Feta on Barley Rusks with Cherry Tomato Relish

Inspired by the traditional Dakos/paximadia Salad from Crete, this is a somewhat different, delicious summer treat, or even an ideal lunch for the hot days. We prepared it with chef Michael Costa during the Greek Dinner we served to the 600+ participants of the 20019 Oxford Symposium, the last one that actually took place in Oxford; it has since moved to Zoom, due to the pandemic…

 

The dressing/relish is versatile and you can also use it over grilled chicken, fish or meat. This bright and fresh dish is ideal for picnics and garden dining.

See also the purslane-tomato relish I had posted earlier. 

 

 

Serves about 20 as a meze and 10-12 as summer lunch

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Grilled Asparagus with Olive-oil-fried-eggs

Green are the only fresh asparagus we find here, on the island. They come usually from the Peloponnese and are succulent, and wonderful.

We like to briefly grill them on a stovetop griddle, on a non-stick pan, simply rubbed with olive oil and simply serve them sprinkled with some local, delicious finishing salt.

See also the  variation with Peppers and Zucchini slices. 

Recently we started combining the incredibly-tasting olive-oil-fried eggs from our neighbor’s hens with the grilled asparagus making a full dish. Elizabeth Minchilli calls this ‘Asparagus Bizmarck’ –probably an Italian term for the dish; she blanches her asparagus instead of grilling them. 

 

I fry the eggs separately, and only until the white is no longer transparent. If you like to see the correct, Spanish way of frying eggs in olive oil check Jose Andres’ method.  

We like to complement with feta cheese the asparagus and eggs, and of course serve slices of my latest homemade bread alongside.   

The much sought-after white asparagus are cultivated in the north of Greece, and as far as I know are mostly exported in Germany and other parts of Europe.  

 

To trim the green asparagus simply bend them until they snap. The top is the tender part you would like to grill and the bottom, somewhat tougher is ideal to flavor pasta, risotto, or any broth. Chop and keep in a the freezer until needed. 

 

My recipe loosely-based on Giada in Italy (episode 5) 

 

Serves 4 (more…)

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Yogurt, Olive oil, and Feta Drop Cookies (Koulourakia Almyra)

My mother used to made a version of these, with more flour together with the yogurt and olive oil, so that she could shape flat disks and fill the half-moon tyropitakia (turnovers) with feta mixed with eggs and chopped mint.

I just thought that I could probably whip up a savory cookie that contained the cheese and mint, and here is my version.  You can halve the recipe, but keep in mind that you can freeze these savory koulourakia and even if you don’t warm them up a bit before serving, they are still delicious.

 

Makes 40-45 cookie (about two-inch) (more…)

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