Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

in Breakfast, Savoury, Taste -

These delicious green baked eggs with spicy yogurt are packed with crunchy cavolo nero & fresh herbs. Serve with a good drizzle of olive oil & crusty bread.

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

It’s been a while since I last posted an egg recipe here; In fact, it’s been a while since I last made eggs. I vaguely remember a sad looking, deflated, dense Dutch baby, which somehow found its way into our breakfast table back in August – after that, there has been radio silence on the egg front.

And then we went to Portugal for a week and in between almost dangerous amounts of cheese, bread and wine, I realised how much I had missed eggs. So here they are again, in all their glory, versatilly and damn good looks. I’ve made them all green and spicy this time, packing them with delicious cavolo ner, spring onions, parsley, mint & dill and serving them with thick yogurt and a generous drizzle of spicy oil.

These would be perfect as a hearty, almost decadent breakfast, but also a quick yet very substantial lunch or dinner. And, as most things, they are even better served with toasted crusty bread and a glass of good wine.

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

WHAT

200 gr cavolo nero, roughly chopped

plenty of boiled water

2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon smoked paprica

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

4 spring onions, sliced

20 gr fresh dill, chopped (reserve some for serving)

20 gr parsley, chopped (reserve some for serving)

20 gr fresh mint, chopped (reserve some for serving)

5 medium sized eggs

1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt

sea salt flakes to taste

HOW

  1. Place the cavolo nero in a large colander and pour plenty of hot water to soften it. Immediate place in a bowl of ice water and then drain it well. Set aside.
  2. Warm a large pan over low-medium heat and add the. Cook until fragrant (about 2’), remove from the pan and set aside. When cooled, ground in a pestle and mortar.
  3. Increase the heat to medium- hight and warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil; add the spring onions, cook for 5’ and then add the sliced garlic. Cook for 2’ and add the drained cavolo nero and herbs. Toss well to combine everything and turn the heat down to low.
  4. Make 5 holes in the green and crack one egg in each. Cover the pan and cook until the eggs are just set- about 5’.
  5. Spoon the yogurt all over the greens and eggs and top with the spices, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the reserved herbs.
  6. Serve hot with plenty of crusty bread.

Easy Living

in Inspiration -

Saying goodbye to summer and its easy living with a love letter to my favourite summer memories. And just like so, I’m almost ready for fall.

Saying goodbye to summer is always hard for me. As enchanting as fall can be, I never want to let go of the easiness that I associate with this season. I drag my feet as much as I can, defy the London weather and change in my routine and I am reluctantly ready around the last days of September; mine and my sister’s birthday is today, which seems as good a time as any to finally embrace autumn and let go of summer. [READ MORE]

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

in Savoury, Taste -

This cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta was my favourite all summer long and I’ll be making it on repeat while tomatoes last. It’s so so good!

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

It’s no secret tomatoes are summer’s highlight for me; come late May, we renew our love affair, which lasts until the last days of autumn, until there’s no more tomatoes to love. It can be a chunky salad or a simple bruschetta with pretty much only the juiciest, loveliest of them all, as soon as they appear, tomatoes have my heart. And of course they are the perfect partner to pasta.

This one in particular pairs tomatoes with some of my favourite ingredients cooked in a single pan: chubby sardines in olive oil, broken in big chunks; delicious, soft black olives bursting with flavour; salty cappers, lemon zest and lots of fresh basil. We chop and we toss, we taste and adjust and then mix with al dente pasta and generously divide into plates. Although I am almost certain that if we hungrily grab forks and eat straight from the pan, it will all taste even better.

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

WHAT

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

20 cherry tomatoes, washed and halved or quartered depending on size

100 gr sardines in olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons capers

about 12 black olives

zest from one lemon

200 gr spaghetti

to serve: fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

HOW

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat; add the chopped onion and cook until soft, about 5′. Add the sardines, break them in chunks and then add the tomatoes. Cook for another 5′, or until the tomatoes are soft.
  2. Add the capers and chopped olives and toss well to combine. Lastly, add the lemon zest and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  4. Drain the pasta, add to the pan and toss well to combine, adding some of the pasta water if necessary.
  5. Divide into plates and add the fresh basil and extra seasoning if desired.

Roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini

in The Others -

It may be September (already!), but there’s still time to give these delicious roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini a try.

Roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini

These past few days I constantly find myself in an in-between seasons frame of mind- does this ever happen to you? The gloominess of my beloved London has made me half-heartedly embrace autumn, and I am almost delighted to look for apples again and reach for heavier jackets. At the same time… I miss my slight tan, lightly breezy nights, our garden and its abundance of gifts– most of all, I miss my loud family and our summer dishes . When I was packing my bags back home, my mom managed to sneak in 7 long and chunky aubergines from our garden. Honestly, I couldn’t hope for a better treat: aubergines are my favourite summer vegetable, second only to tomatoes; and I am convinced that the ones we grow are the most delicious of them all. Pickled they make one of the best appetisers; cooked in a thick tomato sauce along with spicy sausage for one of my favourite rustic Greek dishes, spetzofai; tucked inside a whole loaf of bread with lots of cheese they are indulgent and special; and of course they are perfect for a quick summer pasta. Whichever way, aubergines are truly, definitely, always hard to resist.

Upon arriving in London, I found them and marvelled at them for a good half a day (that shinny skin and perfect colour!) and then did what I mostly love to do with them: I made melitzanosalata, an intensely delicious Greek dip which is much beloved in our home because of our aubergines and the constance abundance of garlic in our meals.  I roasted the precious beauties till very charred and almost falling apart; along with them in the oven went a long red pepper and a fat garlic clove. And then fresh parsley, salt & peppers a touch of olive oil and some vinegar to finish things off.

Since it was almost dinner time, we had this with big chunks of smoke mackerel and even bigger chunks of toasted bread, to scoop up the dip. They paired so all together and reminded me of the meals that I mostly love: made with few good ingredients, often improvising, hitting almost all the notes and consisting of different textures: crunchy bread, smooth aubergines, meaty chunks of mackerel. I couldn’t get enough and I hope you won’t either.

Roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini

Roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini

Roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini

Roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini

WHAT

2 large aubergines (about 500gr)

1 medium long red pepper

1-2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

salt & pepper to taste

8 medium-sized bread slices

2 large smoked mackerel fillets, broken in chunks, skin removed

to serve: additional fresh parsley & extra virgin olive oil

HOW

  1. Line a baking sheet (big enough to fit your vegetables) with parchment paper; cut the aubergines and pepper in half lengthwise and remove the seeds from the pepper. Place on the baking sheet and grill in a preheated oven (or a grill if you have it)- allow about 20′ for the aubergines and garlic and 12′ for the pepper. They all should be soft before removing from the oven.
  2. Place the pepper on a plate and cover with cling film for about 10′ (this will help you remove the skin) and set the aubergines aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Remove the skin from the pepper and mash with a fork, along with the garlic; scoop out the flash from the aubergines and place in a sieve. Press it down with your hand (and preferably a tea towel) to release any juices (which you’ll then discard, as they are quite bitter).
  4. Put everything in a food processor, along with the parsley, olive oil and vinegar and pulse to a thick paste; add seasoning, taste and adjust if needed.
  5. Grill or toast the bread slices and place on a serving plate.
  6. Generously spread some of the aubergine dip on each slice and top with mackerel chunks. Sprinkle with some additional chopped parsley and finish off with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

 

 

Apricot & blueberry pie

in Desserts, Taste -

Buttery, crumbly, sweet and juicy, this apricot & blueberry pie is delicious on its own and even better with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

During colder months, apples and pears are my go to, both for a quick snack and for a pie. In the summer, I very happily switch to nectarines, peaches and mostly apricots. They may look less impressive than the two former, but I so love their soft flesh, sweet & slightly sour flavour! Plus they are just perfect for baking: tossed with some sugar and a little spice, when cooked they turn so sweet and sticky, they are just impossible to resist.

This pie was made at my sister’s house, on an unbearably hot summer afternoon. Alkyoni loves desserts but rarely bakes- instead, she always welcomes me with a long list of things she’d like me to make for her. This summer, it was peanut butter brownies, a cheesecake, breakfast bars and a damn fine cherry pie. She announced her request as soon as I arrived and then started the negotiations: the brownies would be too much for the heat, the cheesecake is both our kryptonite so we would better stay away and breakfast bars are out the window for me when I go back home (instead, my breakfast usually consist of a variation of goods from bakeries). So it all came down to a pie. And since we are both always inclined to use what’s already on hand, we found our filling in the fridge: soft apricots and a big handful of sweet blueberries.

So on that unbearably hot summer afternoon, I set to make an apricot & blueberry pie, with lots of cinnamon and lemon zest; I decided to take photos too, as I love the marble tops in her kitchen and I’m forever a slave to Athenian light. I was drenched in sweat, the dough almost melting in my hands, the fruit softening fast- all to make one of the best pies I’ve ever made, one of the best damn pies I’ve ever had.

