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So, our flights have been booked for next Sunday, we're servicing our loyal bikes, the panier bags are coming out of the cupboard and we're checking the tent still has all its poles.
Our plan is 10 days of cycling, through the Pelopponnese and Crete, far from the madding crowds, through mountain meadows and forests full of bee hives, with regular visits to pristine hidden beaches. That's the plan.
Of course, to make our holiday perfect, some feasting would go down well. I had thought that this would be impossible for my boyfriend, given he's vegetarian (no fish either), since I assumed the options will only be grilled meat, grilled fish, or Greek salad. But having had a look at some of these posts, it seems like there are quite a few really delicious (and popular?) dishes that don't involve meat or fish, but do include delicious things like spinach, fava beans, chick peas etc.
So, I'd like to compile a list of Great Greek Dishes that vegetarians can eat, the sort of simple everyday stuff that we might be able to get in a small village taverna. To kick start the list I'm nominating:
Briam - I had this about 10 years ago on the island of Amorgos and it was mindblowingly delicious. Potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and maybe onions and lots of olive oil? All cooked together extremely slowly. I've tried recreating this but never succeeded. It's something I still have fond memories of!
Any general advice or additions to the list would be most gratefully appreciated!
This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish. Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
1 green chili, slit
1 dried red chili
1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
Vietnamese Pickled Eggplant
These use tiny white eggplants that are nearly impossible to get here. I tried to grow them without success (this time). I did not have these so used unripe cherry tomatoes.
2 lb eggplant (tiny white SE Asian types) or green cherry tomatoes.
1/4 cup salt
1 TBL galangal root
1 TBL ginger root
12 green chilies - thai peppers or serranos
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
2 cup Granulated sugar
2 cup water
1/4 cup fish sauce
1. Rinse off eggplant and pierce with a knife - or cut in half if larger than 3/4 inch in diameter.
2. Put eggplant into jar and add salt - and water to top of jar. Cover with plastic lid and cover loosely. Let ferment for 7 days.
3. Take out eggplant and drain. Rinse with water. Put into jars again.
4. Chop ginger, galangal, chiles, onion, and garlic.
5. Boil water and sugar, add spices and onion, and heat for 5 minutes. Add fish sauce.
6. Pour over eggplants making sure the spices and onion get all around (might have to take out some eggplant and return).
7. Cover with plastic lid, and refrigerate.
8. Ready in several days. Will last a very long time in the refrigerator.
Notes: Good alongside other SE Asian dishes, or even alone with rice. The green tomatoes are not the same texture as the eggplants, but are quite good. The eggplants are very crispy.
Creamy soup with broad beans
During my last visit to the fruit and vegetable market I bought so many broad beans that I didn't want to risk cooking everything at once. I prepared a rich, creamy soup with them. The green soup, served with a bit of thick yoghurt and nigella, was very tasty.
Ingredients (for 5 people):
1 kg of broad beans
half an onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of butter
4 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
5 teaspoons of thick natural yoghurt
2 teaspoons of nigella
2 tablespoons of sunflowers seeds
salt and pepper
Cook the broad beans in salty water with the caraway seeds, drain and peel them. Try not to eat everything. Chop the onion and garlic and fry them in butter. Put the peeled broad beans, onion, garlic and sprigs of thyme into a saucepan. Pour in the vegetable stock to cover the vegetables and boil for 10 minutes. Take out the thyme and blend the soup to make a smooth cream. Add vegetable stock until you have the right consistence. Roast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan. Serve the soup with thick natural yoghurt, nigella and sunflower seeds.
Enjoy your meal!
I found the recipe for courgette cutlets at www.gotujzcukiereczkiem.pl. It appealed to me at once for three reasons. Firstly, the courgette is my favourite vegetable. Secondly, cutlets, pancakes and crumpets are my children's favourites dishes. Thirdly, this dish is fast, simple and is always a success. You must not use FB while frying, because it may end with you ordering pizza for dinner
The cutlets are mild and their flavour is spiced up with feta cheese. You can complement them with your favourite herbs. In my kitchen there is always basil, dill, peppermint, rosemary and thyme. This time I chose dill (in accordance with the recipe) and thyme.
400g of courgette
150g of feta cheese
110g of breadcrumbs (+ 4 tablespoons for the batter)
2 tablespoons of minced dill
1 tablespoon of thyme
salt and pepper
Wash the courgette and grate it. Add salt and leave it in a bowl for 15 minutes. Drain it then mix in the egg, feta cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs. Spice it up with salt and pepper. Make small cutlets with the mixture and fry in oil. Serve with natural yoghurt.
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