A summer without it would be very dull.

Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers straight from the garden, olives -that came from our olive trees- preserved in bitter orange juice. Onion juice and bitter orange juice marinated fresh tuna. Boiled potatoes. Sea salt and ground pepper. Olive oil. Small barley rusks wet  with fresh tomato juice and olive oil. Basil leaves.


Greek Salad on Foodista






Still summer…. the tomato- plants still bear gorgeous, sweet and full flavored red fruits.


You can eat them plain, of course, or make a home- made sun –dried tomato paste. Choose 3 kilos vine-ripened tomatoes, cut them into pieces, sprinkle with sea-salt, leave them under the sun for a day.


The next morning put them in the blender (if you like add 2 garlic teeth and/or some basil leaves), press the paste into the bottom of a baking dish and dry it under the sun. At 3-4 days it is probably done. Keep it in jars, covered with olive oil.



Use it in the place of regular tomato paste, to heat things up, or spread it on a piece of fresh bread. Or, while frying eggs, add some of it in the frying olive oil.

Still summer…. put some ice cubes into a bowl, cover them with a fig leaf, arrange 2 sliced cucumbers on it (I used klossoudi, a traditional  Greek landrace), sprinkle with salt, add few drops of white vinegar and chopped dill from the garden.



They are crisp, cold… and of course dill – scented.

Still summer… toss peppers on the grill.


When they are cold enough stuff them with crumbled feta cheese seasoned with red pepper flakes (boukovo). Cover them with extra virgin olive oil, drizzle a bit of red vinegar and add 1-2 chopped garlic teeth. Serve them after 24 hours… Don’t forget to tear some basil leaves over them, about 15 minutes before serving.

Still summer


Clean ½ kg fresh beans, cover them with water and boil them. Then drain well and let them cool. Chop them up fine, spread them on a plate, top with 1 chopped large onion, 1 chopped large green pepper, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Serve with fresh, warm village- bread.

Still summer… amaranths and zucchinis grow profusely in the garden.



Well clean and wash 700 gr amaranths, let them drain and chop them up very fine. Peel 2 large onions, wash 4 medium zucchinis and 15 zucchini flowers. Finely chop onions and zucchinis, cut the flowers into pieces. Salt them all together, mix them, put them in a colander and let them stand for 2-3 hours. Then add ½ cup olive oil, pepper, chopped dill and wild fennel. You can also add 1 ½ cup (or more) drained myzithra cheese or ricotta, if you like. Prepare the dough with 1 kg flour, about 1 ½ cup water, ½ tsp salt, 5 tbs olive oil, 1 tsp lemon juice. Roll the dough out ½ cm thick. Cut out 10 cm circles or rectangulars and place 1 tbs of the mixture on the centre. Fold and close the edges. Deep fry in olive oil until golden on both sides or brush kallitsounia with olive oil or beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake till golden.



Still summer…. eating sea urchins is always at the top of my agenda when I visit islands.


If you can’t collect them yourself (only the female urchins are edible), buy their coral from the fish market and serve it dizzled with virgin olive oil and lemon juice.


Or, boil spaghetti for four persons, take two cups of chopped tomatoes, season them with salt, serve the spaghetti sprinkled with black pepper and topped with tomatoes, coral, extra virgin olive oil and few drops of lemon juice.

Still summer… baby melons and watermelons grow in the home gardens and fig-trees are full of ripen palatable fruits…




Eat them plain, at first, then serve with mature graviera cheese or feta or spicy kopanisti.

Still summer… make small galakroboureka (milk pies).


You’ll need ½ k. ready made baklava phyllo, ½ cup unsalted butter for the phyllo sheets (I use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter). For the custard, heat 7 cups of milk, add ½ cup fine semolina, 4 tbs corn flout, ¾ cup sugar, 1 cinnamon stick and stir constantly until mixture becomes thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and add 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp vanilla extra and the zest of 1 ½ lemon, stirring constantly. Cut phyllo sheets into rectangulars of 12 cm. Lay 3 rectangulars into a buttered or olive oiled baking dish, brushing each one with butter or olive oil. Place 2 tbs custard on the centre. Fold and close the edges, sprinkle with little water and bake in a moderate oven until golden. In the meantime simmer 3 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 1 cinnamon stick, the juice and zest of 1 lemon. As soon as gakaktoboureka are cooked, pour syrup over them. Serve them still warm, topped with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with cinnamon powder.


Still summer



Verjuice, the juice that is made if we squeeze immature, green grapes, added a  great depth of flavor and a titillating kick to foods, until lemons and various vinegars became more accessible.



Verjuice, called aggourida (=immature), was used extensively in Northern Greek cuisine.


8 bell peppers

2 garlic teeth, crushed


virgin olive oil


black pepper

Preheat the oven to 170 C degrees. Place peppers on a tray and roast until they are tender. Remove from the oven and let them cool. Remove skin and seeds from peppers and cut them into slices. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with verjuice, garlic, salt and pepper.

Serve them with toasted bread.

Here, we may also add the juice of immature pomegranates or apples, which also have acidic taste.



This is a post to let you know that I will be away from my blog for some time, due to lots of work going on.

