Chicken Soup With Orzo, Shredded Grape Leaves, Tomatoes, Lemon And Herbs  

















There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of chicken soup... I’d recommend you poach a whole chicken a day in advance. Or, if you have half a roast chicken leftover, strip the meat from it and make a stock from the roasted carcass: place the stripped carcass in a pot with 1/2 an onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 rib celery, a bay leaf, and a carrot if you have one. Cover with cold water and place over low heat for 1 hour. Turn off heat and let cool before straining. Discard the carcass and aromatics, and your stock is ready!


Servings:4 - 6

Ingredients2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
a pinch ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 quart chicken stock
3/4 cup orzo
4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled and diced
8 grape leaves (fresh or pickled), trimmed of stem and shredded (see recipe)
1/2 cup chicken meat
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Directions: 

If using fresh grape leaves, blanch them in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes until they’re no longer bright green; refresh under cold running water. If using pickled or jarred leaves, place in a colander and rinse well.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5–8 minutes until softened and transparent.
Add the garlic, allspice and cinnamon and cook for another minute, then add the chicken stock and bring almost to a boil.
Add the orzo, tomatoes, grape leaves and chicken, then reduce the heat so the soup is simmering.
Cook for approximately 8 minutes, or until the orzo is tender.
Add the fresh herbs and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Serve drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.r paragraph here.


One of the great things about drinking at a real pub — gastro or otherwise — is that the food will be perfect for whatever's in your pint glass. That's why we're loving cookbook author Rachael Lane's Great Pub Food, a tome packed with all things beefy, cheesy, fried, salty and otherwise perfect for the bar-frequenter. These Greek lamb and haloumi burgers put a plain old cheeseburger to absolute shame.



Greek Lamb And Haloumi Burgers
















Servings:4

Ingredients1 tablespoon olive oil
9 ounces haloumi, cut into 4 slices
4 small crusty square rolls
4 baby romaine lettuce leaves, torn

Burgers
1 pound, 5 ounces minced (ground) lamb1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tzatziki
















1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt1/2 Lebanese (short) cucumber, deseeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed

Greek-style salsa
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, finely diced1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper
Directions: 

For the burgers:

Combine the lamb, onion, garlic, oregano and mint in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into 4 even-sized patties. Put on a plate, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the tzatziki:

Combine the yogurt, cucumber, mint, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. To make the salsa, combine the tomato, onion, olives and parsley in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and oregano and stir to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

For assembly:

Preheat a griller (broiler) to high. Preheat a flat grill plate or large frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle with oil and cook the burgers for 4 minutes on each side, for medium, or until cooked to your liking. Cook the haloumi for 30 seconds on each side, or until golden-brown. Cut the rolls in half horizontally and toast the cut sides under the grill. Arrange the lettuce leaves and salsa on the roll bases. Place the burgers and haloumi on top, spoon on tzatziki, cover with the lids and serve.


Greek Meat-Stuffed Grape Leaves

















The Greek stuff grape leaves (dolmades) with everything from ground meats or poultry to minced seafood to a thick avgolemono sauce, and they serve them as appetizers, main courses and even cold picnic snacks. My Greek grandfather loved nothing more than the warm lamb dolmades, elaborate feta and cucumber salad and pita bread that my gradmother would serve at large family Sunday suppers, and while I do add beef to my stuffing for a more interesting flavor, this recipe is a good approximation of what I remember as a youngster. 

Brined grape leaves are available in jars at most fine markets, and if they're too salty for your taste, simply rinse them in warm water before stuffing. [stuffed grape leaves recipe]
+ ENLARGE
Photo: norwichnuts on Flickr
Served hot or cold, these portable, easy-to-make Greek meat-stuffed grape leaves are an addictive crowd-pleaser.
 
Servings:4-6

Ingredients20 grape leaves, packed in brine
1/2 pound ground lamb shoulder
1/2 pound ground beef round
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup beef broth
Directions: 

Separate the grape leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop in the grape leaves, cook for 5 minutes, and drain on paper towels.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix till the stuffing is thoroughly blended.
Place a grape leaf vein side up on a work surface, place about 1 tablespoon of stuffing in the center, fold up the sides, and roll tightly to enclose the stuffing. Repeat with the remaining leaves and stuffing.
Arrange the stuffed leaves in layers, seam sides down, in a large, heavy kettle and cover with an inverted plate to weight them down slightly.
Add enough warm water to reach the plate, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer till the stuffed leaves are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
Serve hot, warm, or cold.


