An Italian Version of Briam
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
1w ago
Briam or Briami is a classic Greek baked vegetable dish. I first made it seven years ago and have done different versions at least a half a dozen times since then. When faced with a dilemma last week about what to do with the beautiful vegetables I buy here in Cisternino, I decided to make an Italian version of Briam. I was pleased with the results. In the Greek version of Briam, I typically add feta cheese at the end.  To take advantage of the Italian products here, this dish gave me an opportunity to learn about a cheese I had never had before, namely Cacioricotta. I liked this cheese ..read more
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Year-End Photo Log
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
4M ago
The last two weeks of the year did not produce any major stories to add to this blog. There were a few photos of highlights that I captured and wanted to share with you, so they are collected below. Peasant Bread from Alexandra’s Kitchen, but first time in a loaf panMy favorite Greek baked vegetable dishOur very first garden (1972) produced this harvest. Just found the original film slide in a cabinet.Last Octopus of 2023New favorite Cannonau from Sardinia to go with octopusand a favorite Portuguese red wine for octopus and many other dishesAntipasti Board as part of a great Christmas dinner a ..read more
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Lunch from Almost Nothing
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
5M ago
Today’s lunch required some ingenuity. Having had bread as the centerpiece for the past four meals, I decided against sandwiches in any form. The refrigerator was about half empty, so many of my favorites were not available. The leftovers roster was meager but not bare. (I had to throw out the extra chickpeas that were sitting there for 10 days, and the remaining lobster risotto did not appeal.) I did find a plastic bag with lovely Swiss Chard ribs. There was also a small container of cannellini beans, so I decided to use those elements as the core. Step 1 was to chop up a very fragrant, fresh ..read more
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Vegetarian Dinner
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
5M ago
We were very much in the mood for vegetables one night, so I explored the refrigerator and came up with an attractive and healthful dinner. No recipes this time, just taking each vegetable and cooking it in a way that highlights its best qualities. First, we had a small beet salad — sliced beets, beet greens, pistachios, goat cheese, onion confit, plum tomato fillets, white bean purée, and a splash each of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Next was the big vegetable platter — a real colorful one from Deruta, Italy. It featured steamed asparagus with sautéed shallots, oven-roasted onions, steame ..read more
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Soufiko, Again
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
5M ago
When I find that I have a handsome eggplant and attractive zucchini, I am moved to make Ikarian Springtime Soufiko, a marvelous (as well as quick and easy) vegan dish for dinner. Technically, it might be Spring here, but we just had 6 inches of fresh snow today, and this dish never disappoints. Here is the basic recipe: As with most recipes, I considered this to be a guideline, not prescription. We had no butternut squash, but I added leeks, grape tomatoes, and yellow summer squash instead. I also had 5 large scallops available, so I pan-seared them in a very hot skillet with coarse Sicilian ..read more
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Tourlou
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
5M ago
As the summer drew to a close with the warm days we had in November, it seemed appropriate to have one more of the wonderful baked vegetable dishes we enjoy with nature’s bounty. This one is called “Tourlou”, and it could be Greek or Turkish in origin. Its principal ingredients are eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onions, and tomatoes — like so many of the ratatouille-style dishes of the Mediterranean. A large cazuela or tian is the perfect vessel to use, and we had a good one. You can see that I threw in some sautéed mushrooms too. You can almost smell the warmth of the thinly-sliced onions, sw ..read more
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Gnocchi with Spinach, Feta & Walnuts
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
5M ago
Today was a great day for cooking. I had one activity on my calendar — my weekly Body Movement training session — and the rest of the time was available for culinary adventures. It was my turn to make dinner. I wrestled the previous night with what to make, since pasta and rice dishes were off the list, according to my wife. Finally, I asked the ingredients question — what do we have that we need to use, and do we have other foods that are well-matched? That was the breakthrough, at about 4 AM. The key ingredients were a 1 lb. package of fresh spinach that we had for several days, to be paired ..read more
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Krasi – Meze & Wine
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
5M ago
One of my favorite haunts for food and wine is Eataly Boston. It has excellent selections of some of my favorite Italian foods. It’s a large store, and it is often crowded, so as one who despises crowds (even BEFORE the pandemic), I pick and choose my times to go there carefully. My top two choices are (1) holiday mornings when they are open, (e.g. Labor Day), and (2) Sunday mornings between 9 and 10 AM, when they have just opened. Another benefits of those choices is that I can usually park on the street, very close by, for free! My last visit was Sunday two weeks ago, and I picked up superb ..read more
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I Think I Finally May Understand Bordeaux Wines…
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
5M ago
Today’s lunch was one of the most instructive experiments I’ve had about food and wine. I’ve never been a fan of Bordeaux wines. I started buying them in 1985 (because they were supposed to be the best), but I have had very few pleasurable experiences with them over the years. Part of it is due to the fact that their principal grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, neither of which has been among my favorite varieties. As a result of this avoidance, I tend to give away most of the Bordeaux wines in my cellar, and I never really miss them. Today was a bit different. I chose one of the bottle ..read more
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Grilled Octopus for Lunch, Briam for Dinner
Dgourmac's Blog » Greek Food
by dgourmac
5M ago
This is another post in an abbreviated form, so you can gain the essence of the experience quickly and extract what is useful to you. Lunch was Grilled Octopus, combined with white beans, red onion, rouille, and flying fish roe (Tobiko in Japanese), flavored with Wasabi (spicy horseradish used with sushi). For the octopus salad I chose a Ligurian white wine that went nicely. As I often do, my larger meal — dinner — is vegetarian or vegan, following a lunch that might feature animal protein in moderate quantities. Briam is a Greek baked vegetable dish I make often, with whatever veggies are av ..read more
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