….And here is a modern recipe based on four ingredients which are often used in Greek diet: feta cheese, strained yogurt, soultanina grapes and almonds.



400 gr. feta cheese, crumbled

600 gr strained yogurt

1/3 cup milk

1 1/3 cup sultanina grapes, washed and dried

3/4 cups almonds, blanched and chopped

white pepper

Pour the milk into a bowl, add 100 gr yogurt and the crumbled feta, and work with a fork into a smooth paste. Add the rest of the yogurt, stirring continuously. Mix in the grapes and almonds and sprinkle with pepper.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until it is time to serve.



Here’s what farmers from West Crete and Thrace could do with all those cucumbers in their summer gardens! Cucumber salads, greek salads, tzatziki and a thirst quenching refreshment, a DROSSERIKO. It is delicious and really easy.


In your blender, add:

1 large Greek cucumber, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes

3 cups cold water

1 pinch of salt

few drops of lemon juice

ice cubes as many as needed

Blend until smooth. Add the ice cubes and serve immediately.



This is a family- recipe of skordalia. Garlic sauces have a long history going back to ancient Greece. For instance, tuna fish was served with mittotos, a sauce based on garlics, leeks and cheese. Byzantine cookery was also awash with recipes that employed garlic in sauces for meats, fishes and vegetables. The well known skordalia (skordo= garlic) is a Greek garlic based sauce that appears around the Mediterranean and is esteemeted by all, judging by the large number of recipes for it. It is made of mashed potatoes or breadcrumbs or rusk soaked in water, olive oil, salt, vinegar or/and lemon. In modern Greece it is used for a variety of foods; it is served with fried salt cod, fried frog legs, oysters, grilled fish, beet salad, green bean salad, slices fried vegetable slices or is cooked with rabbit, meat, oysters and fish. Cooks in Macedonia, Ionian islands and Crete often add walnuts or almonds to mashed potatoes or soaked bread. Greek recipes from Minor Asia add pine nuts and the old cook books base the skordalia on a combination of blanched almonds and mashed potatoes. All these combinations of garlic, bread and nuts owe a lot to Middle Ages recipes. The Medieval agliata or ailléé (ital. & french version) was made of garlics, bread soaked in fish of meat broth and nuts.

5 teeth minced garlic.

1 cup black bread, crusts removed, or 1 cup black rusk, soaked in 1 cup cold water and squeezed dry

3/4 -1 cup virgin olive oil

250 gr. chopped almonds

1/3 cup lemon juice, or more if you like

70 gr. capers

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

½ cup green olive oils, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine garlic with few drops of olive oil and pound in a mortar until mushy. Add the almonds and the cappers and pound to form a paste. Pass the bread or the rusk through a food mill or colander. Blend the bread or rusk, almonds/garlic paste and olives together with a fork in a bowl. Add virgin olive oil and lemon juice alternately in very small amounts, stirring briskly. Add salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until sauce is thick. Refrigerate until needed and serve it topped with the sunflower seeds.

You can refine the recipe by using: a) blanched almonds and b) white bread and/or mashed potatoes.

The skordalia is wonderful if served with some matured graviera cheese and a piece of fresh home made bread. If you will not add olives try it with some fresh figs.


Purslane (Portulaca oleracea, gr. glistrida, antrakla, adrahni) is a plant with fleshly leaves, growing wild all over Greece and also cultivated for use in horiatiki salad or eaten by its own with olive oil and vinegar.

Archaeobotanical researches have retrieved purslane seeds from a protogeometric layer in Kastanas and the Samian Heraion (7th century BC). Ancient doctors and herbalists found purslane helpful in treating inflammation in the urinary system (Hippokrates), mouth (Galen), digestive tract (Dioskourides) etc. Dioskourides thought that it could reduce the sexual desire, an opinion that was widely accepted until 17th century. The 17th century monk Agapius Landus from Crete suggested a fresh green salad made with purslane, basil, rocket, cress, and garlic to those suffering «the common cold». Modern researchers found that purslane is one of the very few plants that contain alpha linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid normally found in fish and some algae. It is an explosion of vitamin C, also contains some vitamin B and carotenoids, as well as minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. Two types of its betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish betacyanins and the yellow betaxanthins have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies.

Although purslane is widely eaten raw or pickled in vinegar by Greeks, is rarely consumed cooked. Two Cretan recipes of lamb or chicken cooked with purslane could have been introduced by the Greek refugees from Asia Minor, since in Turkish cuisine purslane is used just like spinach. A salad with yogurt and purslane also reminds of the Turkish Yogurtlu Semizotu Salatas. However, in that case it could be a coincidence, one of those that happen to cuisines based on similar sources.




1 cup purslane leaves, washed, dried and chopped

well-strained yogurt, enough to cover purslane leaves

½ cup green olives preserved in lemon without pits, cut into rings.

1 tb virgin olive oil, or more if you like

vinegar, a couple of drops

salt, black pepper

(optional 2 cloves garlic, crushed)

Mix yogurt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and olives in a bowl. Add purslane and mix again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until it is time to eat. Serve it with bread or with any roast or grilled food.