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.
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.