Zesty eggplant stew, a dish of olives and fresh lemons against a backdrop of cobalt blue. That’s the delectable cover of The Country Cooking of Greece by Diane Kochilas. She is a chef and owner of a cooking school in Ikaria who also writes a weekly food column for Greece’s largest newspaper.
Kochilas provides more than just recipes; she takes you for a tour of the culture and people. You meet the mussel man who owns a popular taverna and cultivates mussels in “the rich, sweet-salty waters of the Thermaikos Gulf”. You learn about Greek oregano, the kalamata olive harvest and Santorini tomatoes that flourish unexpectedly in the chalky, volcanic soil of the island.
She writes an ode to the classic Greek salad which melds the amazing flavours of simple fresh ingredients. I can’t wait to try the Cretan beet salad with yogurt and walnuts. Pistachio-crusted feta and ouzo-glazed duck breast are calling my name.
I like that the recipes are as much about method as ingredients and that many of the recipes have an uncomplicated list of ingredients consistent with country home cooking.
The cover lured me in with a visual feast and the book lived up to its cover.
Next blog:This beautiful blue-and-white tablescape reminds me of all the lovely decorating books that embrace the blues.