Easy Tzatziki Sauce Recipe


The mayo versus Greek yogurt debate burns hot again. As we've mentioned in the past, mayo is indeed a blank canvas, but so is Greek yogurt. It does almost everything mayo can do, plus it's the base of tzatziki, possibly the greatest condiment of all time. Throw a little Greek yogurt into a bowl with a couple of chopped cucumbers, a couple of cloves of garlic and a sprinkling of dill and ta-dah, you'll experience a spiritual awakening and convert to yogurt. You might even start making the main ingredient yourself. 

See that jar of mayo in your fridge? You might as well toss it. One second thought, you may as well throw away every bottled condiment in your fridge because tzatziki works on absolutely everything from doner sandwiches to stuffed burgers and salads. 

Servings:6

Ingredients2 cups homemade yogurt or Greek yogurt
2 medium cucumbers, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely miced
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
salt
Directions: 

Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.Go with homemade yogurt for extra points.
Serve with pita, on a sandwich or burger or use as a dip or spread on a mezze platter. 




Greek-Style Fish With Marinated Tomatoes Recipe

















Servings:4

Ingredients2 cups cherry tomatoes, preferably Sun Gold, halved
4 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh hot chili (like jalapeño), minced, or more to taste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
4 cloves garlic, sliced, or more to taste
, salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large whole fish or 2 smaller ones (2 to 3 pounds total), like striped bass, rockfish or trout; preferably butterflied and boned, or simply gutted
1 lemon, sliced
4 - 6 sprigs fresh thyme
Directions: 

Prepare grill; heat should be medium-high and rack about 4 inches from fire.
Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, chili, oregano, a few slices of garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a bowl; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, make three or four diagonal, parallel slashes on each side of fish, just about down to the bone.
Sprinkle inside of fish with salt and pepper, then stuff with remaining garlic, a layer of lemon slices and thyme sprigs.
Rub outside of fish with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill until firm enough to turn, 5 to 8 minutes.
Turn and cook second side for 5 to 8 minutes. Fish is done when exterior is crisp and a knife passes easily through the flesh.
Taste tomato mixture and adjust seasoning, adding more oil if needed.
Serve fish topped with tomatoes and their liquid.


 Greek Chicken Panzanella With Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

















When I first learned about panzanella, I was all “whoa whoa whoa—I can have bread IN my salad?” It was a game changer. And it just so happens that Greek salads happen to be my favorite, because, come on—there are so many delicious things. Artichokes! Olives! Feta! Dill! Sticking with the classic Greek theme, this salad is doused in a honey-lemon vinaigrette and tossed to perfection. It’s almost reminiscent of a chopped salad (which is another favorite of mine) because there is so much going on other than lettuce, and it’s all uniformly sized. Packed to the brim with flavor, this is definitely one of those salads that even the biggest salad hater could call a meal. Just ask me.



Servings:2

Ingredients

Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Croutons
2 cups whole wheat bread cubes2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Salad
6 cups spring greens1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions: 

For the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Add the chicken to a baking dish or resealable plastic bag.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt and pepper.
Pour the mixture over the chicken and set the dish or bag in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
For the croutons, place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss them with the olive oil and garlic salt.
Bake the cubes until golden and crunchy, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the sheet from the oven and let the croutons cool on the baking sheet.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Remove the chicken from the dish or bag and add it to the skillet.
Cook the chicken until golden on all sides, 10 minutes. (Stir and flip the chicken a few times while cooking.)
Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
To assemble the salad, toss the spring greens and croutons with the salt and pepper and divide evenly among the plates.
Add equal amounts of the artichoke hearts, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and olives to the plates.
Add the chicken and top the salad with the crumbled feta.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Stream in the olive oil while continuing to whisk so the dressing comes together.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss.


