This brown butter & hazelnut apple cake is a variation of the one my mom’s recipes: simple, unapologetically straightforward and perfect for fall.
Enamoured as I am with apples, every autumn they are appear on our table frequently and in different ways: roughly chopped, tossed with dried fruit, toasted nuts and folded into creamy oatmeal; sliced thinly or turned into a jam, topping thick slices of toasted bread, along with tahini and sweet honey; cut in big chunks and added last to cider chicken stews; mixed with pears and spices to fill buttery dough for pies. I have experimented with many different recipes in the last couple of years, yet my favourite by far is my mom’s apple cake. The main reason is possibly nostalgia and missing her and my dad a little too much; but it’s also the flavour, simple, straightforward and utterly satisfying, as well as its rustic looks, with thick apple slices, which she cuts in a hurry on her worn wood cutting board. [READ MORE]
This very addictive homemade chilli oil is my favourite recipe from Jeremy Pang’s Hong Kong Diner. I LOVE IT with eggs & avocado!
I’ve had a soft spot for this book even before it came out- see, the contributing author is Adrienne Katz Kennedy, one of my favourite ladies, mama & cook extraordinaire and vital part of School of Wok for some time now. And of course, I had also experienced first hand the cooking of super chef Jeremy Pang, as all as his generous involvement in the community – so it was a no brainer really. Still, when I got the book, it really blew me away: flicking through the pages, Hong Kong and its vibrant, multicoloured, intense food scene comes to life: there’s street snacks you want to have a passionate love affair with (I tried the pork chop crusty rolls at the book’s launch and I was instantly hooked), dumpling and baos galore (all beautifully photographed by Kris Kirkham), noodle & rice pots you’ll want to burry your head in (I can’t wait to try the steamed rice one with Chinese sausage & salted egg) and lots of sides and extras. [READ MORE]
Warming, spicy and subtly sweet, this carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses is perfect for these first chilly fall days (and nights).
I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m quite certain that my mom’s favourite fall and winter dish to make and serve is soup. Hers have always been and still are always seasonal, colourful and filled with flavours; layers of flavours, which would linger on the tongue and stay with you long after the meal was finished. Some were chunky: with soft root vegetables and maybe chunks of fish or veal, in perfect proportion with the aromatic broth made with simple seasoning and fresh herbs. Others, velvety smooth, usually finished off with lots of freshly ground black pepper and possibly a trickle of the best, fruitiest olive oil. They were served hot, alongside torn thick dark bread and oftentimes, black wrinkled olives and crumbly feta cheese- two usual staples in the family table. [READ MORE]
This apple, blackberry & cinnamon jam is thick, as sweet as it should and has made me fall in love with apples all over again!
Ever since I moved to London, every autumn, without fail, I find my self in awe of all the apple varieties available: there’s small, sour ones, with light pink and green flesh; and bigger ones, very sweet and very pink; shinny green apples, crunchy and juicy, perfectly sour and refreshing; and then others, large and brownish, with a subtle sweetness which reminds me of pears. One is truly spoilt for choice and one is hopelessly enamoured every year, all over again.
I buy large quantities and I slice and sometimes peel and eat at least one a day; I freeze for smoothies and grate for spicy oatmeal; they’re added in cakes and pies, often alongside juicy, blushing pears, or eaten hungrily, on the spot, with just a drizzle of tahini and another of honey. They’re set aside to be used in warming stews, with sprigs of rosemary or tarragon and sweet potatoes, or even added to buttery mash for a touch of sweetness. Autumn is for apples, every year, and every year I am without fail hell-bent on celebrating apples as I should: often, repeatedly, enthusiastically, hungrily. [READ MORE]
Of all the speedy dishes my sister’s whipped together, this ginger, lime & toasted nut quinoa is packed with flavour and probably my favourite. Ever.
After having lived in different countries for almost seven years, I’ve found myself reconnected with my literal other half again. Alkyoni is back in the UK and her coming here has brought with it all the joy, frustration and memories that I’m sure close siblings share everywhere, always. It’s been a very long time since we’ve lived together, yet being in the same house for about two weeks felt like not even a day had passed; and it also felt like a lot of timed had passed, like we were both the same yet also very different. I’ve always loved being on my own, despite being very very fortunate with my partners and friends. But I’ve realised a while back that this is probably because I have never been on my own, not really. I’m never alone, as long as she’s around. And she’s always been around, even if we’re countries, or continents away. [READ MORE]
I’ve been making this fig, goat cheese & serrano ham salad on repeat ever since coming back from the holidays and I think you should too!
When I think of figs, I immediately picture my father; every time, without a doubt, it’s always him. Even though almost indifferent to food and happy as long as there’s eggs, olives and a slice of bread on the table, my dad has always been enamoured with figs. Most probably, it is because of our fig tree in Pilio: plainly beautiful, with branches lightly green and sticky, it has gifted us with fruit for almost as long as I can remember. Not a lot of them- every year, there’s just enough to allow for a lot of snacking, a couple jars of jam and a handful to take back to Athens, just enough to make us fall in love all over again and anticipate the next summer.
That love took a while to grow; as a kid, I had little interest in figs. Part of it was, I’m sure, because of my father’s consistent efforts to wake us up at the butt crack of dawn to see the sun rise and go fig picking. When I was little, I wanted to sleep and as a teenager, I wanted anything but spend time with my parents. So figs were ignored and overseen and considered much too sticky. I’m not sure when exactly I got my first crush on them; it hit me hard non the less and it’s continued like so ever since.
So every summer and early autumn, it’s all about figs: picking and eating and incorporating them into quick bites and salads, almost always alongside cheese. [READ MORE]
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.
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. [READ MORE]
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]
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!
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. [READ MORE]
It may be September (already!), but there’s still time to give these delicious roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini a try.
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. [READ MORE]