Apricot & blueberry pie

Apricot & blueberry pie

Apricot & blueberry pie

Apricot & blueberry pie

WHAT

for the dough (basically a variation of this recipe)

250 gr all purpose flour

50 gr ground nuts (I used almonds and hazelnuts)

75 gr caster sugar

180 gr unsalted butter, cold

zest from one medium lemon

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

for the filling:

20 small apricots, washed, stoned and quartered (800 gr, without the stones)

100 gr blueberries, washed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

juice from 1/2 lemon

40 gr cornstarch

150 gr soft brown sugar

for the glaze: 1/2 egg & 1 tablespoon water, beaten together, caster sugar

HOW

  1. In a food processor or mixer, pulse the butter and sugar until combined.
  2. Add the lemon zest, egg and vanilla extract, pulse a couple more times and then add the flour and ground nuts.
  3. Fold together with a spatula until smooth; shape into a ball, core with cling film, flatten and place in the fridge for about half an hour.
  4. While the dough is the fridge toss together the fruit with the cinnamon, lemon juice, cornstarch and sugar.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC FAN). Half the dough and roll out to a 3mm thick.
  6. Lay on the baking dish, covering the sides too; spoon in the filling (leaving most of the liquids out) and cover with the second piece of dough, similarly rolled out.
  7. Score 4 slits in the middle of the pie, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 45′, or until golden brown.
  9. Let it cool for at least an hour before serving (preferably with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream).

Courgette flower & pine nut omelette

in Savoury, Taste -

This fluffy courgette flower & pine nut omelette showcases these beautiful blossoms in the best way; and it’s even better served with a crisp white wine.

One of the things I most look forward to when I go home, is the weekly shop at the farmers market; in Greece, each neighbourhood has its own market, on a specific day each week, withe the same producers, stalls lined up in the same way every time. It’s perfect: much like a slightly chaotic stage, everyone has their part and everyone is vital: the farmers are loudly trying to lure clients, teasingly insulting their competitors and flirting with ladies of all ages. There is testing and haggling, small talk and gossip, there’s colours and sounds everywhere. I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid and I still do. [READ MORE]

Summer brunch in Athens

in Inspiration -

This summer brunch in Athens combines some of my favourite things: delicious little bites, good friends, good vibes and the sublime Athenian light.

Summer brunch in Athens

A few days ago, I got to spend a few hours with two of my favourite bloggers- who also happen to be two of my favourite people: Ifigeneia and Calliope, the creative minds and talent behind Teapot and Madame Gâteaux respectively. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, so the first couple of hours (more like three, maybe four) were spent mostly catching up and gossiping about mutual acquaintances, rather than trying to set up for our brunch and photo shoot. I wouldn’t have it any other way: one of summer’s (and life’s) greatest pleasures is spending time in a beautiful garden (surrounding Madame Gâteaux’s brand new tea room), with good friends, over cold coffee, exchanging news and ideas. If your sister happens to join too and there’s also a delicious meal to be enjoyed at the end, then the day is close to perfect. [READ MORE]

Smoked trout & potato hash

in Savoury, Taste -

This smoked trout and potato hash with lots of fresh herbs and a lemony horseradish cream has become a favourite for a lazy Sunday brunch- so so good!

Smoked trout & potato hash

I first made this a while back, when I was full into my love affair with Blas Y Tir’s small, chubby & delicious potatoes. And while I’m not quite sure how the dish came to mind, I know we’ve enjoyed it time and again in the last few weeks. It is so very simple to put together and yet so flavourful and satisfying as the perfect hearty breakfast or leisurely lunch. [READ MORE]

Almond & white chocolate salami

in Desserts, Taste -

This almond & white chocolate salami is one of the easiest and quickest desserts you’ll ever make- and it is just ideal for summer snacking.

Almond & white chocolate salami

I am not exactly sure how this salami got stuck in my head; chocolate is, surprisingly, not something I really crave during the summer months. I long for simple pies and delicious ice creams, refreshing popsicles and fragrant sorbets. Yet here I was the other day, mixing melted butter with cocoa, chopping white chocolate, fragrant almond cookies and shaping it all into delicious thin logs. [READ MORE]

Spicy bread & tomato salad (panzanella)

in Savoury, Taste -

Crusty sourdough, fresh juicy tomatoes and harissa turn this hearty and spicy panzanella into the perfect quick summer dish. 

Spicy bread & tomato salad (panzanella)

Just have a quick look at my Instagram these days- it’s a tomato extravaganza, my own summery inspiration wall, a love letter to the season’s true queen. All hail the tomato and its beauty! I am not a purist when it comes to almost anything, but I do discriminate between tomatoes from back home and those from anywhere else. And when I say home, I mean it literally, my family’s country house, where we grow everything that summer is made of: the juiciest tomatoes in all sizes, crusty cucumbers, small green peppers, some spicy, some not, white, chubby aubergines, the most fragrant herbs and sweet/ tart plums in the most gorgeous purple. It’s all there and my summers are made of them on repeat. [READ MORE]