Baked Eggs With Tomato And Feta

















Longstanding NYC Greek food haven Molyvos starts serving brunch this weekend — opa! If you can't make it to today's grand opening, make this Greek-style baked egg dish, known asavga feta domata. The trick is using the freshest eggs you can find — your local farmer's market definitely has them — as well as ripe summer tomatoes for the sauce. The result is a healthy, filling and, quite frankly, impressive brunch. Serve with toasted crusty bread for extra dipping. You'll want to dip.      

Servings:4

Ingredients8 free-range eggs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
1 cup tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
16 ounces tomato sauce (see below)
2 1/2 inch slices hearty country bread, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 ounces feta, diced
2 tablespoons Kefalotyri or Pecorino cheese, grated

For the tomato sauce
28 ounces crushed tomatoes5 cloves garlic, sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
Directions: 

For the tomato sauce: 

In a medium size sauce pot, add the olive oil and heat until warm, add the garlic and sauté until the edges turn lightly golden. Add the oregano and the basil, stir to combine, add a pinch of salt and pepper then add the crushed tomatoes. Add ¼ cup of water into the tomato can to remove any excess sauce and add this water to the pot.
Stir to combine, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, add the sugar, stir to combine, cover, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and let simmer 20 minutes before using. 

For the eggs:

Place an oven proof stainless steel sauté pan or Earthenware dish on the stove over medium heat; add the olive oil, followed by the garlic and sauté for one minute until fragrant.
Add the dried Greek oregano and cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine. Add the chopped tomato and cook for one minute.
Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the diced bread spreading it evenly throughout the pan.
Gently crack the eggs into the pan and top with the feta. Let simmer on low heat for approximately 2 minutes until the egg whites start to solidify and turn slightly opaque. 
Place the baking dish into a 375º F oven for 5 – 10 minutes depending upon how firm you want the eggs. 
Remove from oven and serve family style. 




Grilled Potato Salad With Feta And Dill

















Nothing ruins a great picnic spread faster than terrible potato salad. You know the kind I'm talking about: overcooked potatoes choked with mayo, lacking acidity and salt and just kind of gratuitously there on the table like anyone invited them. This grilled potato salad with lemon, feta and dill is that potato salad's hot cousin from the big city.

I go heavy on the dill because the combination of dill, lemon and feta is extremely pleasing, particularly when something grilled is involved. In this case, it's the potatoes, which are boiled briefly before hitting the barbecue, where they finish cooking and develop nice smoky grill marks. When the potatoes are off the grill, toss on simple herb-marinated chicken, shrimp skewers or a steak to cook while you finish preparing the salad.

Servings:4

Ingredients1 pound small gold potatoes
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 cup dill, finely chopped
1 shallot finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: 

Cover potatoes with water in a large pot, add plenty of salt and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, then drain and allow potatoes to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat your grill to medium heat. 
Slice potatoes in half, transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with a tablespoon of the olive oil to coat lightly.  
Grill the potatoes for 12-15 minutes with the lid closed, turning once halfway through. Remove from the grill and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, dill and shallots. Add the potatoes and toss to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the crumbled feta and toss gently to distribute.
Let sit for 20 minutes and serve.


Tomato And String Bean Baklava

















This savory baklava is delicious eaten hot with roast lamb or broiled sardines, or makes an excellent vegetarian main dish, served with a purslane or watercress, olive, and caperberry salad with lemon dressing. Served at room temperature, it even makes a great picnic food. For the best results, make the filling the day before to allow the flavors to infuse.


Servings:6 - 8

Ingredients1/2 cup olive oil
2 Spanish onions, halved and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons tomato paste
10 vine-ripened plum tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
1 pound 2 ounces string beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
a pinch of sugar
1 bunch (about 1 ounce) fresh dill, finely chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup water
9 sheets filo dough
7 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup Greek or Medjool dates, pitted and finely sliced
1 2/3 cups feta, crumbled
6 tablespoons honey
Directions: 

