Discover more from Aglaia & Costas' Aegean Island Kitchen
Potatoes are the star!
Since I was a child, I have loved the potatoes much more than the poultry or meat they accompanied during our Sunday lunches.
PHOTO Penny de Los Santos from my Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts
Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Greece, but I love roasting free-range local rooster or duck –turkeys are slaughtered later, for Christmas on Kéa-- accompanying the gamey bird with my mother’s delicious roasted potatoes with orange, mustard, and garlic for my family and friends in my version of the traditional fall feast.
You could also add to your festive menu, this deliciously unusual, three-ingredient Cypriot dish.
We seem to have some truly enviable traditional Greek potato dishes, of which the Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Lemon, and Oregano are much discussed lately. Serious Eats experimented cooking first the potatoes in a skillet, then adding chicken broth to the lemony olive oil they roast in.
A few years back when we dug out the second crop from the garden, I couldn’t wait to serve the very tender new potatoes simply roasted, or stir-fried with just olive oil, and garlic together with a few of our broccoli, finally sprinkling with red pepper flakes and finishing salt.
These days, after a couple of dry seasons, we cannot afford to pay for the water needed to irrigate more than a very small vegetable garden; a few tomatoes, parsley, and peppers, but no room for potatoes, unfortunately…
Slightly soggy, not particularly crunchy olive-oil-fried potatoes, accompanied by an olive-oil-fried egg, or just yogurt, or a piece of feta, was and still is the ultimate comfort meal for me!
No wonder Saveur has written about him, and people from all over the world brave the long, winding, and often harrowing road to drive to Drakona not just for the potatoes but for all the delicious, age-old traditional dishes Stelios prepares.
In a rich tomato sauce scented with bay leaves, Potato and Olive Stew in Tomato Sauce (Patates Yahni me Elies) is a simple vegan dish, part of the traditional Greek foods we cook during Lent, hence the late, brilliant Martin Brigdale chose to photograph it at Meteora, the breathtaking site in Central Greece for my first book The Foods of Greece.
is the Greek version of Gratin Dauphinois —or an olive oil and feta frittata with yogurt, instead of cream. The recipe is my late mother in law Athanasia Moraitis’ version. According to Costas, his grandmother taught his mother to make it. Be warned: it is highly addictive! We cannot stop eating it so we don’t make it very often…
It is ideal for cooking or baking and then serving any sweet or savory dish. I used the 26cm, the one available at Amazon.
In Ioannina, northwestern Greece, Telis Giannena workshop has been making handcrafted tools for over 80 years. Adamantios learned the secrets of metallurgy from a very young age and continues as the third generation craftsman of beautiful custom-made knives and all kinds of agricultural tools.