Bouyourdi: Grilled Feta, Tomato, and Pepper

Bouyourdi hardly needs a recipe.  One or two slices of good tomato, a lavish slice of Feta cheese and pieces of bell and hot pepper are doused with olive oil, generously sprinkled with oregano and grilled in a very hot oven. Bouyourdi is brought to the table directly in its baking dish, often individual clay pots, and enjoyed with plenty of fresh crusty bread to sop-up the scrumptious oil. Although served as a meze in Greece, it can also be a wonderful breakfast or brunch dish for the whole family …Read more.

 

This very simple, absolutely irresistible meze is a somewhat recent addition to the summer menu of Greek taverns. It probably has its roots in the fried or grilled peppers with batzos – a quite pungent, semi-hard cheese from Thessaly and Macedonia. The irresistible meze was probably first served in Thessaloniki taverns and the surrounding areas, and was eventually adopted by home and restaurant cooks all over Greece.

 

 

Serves 4

(more…)

Share

Read More

Feta in Phyllo Packages

I first had this clever and simple version of feta package in Eumelia, the Organic Agrotourism Farm in southern Peloponnese. Marilena, the owner, cook, and instructor, served us a large, home-rolled phyllo and feta package, which, as she explained, she prepares in advance, freezes it, and then briefly fries in a hot oil skillet whenever she needs to present a quick snack or meze. Her twist on the common phyllo triangles served at most taverns, is that the thin slices of feta inside the frozen phyllo are adequately heated through as the package is briefly fried, becoming particularly delicious. The soft cheese does not disintegrate inside the crunchy phyllo, as in most versions of the appetizer.

 

Chef Uri Eshet at Kea Retreat serves the packages with sliced figs; you can pair them with other fresh, seasonal fruit and/or with fruit preserves. Drizzle with honey or any syrup, and sprinkled with sesame seeds or nigella, if you like.

 

I bet that this easy, convenient, and delicious morsel, whipped up with commercial phyllo, will become your next favorite appetizer.  The pieces are quite filling, so one per person is enough.

 

To make 9 feta-phyllo packages (more…)

Share

Read More

Cold Yogurt Soup with Cucumber, Herbs, and Rose Petals

This hauntingly aromatic Persian soup, adapted from a recipe by Iranian-American chef Hoss Zaré, combines nuts and raisins with dill, mint, chives or scallion, and dried rose petals, all suspended in yogurt, creating a delicate, refreshing, and crunchy soup.

Unlike the boldly flavored cacik, the Turkish yogurt-cucumber-garlic soup, common throughout the Mediterranean –an ancestor of tzatziki– this older, fragrant Persian soup has no garlic.

I use almonds or pistachios instead of the walnuts the original recipe calls for, and I add preserved lemon, which enhances the soup with its salty-tangy flavor. I suggest you double the recipe and enjoy it the next morning for breakfast.

 

 

Serves 6 (more…)

Share

Read More

My Boiled Vegetable Salad

This is a simple, delicious salad/lunch that you can make any season with the most wonderful local vegetables and greens you can find. With Claudia Roden, we shared our happiness that boiling vegetables have at last become the IN thing to do!  Our book editors, until recently, had stricken out of our recipes the mere mention of boiling any vegetable or green, replacing it by ‘blanching’ or ‘steaming…’ Read more

 

Potatoes, carrots and a couple of onions are boiled first, in a pot with 1-2 teaspoons salt, until tender and easily pierced with a fork. 

 

 

We discard nothing in our part of the world, and we have learned that for example the root-ends of spinach are delicious when fresh, (more…)

Share

Read More