Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Greek eats

Hello, friends. And Christos Anesti to all my fellow Greeks.

Orthodox Easter came and went and all I can say is that I ate more than I could handle, but I enjoyed it immensely. During Lent it was all about shellfish and occasionally fish, but Easter was all about the meat.

kokoretsi (lamb's liver and lungs wrapped with lamb's intestines),

and kontosouvli (pork neck pieces on a spit).

Since we unanimously decided that we didn't have enough meat (!) on Easter day, it was all about veal steaks and pork sausages the day after.

I could have definitely used a break, but no, I had to have more. I’d missed my beloved pastourma (seasoned, air-cured beef) and soutzouki (spicy, fresh sausage made with beef meat).

My mom made pastourmadopitakia, small pies with pastourma, tomato and Greek sheep's milk Graviera cheese from Metsovo. They were so tasty I ate more than I should.

A lot of eggs were consumed. Not by me, but by everyone else.

If you know any Greeks, then you must know that we are all crazy about our cheeses. I, in particular, am nuts about Feta, and Anthotyro (soft, sheep's and/or goat's milk cheese) which I haven’t eaten in a long time.

Pites, Greek flatbreads, are an excellent accompaniment to meats of any kind.

For salad, among others, beets with their long green delicious leaves and their tender, purple stalks.

Gigantes, giant beans in a tomato sauce with anchovies prepared last week by my darling grandmother.

Dakos, barley rusks with olive oil, tomato, dried oregano and Feta. A classic Greek, fast and healthy meal. I could eat this for lunch every single day of the year.

I made and drank a lot of Greek frappé coffees. I had quit drinking this kind of coffee but fell into old habits once I came back home.

And some sweets for good measure. I made this chocolate cake, the recipe for which I have to share with you you can find here. Come to think of it, I have to share the recipes for every single thing. They are all worthy.

These cupcakes with fresh chamomile were a pleasant surprise as it was the first time I had ever added fresh chamomile to a dessert.

When I found fresh chamomile at the farmer’s market I grabbed a bunch without hesitation. I made with it the most aromatic and intensely flavored tea. You should try doing that too.

This cake with fresh cherries and almonds. Find the recipe for the cake here.

I pitted the cherries with my grandfather’s twenty-five year old cherry pitter.

When I came back from the farmers’ market the other day, with plenty of vegetables and fruits, I couldn’t resist photographing them. I will miss their flavor so much when I go back to Holland in a few days. Everything tastes better when you’re in Greece.

The strawberries were made into jam and spoon sweet.

The aubergines and courgettes into mousakas, by my mom.

The horta (vlita / wild greens) were boiled and served with olive oil and lemon and a side of fried red mullet.

The tomatoes into one more dakos for the road.

As for the rest, the possibilities are endless.

That’s all for now.

See you soon!


  1. These all look beautiful and I just want to taste them. Love the addition of anchovies with the gigantes which I haven't come across. The meat on the spit looks fantastic, the cherry and almond cake looks heavenly and don't let me start on that coffee.

  2. "Everything tastes better when you’re in Greece" - your words reflect the way I see things. If only I could live in Greece...


  3. Greek food has been my favorite ever since I studied there. I LOVE Gigantes!

  4. I just recently visited Greece and posted about it. This makes me miss that country so much! Especially the Dakos... oh man, that's something I could never get tired of. I hope to celebrate Orthodox Easter there one day when I return. Thanks for sharing :) Χριστός ἀνέστη!

  5. Wow...Now that's a feast! I personally can' eat alot of meat, but it all looks and sounds delish. Well, ok the heart liver thing does not. But, it looks beautiful and worthy of a photo. The frappes, cherry almond cake, the cupcakes....can't wait for the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh, the abundance. All of the fresh produce. Those darling little chamomile cupcakes. Gorgeous.

  7. I am so hungry looking at all this! Oh, to be with YOUR family on Easter! Glad you enjoyed your time there. Can't wait for the recipes! (Although I know I will have a hard time getting lamb intestines...) ~ David

  8. Oh my lord I just died! What incredible and vivid Greek eats. I am in love with the pastourmadopitakia - had some at an Asia minor style ouzerie on my last trip and fell in love. My family is from Asia Minor so they are naturally obsessed with pastourma - my dad would search far and wide for it growing up in California. Your trip looks so delicious and, dang, your mom is quite the cook!

  9. Hi all and thank you for your comments! I will share recipes for everything soon!

    Banana Wonder — yes, my mom is the best cook. She, my grandad and grandmom are the ones who taught me how to cook. :)

  10. Magda, it is so nice that spent some time at home with family and friends, I know how wonderful that is and how hard it is to go back to every day life. Looks like you made some great memories to treasure.

  11. Magda it sounds like you had the most wonderful time in Greece. So much food and so many lovely photographs! I look forward to seeing the recipes :)

  12. Thanks for the great postings. I too fell in love with Dakos when I visited Greece. I'm looking forward to a recipe especially for the barley rusks - I can't find them in Hong Kong!!!

    1. Hi there Bill, sorry for the late reply. I will try to post a recipe for homemade barely rusks. Not sure exactly when though :)