Blog-Pod – Arakás me Patátes – Braised Peas With Potatoes

In Greece, a country where vegetable recipes rule supreme, you rarely hear food described as  ‘vegetarian’.   The naming of someone as a hortofágos (vegetarian) is a relatively modern phenomenon, despite the fact that traditionally Greeks, especially in villages and islands, ate very little meat. Regular meat-eating came with growing urbanisation and relative affluence. But explaining that…

Myth, Memory and a Good Tomato Sauce

You know how it is, you’re flicking through an old recipe book, a piece of paper drops out and it’s like looking through a window into the past. There it was, stuffed into the back of my ‘Good Housekeeping Cookery Book’, a list of our favourites dishes. Just married, my husband, Mihalis, and I had…

Condensed Soup Not Required – Arnáki Frikasé

It was late 1975 and I was on a mission to impress my Greek boyfriend by learning how to cook some of his national dishes. This wasn’t easy then, apart from the dearth of some vital ingredients, there was really only one cookbook available and also, at that point, I had never been to Greece. …

My Mongrel Christmas Recipe – Mince Pies with Kourambié Pastry

As a Gree-nglish family we have become accustomed to segue fairly seamlessly between Greek and English culture. There is a remarkably even-handed choice between food, customs and idiosyncrasies of both countries. Favourite family meals could be moussaká or equally meat and potato pie; our kettle is absolutely indispensable but we never use a washing-up bowl. My…

Market Madness and ‘The Greek Kitchen’

There is something about a market that draws me like the proverbial bee to the honeypot- no matter where, the mere glimpse of fresh produce on a trestle table and I am totally ensnared. Of course, some markets are more memorable than others. High up on the list is Barcelona’s  La Boqueria, with its incredible…

Athens in autumn – with a souvláki on the side

Autumn in Greece arrives surreptitiously – it creeps stealthily through September and most of October with such a gradual readjustment of temperature and sunlight that summer feels almost endless. Spending this time in the southern Aegean we have been truly spoilt – swimming in warm seas well into the second week of this month – but…

Myths and More -and a bit of kolokithópita

For someone who is an extreme Philhellene, I have a confession to make. Don’t worry – I’m not about to admit to a deep dislike of sapphire seas and sunlit vistas. I am not going to ‘fess up to an antipathy to the fruits of the olive tree or, an abhorrence of the aubergine. The…

Keeping It Real – Pastitsio

There is always a conundrum if you are a bit of a creative cook – do you stick with the absolutely traditional recipes or do you try to ring a bit of a change? Things cannot be fixed in aspic – and after all, who eats aspic anymore? I rest my case. In a way,…

Food Fights Back (and a bit more meráki)

When you think about the reasons why Greece, and particularly Athens, have been in the press over the last few years, Oscar Wilde’s well-known maxim may not be the first thing that springs to mind. Famously he said ‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not…