Strawberry, basil & lime cream cheese tart

in All recipes, Desserts -

Celebrating this year’s Mother’s Day with this a dessert as sweet and pretty as my mom: a strawberry, basil & lime cream cheese tart!

Strawberry, basil & lime cream cheese tart

Mother’s Day(s) are always bittersweet for me; they are a celebration, of course, but also a reminder of how much I miss my mom. It’s been many years since I left home, I should have been used to the distance by now; I haven’t. Instead, the longing to see her and my dad has been lingering, at times mellower and others stinging as hard as that first night I spent alone in my first apartment.

I’ve written here about my mom time and time again. The impact they’ve have on me in general and my cooking and eating habits specifically is very lasting and one I carry with great pride. Even though my childhood and adolescence have not been idillic (and I believe they rarely are, to be frank),  they have been full. Of experiences, stimuli and opportunity, discipline and freedom, tension and drama- but also lots of love. [READ MORE]

Pea, pesto & egg salad with radishes & sourdough

in Savoury, Taste -

A pea, pesto & egg salad with radishes & sourdough as colourful as spring and as beautiful and fresh as the seasons inspires. 

Pea, pesto & egg salad with radishes & sourdough

Somewhere between spring and summer (as it usually is the case in London- the weather jumps from winter to blasting heat and back again and again), I find myself overwhelmed, inspired, too hot to cook, too enamoured with all the beautiful fresh produce available (strawberries! asparagus! baby potatoes! peas!) to choose. In the last few days, I’ve been mostly gravitating towards tartines, eggs and salads; some are simple and hastily tossed together with extra virgin olive oil, a touch of balsamic and fresh torn basil. others are a tad more elaborate, still however following my basic rule for spring and summer cooking- and eating: spend as little time in the kitchen, and especially over a stove- as possible. [READ MORE]

Strawberry, coconut & lemon cake

in Desserts, Taste -

Enjoying the season’s prettiest fruit with a delicious strawberry, coconut & lemon cake, dusted with way too much icing sugar.

Strawberry, coconut & lemon cake

When I spot the first strawberries of the season, shinny, chubby and pinkish red, I can hardly contain my joy; as much as I love citrus and their juicy flesh and irresistible hues, strawberries for me signify the beginning of spring; they bring to mind sunshine and time spent outdoors, not to mention all sorts of delicious desserts. I cherish everything about them, from their beautiful colour to their taut sweet flesh, so I always first have them on their own, with a few drops of lemon juice. Then comes the baking. [READ MORE]

Quinoa, red bean & mushroom veggie burger

in Savoury, Taste -

Generously flavoured with chipotle honey and herbs, these quinoa, red bean & mushroom veggie burger is delicious and a damn looker too!

Quinoa, red bean & mushroom veggie burger

Inspired by the promises of delightfully warm, hot even, weather and bright sun at last, I’m sharing my favourite veggie budget recipe yet; as much as I love beef burgers, I so much prefer a veggie version: I find that there’s infinite possibilities for improvising, adding a variety of ingredients, spices and herbs, depending on what I have at hand, cravings and flavour profile I’m after. [READ MORE]

Feta, spring onion & dill pie (tyropita)

in Savoury, Taste -

This feta, spring onion & dill pie (tyropita) is always one of my favourite things to make from scratch. Bear with me, it’s so worth it!

Feta, spring onion & dill pie (tyropita)

As I’ve mentioned here, making Greek pies from scratch is my favourite thing and the one ambition I’ve had since I clumsily, impatiently started cooking. For some it’s a soufflé, the perfect omelette or an elaborate cake with many layers and fluffy, smooth frosting. I certainly wouldn’t mind perfecting all of the above, especially a cake (my impatience usually gets the better of me and I somehow end up slathering the frosting on and hope for the best). [READ MORE]

Mushroom & prawn tacos with spicy pineapple & lime salsa

in All recipes, Savoury, Taste -

My latest food crush is these mushroom & prawn tacos with spicy pineapple & lime salsa. So much flavour, so many colours, never enough tacos!

