (or moussaka) with layers of eggplants, potatoes, and peppers, is topped with yogurt and olive oil béchamel. I recently added the spicy and smoky Kea sausage to the lamb, to deepen and enrich the flavor.

 Read HERE about the origin of this iconic Greek dish.

‘Pseudo-moussaka’ is the meat-less, vegetarian version of the dish that my mother often prepared in the summer (scroll down to see this delicious Variation).



See the video of My moussaka from Joanne Weir’s Plates and Places.


Little did we know how idiosyncratic the name of the vegetarian version were to our home.  We all loved it and I thought the term ‘pseudo-moussaka’ was common until my first husband burst into wild laughter upon hearing the name of my family dish! After much investigation he concluded that it was family jargon, but it was ours, and it was delicious.


I serve large spoonfuls, as with all gratin dishes; not perfectly cut squares. If you prefer a more elegant presentation make it in individual clay pots.



Makes 6 servings




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