Winter's Bold Flavors
Grey, cold weather demands bright-colored dishes!
Easy and delicious, chicken with sour cherries combines Eastern Mediterranean and Asian traditions. The tart sour cherries are traditionally cooked with meatballs in Iran, Syria, and Turkey. I love the combination of fruit with all kinds of meat, and these boned and skinned chicken thighs are ideal as they cook fast so the cherries don’t lose their bright color when the dish is done.
Veal stew with quince or with tart apples is another of my favorites. I slow-cook the local free-range veal together with the fruit cores and peelings for extra flavor.
Tart apples and quince are also delicious with chicken. My recipe is inspired by a traditional dish from Chios, while lamb or goat are often cooked with quince in Crete and sometimes also with the local small apples.
Costas and I keep an overused, slightly rusted, wood-handled Opinel knife in the glove compartment of our car. It is there because we never know if and when we will spot some gorgeous edible greens during our rides around the island.
Greeks probably foraged for horta —wild leafy greens— because they had little else to eat. We continue to gather and eat them today because we love them.
Watch the video-slideshow of the most important edible greens we forage, and more…
Some recipes with horta we love, which you can try with any kind of leafy greens you can get in your farmers’ market are: Braised Greens with Potatoes, Lamb or Pork Braised with Greens, and the very unusual Hortopsomo: Crust-less Pie with Greens and Herbs.
This time last year…
José Andrés, the renowned chef-humanitarian, his wife Tichi, and Zaytinya’s concept chef Michael Costa came to Athens for a few days. We strolled around the city tasting dishes and sipping wines and cocktails at some of the most talked-about restaurants and bars of the city.