Spanakopita – Spinach and Feta pie

pie

This traditionally Greek recipe is nothing too different to beautiful Borek but gives a nice pie feeling in the mouth when cooked with puff pastry and is very easy! I changed it a little bit but this recipe comes from my Irish friend (as I recently found out that his lovely Greek girlfriend cheated us saying she cooked it: )

I think the spinach is in season right now and tastes great so I suggest popping into Blackheath Farmer’s market and buying some.

Here we go:

1 pack of Puff pastry
1, 5 or 2 blocks of feta cheese
2 packs of spinach (I used two bunches of spinach bought from the farmers)
3 eggs
Half an onion (I used a whole onion)
Chopped parsley
Chopped dill
Pepper
Sesame seeds (I used black seeds which you can find in Middle Eastern shops)

How do I cook spanakopita?

1. Handful by handful, wash the spinach, leave in water, add some drops of apple cider vinegar  as it kills the left over germs, drain.

2. Finely chop the onion and gently fry it in some butter until it turns
soft, then leave that aside to cool a little, do the same with drained spinach.

3.In a big bowl crumble the feta until it’s all broken up, then add the
three eggs, a handful of chopped parsley, a generous amount of dill, the
fried onion and lots of black pepper. Using your hands, mix it all
together until it’s evenly mixed.

4. Butter your pie dish then cut the puff pastry into two, you have to open it up in the shape of your pie dish. Then add the bottom layer of pastry.

5. Fill the filo with the mixture and spread it out as evenly as possible, then cover with the rest of the pastry. Add some milk to the bowl that contained the feta mixture then brush the liquid over the top of the pie. Finish by sprinkling sesame seeds on top. (or blackseeds)

6. Cook at 180 degrees until the top goes brown, then cover with foil and
cook for a further 20 mins or so.

Like a lot of food it tastes better after it has been cooled and
reheated later : )

Enjoy!

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broad beans, artichoke hearts and peas

food

Normally I cook this incredibly healthy dish without peas, but when a friend suggested it, I tried and actually they all go well together.
It is yet another Mediterranean dish mostly cooked around the Aegean Sea.

Ingredients:

250 gr artichoke hearts
200 gr broad beans
100 gr peas
a bunch of dill (be generous)
1 big size onion (I prefer to use spring onions, 4 – 5 of them, it is up to you)
1 – 2 spoonful of flour
olive oil
1 big lemon
1 desert spoonful of sugar
salt
yoghurt

Recipe:

1. Put all the vegetables in a bowl, pour 5 – 6 glasses of water, squeeze the lemon add the half of the juice into the bowl, then add some flour and mix. Let them rest for 5 – 10 minutes. The vegetables won’t get darker by doing this.
2. Chop the onions, cook them in a very little amount of water, then add the vegetables and water in the bowl, (you can add the used lemon skins as well) then add 2 – 3 spoonful of olive oil.
3. Chop the dill then add it into the pan.
4. Cover the lid then bring it up to the boil  then simmer it down, add some sugar and salt.
5. If you use canned food, it should not take more than 15 minutes to cook, if frozen possibly half an hour. If totally from fresh, 40- 45 minutes maximum. Serve with yoghurt!

Enjoy!

Samphire (with olive oil)

Samphire (with olive oil)

Hello again!

After a busy time, I am back with many recipes

This one in particular is one of my favourites: Samphire. Apparently in Britain, it is known as the “poor man’s asparagus,” and it is easy to find on the East Coast around Norfolk. And I heard rumours that they sell it around Dorset as well. Anyway, I will not lose hope and as soon as I learn the location of the hidden Samphire planet, I will let you know! Because it is definitely worth looking for (I brought them here from the Aegean).

You can gather it by yourself if you live near the coast. The best time is in July and August.

Samphire grows up in coastal areas, is very salty, and is good with fish or just as a salad.

But as it is very salty, it is better to boil it first for few minutes in order to get rid of the salt.

Right, here are the ingredients:

What do I need to buy?

1 or 2 bunches of Samphire

2 – 3 cloves of garlic

olive oil

lemon

How do I cook it then?

1. Very very easy… Just wash the samphire with cold water and throw away any stems that have gone yellow.

2. Boil them for 5 minutes, then check them, and if they are too hard, continue to boil for a few minutes more.

3. Pull the flesh from each stem and move it to a bowl or a plate. See below.

Samphire

4. Depending on how you like it, season it with crushed garlic, 3 – 4 desert spoonfuls of olive oil and the juice from half a lemon.

Your lovely Samphire is ready in 5 – 10 minutes!

Enjoy!

Green Beans and tomatoes (with olive oil)

green beans size 600

Hello, hello!

Back again, with a classic summer recipe! I don`t know if it is cooked around other parts of the Mediterranean but I do know it is surely a dish you cook a lot whilst you are dealing with 40 degree Celsius heat in the Aegean. When it is hot, it is hard to eat heavy food – that’s why most Mediterranean countries have these lovely olive oil dishes.. So, what is our first lesson? We have to keep a nice bottle of olive oil in the kitchen:) ( I will tell you how to choose a good olive oil later)

Some info about fresh green beans: First of all, they have vitamins A, B, C, phosphate, potassium, iron and calcium. If you prepare green beans with olive oil you will get the most benefit of these.

Right, now how to choose the right green beans? In the supermarkets there is no choice, so go with the thin ones if you can find them, but If you have a farmers market, then you can ask for an easy to cook version.

If they are too hard, boil them for 10 – 15 mins before you start cooking.

What do I need to buy?

The ingredients are:

A pack of green beans (normally 300 gr or so)

1 onion

2 – 3 tomatoes (depending how tasty or how big they are)

3 – 4 cloves of garlic (depends if you like it)

1 tea spoon of salt

1 and a half tea spoons of sugar

5 – 6 spoons of olive oil

How do I cook it then?

1. Put the olive oil in the pan, (the hob should be high at this time) and add the finely chopped onions, play with them until they start turning yellowish.

2. Add your tomatoes with their juice, and let them relax. Then it is time to add the chopped garlic cloves.

3. Stir them altogether, then add the green beans, and stir them with other ingredients. Whilst doing this, boil some water and add it slowly to your pan. Keep in mind that the water should be slightly higher than the level of the green beans. Bring them to boil then lower the hob to medium.

4. Cook them for 15-20 mins (depending upon the hardness of the green beans) and check whether the green beans have softened.

If not, then add some water (but not too much, we don’t want it to taste too watery).

5. After they have cooked, put them on a plate or in a box and let them cool down in the fridge. The green beans are ready and you can eat them for the following three days unless you leave them outside..

Afiyet olsun !

a.,