Roasted Cabbage with Smoked Pepper and Rosemary

At Nolan restaurant in Athens, I tasted a salad of deliciously ‘burned,’ caramelized winter vegetables –pieces of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli— dressed with a lovely Asian-inspired sauce.  “Roasting cabbage wedges at high heat makes them crisp at the edges and tender in the middle,“ writes Melissa Clark in NYT Cooking.

 

 

Her recipe, the very first I encountered of roasted cabbage wedges –many have been published since– inspired me to try my version.

I omitted the anchovies and parmesan, but added both soy and fish sauce, as well as a large pinch of my favorite hot Florina smoked pepper, along with plenty of rosemary, which I think complements beautifully this Asian-Mediterranean roasted cabbage.  Costas and I loved it, and we make it quite regularly these days.

It accompanies beautifully any kind of meat or chicken, but we also eat it with the wonderful olive-oil-fried eggs from our neighbor’s hens, and feta cheese.

 

Serves 3- 4  (more…)

Share

Read More

The Festive, Fragrant Olive Oil Bread from Provence

It is an old Mediterranean tradition to have several sweets on display during the end of the year holidays. Part of the traditional Christmas table in Provence this delicious olive oil bread is supposed to be torn into pieces with the hands and never cut with a knife.

From mid-December and up until after the New Year we usually keep on the festive table nuts and dried fruit, plus melomakarona and kourabiedes.  

 

BREAD Pompe S

BREAD Pompe cut S

Wikipedia refers also to the Sephardic Jewish tradition to serve various nuts, candied and dried fruits during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.  Catalans and Armenians share similar traditions. (more…)

Share

Read More

Fassoláda: the Traditional Bean soup, Revisited

The epitome of comforting, winter meal for Greeks, fassoláda is warming and filling. Prepared with the excellent ingredients from northern Greece that are now available, it becomes even more enticing!

 

I originally wrote and posted this seven years ago, as I was going through my first-grade school book published right after the Second World War. In it there was a description of fassoláda (bean soup), which was often referred to as ‘the Greek national dish’ in the old days. Surprisingly, the version in my book had no tomato! I was shocked, as fassoláda is always made with tomatoes as far as I can remember, but probably in those days canned tomatoes as well as tomato paste were not yet a common ingredient in all households. See also how the kitchen and stove looked in most parts of the country the 1950ies…

 

My revised recipe below is flavored with the wonderful Piperokama, the dried, smoked, hot peppers of Florina that our friend Naoumidis prepares.  I am told that it will be soon available in the US, as are his other deeply flavored roasted peppers which you can order  HERE and also HERE

 

We love to eat fassolàda with feta cheese, but also with canned sardines in olive oil or any smoked fish.

A simple bowl of olives, and/or taramosalata is the custom during the days of Lent, preceding Christmas.

 

Serves 4-6


(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