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat and sauté the onions until softened and sticky; this can take up to 20 minutes.
Add the garlic, cinnamon and tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, before adding the string beans, sugar, dill, a pinch of sea salt and the water.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the beans for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and the sauce is nice and thick.
Check the seasoning and cool before assembling.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Unfold the dough and cover with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.
Brush a baking sheet (about 12 x 8 inches) with melted butter.
Line the pan with a sheet of filo (cut to fit if too big), brush with butter and repeat until you have a three-layer thickness.
Spread half the tomato and bean mixture over the dough and top with half each of the dates and feta.
Sandwich another three layers of filo together with melted butter and place on top.
Top with the remaining tomato mixture, dates and feta.
Sandwich the remaining three filo sheets together as before and place on top.
Lightly score the top, cutting into diamonds.
Brush with the remaining butter and splash with a little water.
Cook for 35–45 minutes or until golden.
Let cool slightly before serving, drizzling each portion with a little honey.

COCKTAILs with Olive Oil !

You’re about to notice olive oil creeping into bars and cocktail lounges if you haven’t already. Mana Gea's Olive oil are been used for sautéing, frying, drizzling, baking, dipping and more, so why not mixology?
EVOO can easily blend with vodka and gin-based drinks to add a luscious, fruity twist. To take it even further, try mixing olive oils with spirits and take a simple beverage to a new level.

Though you can easily experiment at home with your olive oil concoctions, restaurants and bars throughout the country have caught on to the olive oil cocktail craze.
Mediterranean favorite Fig & Olive in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, boasts its namesake drink created by combining cucumber infused vodka, blood orange olive oil, egg white, simple syrup, celery, lime juice, and blood orange puree. Sounds good enough to eat.
At Marvel Bar in Minneapolis, bartenders mix the savory “Oliveto,” made from olive oil, raw egg white, lemon, Licor 43 and Gordon’s. Notice how both drinks contain egg whites, which act as an emulsifier with water and oil.

Other ingredients that mix well with EVOO are fruits, sugar, and flavored bitters.
Up to the task at home? You’ll need a little muscle to get the completed drink to your glass–– a hearty shake is necessary to blend the cocktail well and bring it to a foamy consistency.

Have concocted your own personal recipe ? Share with us as we are always eager to try new cocktails

Sip away! 

 

Grilling:Greeks do a lot of outdoor cooking, and in almost everything grilled, barbecued—or broiled—olive oil figures prominently. Olive oil is used as a marinade, together with lemon juice and herbs. It is most common, for example, to brush fish or meat with olive oil, lemon juice and herbs as they cook. Olive  oil imparts both flavor and succulence. And oftentimes, once the food comes off the grill it provides the foundations for a simple sauce. Whole grilled fish, for example, is almost served with latholemono–an emulsified sauce made by vigorously mixing olive oil and lemon juice.


Roasting: Roasted meats have been classics of the Greek kitchen since the legendary feasts of ancient heroes. Today, one of the best known Greek dishes is roasted lamb with savory roasted potatoes. It is a festive dish in which olive oil plays a crucial role. Oven-roasted meats in Greece are often rubbed with olive oil and herbs before going into the oven. The oil lends flavor, helps the herbs adhere to the meat, and finally helps crisp the meat on the outside. Roasting pans are almost always rubbed with olive oil, too.  There are many preparations for oven-roasted meats and fish, and many for oven-roasted vegetables and legumes.


Frying: The “F” word! Anathema to so many western cooks because it denotes a process that is not deemed healthful. Nonetheless, everyone loves fried foods, perhaps because they are supposed to be sinfully and are sinfully good. In Greek cuisine, cooks traditionally  do not deep fry; instead, they pan-fry, everything from fish and meats to vegetables and grains. Olive oil is almost always the fat of choice in the Greek skillet. It endures heat well, is extremely flavorful, and is much better for you than seed or other oils. Greek potatoes, cut into rounds and fried until golden in a skillet—not a deep fryer—are one of the most delicious and simple foods in the world!

Sautéing: The start to many a Greek dish calls for the technique Greeks call tsigarizo—basically to saute. In these dishes, olive oil is almost always used. Onions and garlic or onions and other vegetables such as celery and carrots would fist be wilted or softened in a few tablespoons of hot, usually extra-virgin, olive oil in a skillet. If the dish is a bean casserole, the beans will then be added and tossed until they, too glisten with olive oil. If it is a pilaf, for example, so, too, would the rice be tossed in the oil with the vegetables. It is a process that adds a certain depth of flavor, and results in what cooks like to call a “nutty” character.  Liquid is then added and the food more or less left to cook on its own, traditionally over a low flame.

