What’s your favourite Greek food? Many of you told us how you love our more traditional Greek recipes. Remember Katerina’s arakas from a few weeks ago? So this week we’ve got another classic for you. Fasolakia. This is a dish we usually make in late spring-early summer in Greece.

Fasolakia is the name for green beans in Greece. Strolling around the farmers’ markets one sees many types of green beans at this time of the year. And as tomatoes are at their best, we couldn’t but share with you a recipe that combines both.

As with most traditional Greek recipes, you only need a few ingredients and lots of care. Take your time when preparing Fasolakia, and let them slowly cook, so that they become mellow and tender. This recipe is also my mother’s.

This dish needs, of course, a mature feta cheese and some warm crusty bread. If you eat it al fresco then it’s even better. So come into my family’s kitchen and cook with us this wonderful dish.

Serves 4

650g green beans
2 small red onions
240g grated tomatoes or tomato passata
1 tsp tomato puree, stirred into 1 cup of hot water
4 tbsp olive oil plus more for serving
Salt, pepper

Finely grate or chop your onions. Place your beans, onions and olive oil in a large pot, along with 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, covered, until your beans are soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste in the water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for another 30-45’, until the beans are very tender, the water has evaporated and you are left with a loose tomato sauce.

Serve with more olive oil, feta cheese and crusty bread.


Is it summer yet? The weather might be a bit confusing still, but we can’t help but feel that one of our favourite seasons is here. We kicked off June (and summer!) with our Greek Islands Cooking Workshop, where we got to taste and make amazing island recipes and wines. Our wonderful chef, Lida shared her passion for island foods, and –sneak peak to September-she is preparing another ‘island’ workshop! A Cretan one this time. Watch this space for updates on this and our other cooking workshops!

So this week, we have the ultimate summer recipe for you: a Horiatiki, also known as Greek salad. But with a twist. If you are looking for something refreshing and filling for those warm summer days or nights, look no further. Our bulgur wheat horiatiki is our go-to summer dish.

In the recipe below, you can cut the tomatoes, cucumber and onions in whichever way you like. We had plenty of time, so we went for small cubes. But if you are more rushed, then go for tomato wedges and roughly chop the cucumber and onions-it is equally delicious. And, as always, do not hesitate to add or omit ingredients! We’ve added fresh herbs for example. You adore feta? Double the quantity! You hate capers? Omit them. But not before you pop by our Borough Market shop to taste ours.

So get into the kitchen and let’s kick off this summer!

Serves 2:

100g bulgur wheat
4 tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1 red onion
1 tbsp capers and
1/2 tub Kalamata olives or amfissa green olives (we used both)
Dried oregano (to taste)
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
100g feta cheese
a small bunch of fresh herbs (parsley, mint or dill – optional)
Salt

Place the bulgur wheat in 250ml of water in a medium-sized pot. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let it cook until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

In the meantime, cut your tomatoes, cucumber and onion in small cubes. Place in a large bowl, along with the capers and olives. If using herbs, finely chop them and add them to the salad. Crumble the feta cheese on top. Add the cool bulgur wheat and oregano. Dress your salad with olive oil and vinegar and season with salt.

Serve with crusty bread. Happy summer everyone!

 


Youthful and fruity, the well-structured 2017 Sant’ Or Krasis presents a classic Bordeaux style with unique Greek grape varieties. I am deeply surprised that a red wine with the vintage of 2017 has already developed to that extent.

Produced in Santameri, Greece, this wine is made from the local grape variety Mavrodaphne, a grape that was mostly often used in producing sweet or fortified wines. Nowadays, however, modern winemaking philosophies and approaches have contributed to the reinvention of oak-matured Mavrodaphne, as is the case of this wine.

The town of Santameri sits in the mountainous area in north-west Peloponnese Peninsula. Generally, wine lovers may be more familiar with the other two famous Denomination of Origin appellations in the peninsula: Nemea and Martina, both situating in the eastern side and enjoying a slightly more ‘continental’ climate for viticulture. Santameri, in contrast, is located in the Patras region where the climate is definitely more ‘Mediterranean’. This means that the long and dry summers with short and rainy winters have created warm climate conditions with relatively small temperature variations, ideal for the Mavrodaphne grapes to grow and ripe. As a result, the wine usually displays distinctive aromas of ripe dark fruits.

The wax seal of the bottle may add extra points to attract your attention. Just in case you are not sure how to open a wax-sealed bottle, here is a tip: Pretend the wax does not exist and use the corkscrew as usual. But make sure to spend a few seconds clearing the wax pieces around the very top bit of the bottle before you pull the cork out, so as to avoid small pieces falling in the wine as the cork is coming out.

At first glance, you may easily find out that this is a very youthful wine, for it has a clear and bright deep purple colour with blue-ish hints in the purple rim. The viscosity is high. On the nose, it exhibits clean and intense aromas of ripe fruits such as black cherry and black plum. Following these initial aromas, the wine also has noticeable traces of oak barrel: toast, cocoa, toffee and tobacco. Gently swirling the glass, the wine also releases notes of wood, cedar box and a very small amount of hay. This suggests that the wine is in a developing stage, in spite of the youthful colour it shows. On the palate, this wine is dry, with high acidity, smooth firm tannins, medium alcohol level and a medium body. The finish is long. The intense flavours it brings include ripe black cherry, cigar, wood, toast, cocoa, and dark chocolate. It is slightly savoury, and shows characteristics of a developing wine. Combining with the outstanding flavours of a cigar box this wine reminds me of a typical red Bordeaux, and also surprises me for the range of flavours it has, considering that it is a 2017 vintage.

This wine is ready to drink, but may benefit from another 1 or 2 years of bottle maturation. It is best served at 18 – 20°C, in a large tulip shape glass. For such a youthful wine with firm tannins, I suggest to decant it for at least 10 minutes. This wine is suitable to drink on its own, but also will be fantastic to pair with grilled red meat, game dishes, and tomato-based sauces, for example with pasta.

 

By Celine