Kapuska: Cabbage with Ground Meat and Farro

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A kind of deconstructed stuffed cabbage leaves, this is a wonderful and most satisfying winter dish. It is inspired by Ozlem Warren’s Bulguru Lahana Kapuska.  I substituted wheat berries (farro) for the bulgur, and omitted the pepper paste, adding lots of Maras pepper. I used white wine and very little water as the cooking broth, plus some crushed canned tomatoes. (more…)

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Rice Porridge with Olive Oil and Bay Leaves

This is my variation on lapas (pronounced lah-pàhs) the traditional Greek comfort food our mothers cooked for us whenever we were sick with a stomach or tummy ache. It is a soft risotto, that is best eaten as soon as it is taken off the heat.

Rice porridge S

But I refrigerate the leftovers and reheat in the microwave, spaying with some water, since I never serve it plain. I use it much like polenta as the base for many different strongly-flavored toppings, like the Roasted Quince and Carrots –with or without eggs or chicken– or with Baked Scallion Meatballs and Avgolemono Sauce. But it is wonderful simply mixed with just crumbled feta or any other cheese.

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Traditionally Lapas has no herbs or other flavorings, but my Georgian friends, who also prepared a similar dish, added a few bay leaves which made it wonderfully aromatic. I took their idea and now bay leaves have become part of my rice porridge. (more…)

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Mung Bean Soup with Tomato and Turmeric

Here I have adapted my mother’s simple recipe for lentil soup, a winter staple in our house for as long as I can remember. My mother added mustard to all the pulses believing that it helped tame the occasional digestive issues.

Somehow inspired by the bean’s origin I add turmeric and my mung beans become a richer and more flavorful soup than the original lentils!

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VEGAN

Serves 6 to 8 (more…)

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Fassoláda (bean soup) Revisited

In my first-grade school book, published right after the Second World War, there was a description of fassolàda (bean soup), often referred to as ‘the Greek national dish,’ surprisingly without tomato. I was shocked, as fassolàda is always made with tomatoes. See also how the kitchen and stove was in the 1950ies…

We love to eat fassolàda with feta cheese, but also with sardines in olive oil or any smoked fish. A simple bowl of olives is the custom in Greece during the days of Lent.

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Serves 4-6
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