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Arugula Pizza

  • pizza dough
  • 2 tbsp corn meal (optional)
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4cup pecorino
  • small bag fresh arugula (can add frisee, dill, etc)
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 deg. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with corn meal. Stretch out crust as evenly as possible on pan. Drizzle  and smear a little bit of olive oil over crust. Cut mozzarella into 1 cm cubes and distribute evenly over pizza crust.  Sprinkle pecorino and grate black pepper over cheese to taste. Bake pizza on low rack in oven for about 18-20 minutes, until the cheese is turning golden and the bottom of the crust is golden.  While pizza is in the oven, put arugula in bowl, cut up a bit, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and toss with lemon juice.  Wilt the arugula slightly in the microwave on high for 45-55 sec. When the pizza is done, distribute the greens evenly over the pizza and serve!  Yum!

 

Adapted from nytimes

Vasilis’ Blueberry Muffins

  • 2 cups of flour (loosely packed)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • ~1 1/2 cup blueberries (preferably from the backyard) (if frozen do not defrost)

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F and spray or butter the muffin pan. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with a fork.  Mix the egg, butter and milk together and then add the wet to the flour mixture. Stir only until the flour is wet–don’t over stir making the mixture gummy. Toss in the blueberries and stir a bit to distribute them.

Spoon batter into muffin pan, filling the wells about 2/3 full.  IMG_2753.JPGBake for 25 minutes–until the house smells heavenly and the muffins are just beginning to brown on the edges. Then serve the warm clouds of muffin with blueberry bursts in them for breakfast in bed for someone you love.

Makes 12 muffins.

Adapted from The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne published 1961

gemista (stuffed tomatoes)

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to put up a recipe for gemista…a classic summer favorite when tomatoes are abundant in August.  This is best made early in the day, the way Greek women do.  It tastes best at room temp or slightly warmed.

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parsley mint and dill

  • 12 medium sized tomatoes (vine ripened)
  • 1 yellow onion finely diced
  • ~1 cup olive oil
  • Handful of fresh mint, dill, and parsley. (can also use basil)
  • ~12 tablespoons of blue rose rice–medium grain. (goya sells it in the states)
  • 4-5 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
  • sea salt
  • serve with good feta

First, cut the top off of each tomato.  Cut around the inside of the tomato and carefully with a teaspoon scoop out

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cut around the inside of the tomato to make scooping out the inside easy

the inside.  Put the inside scooping from six tomatoes in a blender and set aside the inside of the remaining six in a bowl. Be sure to keep the top of each tomato with its tomato.

Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, and the herbs to the tomato scoopings in the blender.  Blend in a few pulses so tomato is smooth but herbs are not totally pulverized.

Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a frying pan over med high heat.  Saute the onion until it begins to turn translucent.  Add the rice (1 tbsp for each tomato) and saute

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mixture of onion, rice and tomato/herbs after sauteing

2-3 min as if you were making risotto. Add the tomato-oil-herb mixture plus about 1/4 of water (to rinse all of the good stuff out of the blender into the pan) and saute another 2 min.

Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes leaving about a cm at the top empty.  For medium tomatoes it takes about 1.5-2 tbsp of the mixture.  Place the cap on the tomato and invert in baking dish.  Surround the tomatoes with the cut up potatoes.  in the blender, blend the inside of the six tomatoes that were set aside and pour that plus 1/4 cup of

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tomatoes inverted with cap down, blended tomato poured over potatoes. olive oil drizzled and sea salt sprinkled on everything. ready to bake.

water over the potatoes.  Drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over all the tomatoes and potatoes.  Sprinkle sea salt over everything.

Bake for about 1 1/2 hour at 350 deg.

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after ~1 hr 20 min in oven.  as it sits to cool down the liquid in the pan will be absorbed by the rice

Halfway through baking move the potatoes around so they roast evenly.  I like it when the tomatoes  just start to brown a little and the potatoes are soft to a fork.  When you take it out of the oven there will be a lot of liquid in the pan.  As it cools the rice will suck up that liquid…yum!!

Gemista is best prepared early and then served at room temp or heated a little.  Serve with slices of a good feta to eat on the side.  Fresh corn on the cob goes great with it.

Adapted from Andromahi 🙂 who makes the most amazing gemista!

 

Pizza Crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages quick-rising dry yeast
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cornmeal to sprinkle on baking pan

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Add water and oil, blend until mixture forms a ball.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic, 3 or 4 minutes. Let rest ten minutes before stretching. (I usually let it rest more like 45 minutes or so).

Preheat oven to 425

(I usually add about 1 T. of wheat gluten too. This is in a small box with the baking supplies at the store. It will make the dough very elastic. I use it in all my breads and it makes a huge difference).

Sprinkle cornmeal on an oiled baking sheet or preheated pizza stone if you have one (I wish!). Pat the dough flat and gently stretch it to the shape of the pan. Add your toppings and bake 10-15 min.  Check that the bottom is golden. I start low in the oven and then move the pizza to a higher rack to finish. 

Toppings…ANYTHING you desire!  Tonight its roasted squash kielbasi tomato onion reduction and feta!

image1 This one is arugula, caramelized onions and pecorino.

Inspired by Demetrios’ pizzas and adapted from a recipe from a mom of a friend of his.

butternut squash and caramelized onion pita

  • 1 med butternut squash
  • 2 med onions
  • 1-1.5 c crumbled feta
  • salt
  • oregano
  • cayenne

Peel and cube butternut squash and put on a baking sheet.  drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast in 400 deg oven about 40 min…until some just begin to brown (stir them around half way through roasting time).  Meanwhile chop onions and caramelize in skillet with a little butter and olive oil and salt.

Prepare phyllo.

After squash is roasted, place in bowl and stir with about a 1/2 tsp of oregano (more if its not pungent) and 1/4 tsp of cayenne.  Stir to slightly break up squash cubes.

To fill pita, place squash, then caramelized onion, then sprinkle feta on top.  (not too much feta…it shouldn’t dominate). Finish the phyllo and score the top to vent.  bake like any pita ~1hr.