Patates Riganates – Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Lemon and Oregano

Few people can resist these potatoes, which are capable of stealing the show from any food they accompany, even from the roasted lamb —so make sure you have plenty for seconds. Although it is served all over Greece, this dish is particularly good on islands like Naxos, or here on Kea, where the local potatoes have exceptional flavor.

Adapted from Foods of the Greek Islands (Houghton Mifflin)

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On the special days when a leg of lamb or a chicken is roasted, the potatoes may also be cooked in its juices. If you want to cook this dish using small potatoes there is no need to peel them, but I suggest that you halve them, because they taste best when they can absorb the sauce.

 

Makes 4 to 6 servings

 

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Potato and Olive Stew in Tomato Sauce (Patates Yahni me Elies)

In a rich tomato sauce scented with bay leaves, this simple vegan dish is part of the traditional Greek foods we cook during Lent, hence the late, brilliant Martin Brigdale  chose to photograph it at Meteora, the breathtaking site in Central Greece for my first book The Foods of Greece

 

 

 

Serves 2 as main course, and 4 as side dish

 

 

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Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Paspalas, the Kea ‘pork confit’

The name of the dish, as well as the bits of pork that are simmered until tender and then fried in their fat are called ‘papspalas’ in the local dialect of the island.

READ more about it. 

 

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Because I make these scrumptious scrambled eggs mostly in the winter, I roast the pale, greenhouse tomatoes to give them more flavor. In the summer, diced fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes are perfect for this, as for any other dish. You just need to cook them a bit longer in olive oil until their juices become syrupy. See also Bonnie S. Benwick’s version at the Washington Post

 

Serves 2-3 as a main course, 5-6 as part of a meze spread

 

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Rice and Herb Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades Nistisimi)

Most Greek women use fresh or home frozen grape leaves and this makes all the difference. During our spring and early summer Keartisanal cooking classes we pick them from the garden. This is one of the very first dishes we cooked together with our guests when we started our programs on Kea and it is still one of our guests’ favorite; much like all over the Eastern Mediterranean, this is often prepared by a group of family and friends, as it is somewhat time consuming. 

The vine leaves toughen as the days get hotter, though, so later in the summer we use our home-frozen ones which work equally well. If you can get hold of even a few fresh grape leaves, use them as flavoring, placing them between the dolmades. Fresh leaves need to be blanched for about 3-5 minutes, while frozen tender leaves can be used directly after thawing, or need to be blanched just for a few seconds.

Make the dolmades one or two days in advance, let them cool in the pot, and then store in the fridge. They taste better the next day.

 

To serve 8-10 as an appetizer

 

 

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