Raw as a Condiment

The most basic of all Greek dishes is a wedge of good sourdough bread or a golden brown barley rusk drizzled with raw olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. This is a flavor, as Lawrence Durell may have said, “as old as water.”

Greeks love to consume olive oil raw, and with good reason since Greek olive oil is almost all extra-virgin and thoroughly delicious. It is savored over bread and rusks, as mentioned above, drizzled especially over myriad vegetable and bean salads and over boiled greens. It is also added to countless dishes, especially bean and vegetable stews and soups just before serving.

The Extra Virgin Cocktail

Ingredients:
2 oz cucumber vodka
1 oz blood orange 
3/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz blood orange olive oil 
1/2 celery sprig

Directions
1. Chop up celery sprig and muddle inside mixing tin; then add in blood orange olive oil after the celery is muddled.
2. Add juice and syrup to mixing tin.
3. Add 2 oz cucumber vodka.
4. Add ice.
6. Add splash of soda.
7. Finally, use lime zest for garnish.

Cheers!

 



















OLIVETO: The Olive Oil Martini

“I admit olive oil is a strange cocktail ingredient,” says Pip Hanson, head bartender at Marvel Bar in Minneapolis, who started the trend with his Oliveto cocktail, which uses a fruity and peppery olive oi, such as Mana Gea Early Harvest . “Still, it’s amazing how it adds a fuller, richer texture to a drink.”

One of the first olive oil drinks, it emulsifies olive oil and egg white for a richly textured tip-back. 
Try the recipe: In a shaker combine 2 ounces London dry gin, ¾ ounce lemon juice, 1⁄3 ounce simple syrup,1⁄3 ounce Licor 43, 1 egg white, and ½ ounce olive oil with three cubes of ice. Shake until the ice is nearly gone (about 2 minutes). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.

 










HEALTHY BENEFITS OF GREEK CUISINE.


A Greek/Mediterranean-style diet encompasses numerous nutrient-rich foods. Fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables provide rich amounts of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. According to Aphrodite Polemis, author of "From a Traditional Greek Kitchen," fruits such as apples, lemons and apricots, and vegetables such as artichokes, leeks, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes and leafy greens add color and nutrients to Greek dishes. Whole grain bread and cereals and potatoes are optimum carbohydrate choices within the diet. Other popular carbohydrate sources include orzo (tiny pasta) and phyllo dough (flaky pastry dough). The healthiest preparation of these foods include al dente orzo (slightly firm), and baked, rather than fried, phyllo pastries. Fish, legumes and white meat poultry provide protein and serve as healthy, filling options for phyllo pastries. Healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, olives, nuts, tahini (puree of sesame seeds) and fatty fish are optimum fat sources, known to support heart health and nutrient absorption. Garlic and mahlepi, a Turkish spice, are commonly used to season foods, in place of table salt. Cinnamon and cloves also add flavor to dishes, without adding fat or sodium.Healthy Greek foods provide numerous benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, the healthy fats of the Mediterranean dietary lifestyle are known to help reduce "bad" cholesterol (LDL) levels and promote "good" cholesterol (HDL). High consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is known to support digestive health, strengthen the immune system and reduce a person's risk for cardiovascular conditions and disease. Whole grains provide fiber and numerous nutrients that support digestive regularity and increase satiety (fullness) after eating. Nutrient-rich, high-fiber foods and lean-protein sources, such as legumes and fish, can also help overweight individuals lose weight and help people within a healthy weight range to maintain their weight.

   


Pistachio, cardamom and olive oil cake
















Moist, fragrant and very green, this cake is perfect with a dollop of loosely whipped cream and maybe a sprinkle of icing sugar.

Serves 8
200g shelled pistachios
8 cardamom pods
100g polenta
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g butter
175ml extra virgin olive oil
3 medium eggs, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
1 unwaxed lemon

Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/gas mark 3-4. Grease and line a 23cm round baking tin. Place the pistachios on a dry baking tray and toast in the oven for 3 minutes until they have a greasy shine and a nutty aroma. Remove and set aside to cool.