Mushroom & prawn tacos with spicy pineapple & lime salsa

My Easter Lent adventure is coming to an end this Sunday; it’s been both hard and not a big deal and I’ve been kind of a good sport about my (almost) vegan diet in the last 50 days or so. There has been moaning, even despair at times (I have a flair for the dramatic more than I care to admit). Mostly there’s been a lot of delicious favourites and experimentation too featuring the following: pulses, tahini, fresh and cooked veggies, nuts and a fair amount of prawns. While I normally eat lots of fish, in the absence of it, I rediscovered how much I love seafood: I devoured this pasta a couple times and made delicious steamed mussels with lots of garlic and a hearty side of toasted bread; yet, the dish I enjoyed the most during this period are these tacos. [READ MORE]

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

in Desserts, Taste -

These hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies are sweetened by petimezi (grape molasses) and baked until soft and a little crunchy around the edges. 

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

Last Saturday, I had the great joy to once again take photos at Oliveology’s cooking workshop. It’s no secret I have a huge soft spot for Marianna’s shop; everything is so carefully selected and brought over to London after much thought, consideration and testing, always in pursuit of best quality products*. The workshops follow the same philosophy: they are relaxed yet informative, introducing Greek cuisine and tradition through tasting and hands on preparation. The recipes are created by Despina Siahuli (another big soft spot right there) and every dish I’ve tasted time and time again there is filled with the best ingredients, bursts of flavour, goodness and an ever so slight sense of nostalgia, with which I am only too familiar. On that day, the menu included some of the most delicious cookies I’ve ever had- which also proved to be entirely fool proof and filled with all the good stuff. [READ MORE]

Yellow split pea dip (fava)

in Small bites, Taste -

This delicious, velvety smooth yellow split pea dip (fava) is one of the best Greek dishes; give it a try, it will surely become a favourite!

Yellow split pea dip (fava)

I am a sucker for the seemingly simplest dishes; the ones that require only a handful of ingredients, no complex techniques, no gimmicks, no fuss whatsoever. I gravitate towards simple food when in need of lots of flavour and, more often than not, when comfort food is required. Many such dishes are staples of Greek cooking (a cuisine deceptively plain, filled with humble ingredients); It’s these I long for when I last expect it, when I’ve almost forgotten about them. Like fava,  a dish my mother cooks almost weekly, by heart, barely measuring ingredients, merely repeating what she’s done time and time again. Resembling hummus in looks and texture, yet quite different in ingredients and preparation. [READ MORE]

Smooth pea & spinach soup with lemongrass, ginger & fresh herbs (and a giveaway!)

in Savoury, Taste -

This delicious and filling smooth pea & spinach soup with lemongrass, ginger & fresh herbs lives almost exactly between winter and spring.

Smooth pea & spinach soup with lemongrass, ginger & fresh herbs

Winter had made an unexpected and very prominent come back to London this week. The days are very cold, deceivingly sunny and filled with beautiful snow. It seems like the seasons are at odds with each other: spring is attempting an early take over, gifting us with persistent brightness, while winter is firmly standing its ground with temperatures below zero and bitter gusts of wind. I love it all the same. The days are longer already, the snow is as always a sight for sore eyes and the cold nights beg for warmth and comfort. These may come in different forms (I love a fragrant hot toddy, a warm bowl of morning goodness and of course a slice of seasonal delight) but soups are almost always my go to. [READ MORE]

Earl Grey breakfast quinoa with tahini & jam

in Breakfast, Taste -

A delicious, warming and filling Earl Grey breakfast quinoa with tahini & jam for those sunny yet cold last days of winter.

Earl grey breakfast quinoa with tahini & jam

The last few days have been somewhat hard, somewhat dragging more than I would have liked. I love winter- and even when I don’t, I’ve learned to at least (pretend to) keep my cool and tolerate it as best as I can. Yet these last weeks before the official arrival of spring almost always get me. Temperatures are still low and the days are still a little gloomy, a little dark, with the occasional deceiving blasts of sunlight, which only intensify the longing for spring. And early mornings, dark and quiet, that’s when I may get blue the most. And yet, those are the best promise for the day about to start. And mine almost always starts with a great breakfast. [READ MORE]