2 Bash the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar, discard the husks, and grind the seeds to a fine powder.

3 Tip the pistachios and cardamom powder into a food processor and pulse until they're finely ground. Pour the pistachios into a large bowl with the polenta and bicarbonate of soda and mix until evenly combined.

4 Place the butter and olive oil into a small pan on a low heat until the butter has melted but not boiled. Leave to cool slightly.

5 In a second large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until light, fluffy and thick enough to slowly fall off the whisk in a ribbonon the surface of the mixture. Very slowly trickle in the butter and oil, slowly whisking it into the eggs until fully incorporated, then gently fold through the nut and polenta mixture. Zest the lemon, then halve and add the juice and zest to the mix. Stir to combine.

6 Pour into the greased tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check that a skewer comes out clean and the surface springs back a little when you press in the centre. The cake will have risen with a golden top, but don't be upset if the middle has collapsed slightly or even cracked.

7 Rest in the tin until cool, and serve in thick slices with a dollop of cream. This cake is so moist that it actually improves the flavour to keep for a day or two. However, its vibrant green colour will start to fade.


Whole Wheat Lemon Pound Cake with Olive Oil and Greek Yogurt

















 
Ingredients

2 cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup coarse semolina flour
½ cup all purpose white flour
1 scant teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup orange, lemon, or apricot jam or marmalade, whisked with ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract



Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325F/160C. In the bowl of a food processor, stir all the dry ingredients together at low speed for a few seconds, to combine.
Add the eggs, yogurt, watered down marmalade or jam, and extracts. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the ingredients at medium speed for 3 minutes, until combined. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into a nonstick 12- or 14-inch / 30- or 35-cm loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden and set and until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove, invert onto a wire rack. And let cool before serving.



Lemon-Olive Oil-Yogurt Cake with Honey


















Serves 8



Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose or cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
3/4 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: confectioner's sugar for dusting



 
Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. and butter and flour a cake pan, tapping out excess flour. You can also use a nonstick bundt pan.
2. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and zest. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat olive oil, honey and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in half of flour mixture. Beat in milk, yogurt and lemon juice and beat in remaining flour mixture until just combined. Do not overwork the cake.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes and invert onto rack to cool completely. Cut into serving pieces and serve, dusted, if desired, with confectioner's sugar.





Pickled Feta With Cerignola Olives And Strawberries 
















Briny feta is pickled, then tossed with plump olives and strawberries for a bright, juicy salad. Since the feta needs five days to cure in the fridge, this is a great make-ahead dish. Use Greek feta if you want neat cubes; Bulgarian feta is divine, but it needs to be handled carefully as it’s very soft and crumbly. Whip up this recipe for a picnic, or serve it after a day on the beach when salt and sun are still on everyone’s mind. Glasses of Prosecco or Saison are a perfect accompaniment.

Reprinted with permission from Di Bruno Bros. House Of Cheese

Servings:6

Ingredients

Pickled feta
3 cups Champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 medium shallot, sliced
4 whole garlic cloves
4 sprigs cilantro
2 pounds feta, diced or crumbled (roughly 6 1/2 cups)

Salad
1 pound Cerignola olives (red, pitted and cut in half1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in quarters
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
12 ounces baby spinach
salt and white pepper
Directions: 

For the pickle:

Combine the vinegar, 3 cups of water, sugar, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, shallot, garlic and cilantro in a small saucepan.
Bring the pickling liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer and allow the contents to cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool completely.
Place the feta in a large mixing bowl or divide it between two 1-quart jars, and pour the cool pickling solution over the cheese.
Make sure all of the feta is completely submerged. (If you use quart jars, you will have a little bit of extra brine left over, which you can use for a salad dressing.)
Cover the feta and refrigerate it for at least five days.

For the salad:

Remove the pickled feta from the liquid and drain it on paper towels.
In a salad bowl, toss together the olives, strawberries, olive oil, chopped cilantro and spinach.
Stir in the feta, then season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Note: This dish should be served fresh as the strawberries will begin to break down and lose color over time. Use any leftover pickling solution to drizzle over salad greens.