Cooking News and Recipes

Cooking News and RecipesThis time of the year is the time where the olives are picked or they have been picked and taken to the processing plant to extract the oil. I am going to go through the steps required to finish the process.

1: The olives are picked from the tree using many ways.

2: The olives are cleaned removing any leaves, branches, dirt and washed in a water bath so all the heavy unwanted particles will sink to the bottom.

3: Then the olives are taken to be crushed to create a paste. Crushing the olives is done by different methods. This is done to release the oil from the vacuoles.

4: Mixing the past for 25 to 50 minutes in a horizontal trough with spiral mixing blades. There are other ways such as heat or water is added during this step but longer mixing and heating or adding water increases the yield but lowers the quality of the oil.

5: Separating the oil from the water and solids is done by centrifugation. This is done by steps. First the speed is medium the oil separates from the water and goes to a separate tank from the water the speed is increased ro remove any water left in the mixture.

6: The oil can be filtered or left alone so the solid particles in time will sink to the bottom.

Village Salad: Page 74

1-long seedless cucumber, peeled Zebra style, cut in 1/2 length-wise and sliced

3-large ripe tomatoes, cored sliced in wedges

1/2- medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/2- yellow sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2-red sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2-orange sweet orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2-pound Greek Feta cheese cubed

1-cup Kalamata olives

8-Greek Salonika peppers (pepperoncini


Greek oregano, Greek extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a plater and pour dressing on top. Toss to mix well.

Serve with home made or crusty artisan bread

Feta Dip with almonds: page 37

1-cup Greek feta cheese crumbled

2-cups mayonnaise

4-cloves minced garlic

1/2-tsp fresh ground black pepper

2-tbsp red wine vinegar 

3-tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil

1/2-cup toasted chopped almonds

Put all ingredients in a bowl, mix well with a spoon.

Garnish with fresh mint refrigerate and serve cold

Use toasted sliced artisan bread, crackers or crisp vegetables 

Bean soup: Page 81

2-cups great northern beans

1/4-cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

1-large onion diced

1-cup diced celery

1-cup diced carrots

1/2-cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1-cup tomato sauce

1-tbsp tomato paste diluted in a cup of warm water

fresh ground pepper to taste

salt to taste

Pick beans and wash in a colander. Soak beans in a large pot with 12 cups of cold water over night.

Rinse beans in a colander and put them in a large pot with 12 cups of water. bring to a boil for 15 minutes over medium-high heat.

remove from heat and drain in a colander. Put beans and all of the other ingredients except the salt in a pot with enough water to cover by 5 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium cook parsially covered until they start to get soft about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Add salt and cook until done. Stir a few times while cooking and check to see if there is enough water. Sauce should be smooth and creamy. Pull from heat let stand for about 15 minutes serve in bowls add a tbsp of fresh extra virgin olive oil on top, 

Serve with home made bread or crusty artisan bread and Greek feta cheese and Kalamata olives.

Lentil soup: Page 82

1-cup brown lentils

8-cups water

1/2-cup tomato sauce

1-tbsp tomato paste diluted in the above water

1/2-cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

1-large onion diced

8-large whole cloves of garlic or sliced thick

1-cup celery chopped

1/2-cup chopped carrots

3-bay leaves

1/4-cup flat leaf parsley chopped

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

5-tbsp red ine vinegar

Pick lentils and remove any dirt or other things that you see. Wash in a colander under cold running water.

Put lentils and all other ingredients in a pot except the vinegar. bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium cover pot partially and cook until lentils are soft about 45-50 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat add vinegar stir and let rest for 15 minutes.

Serve with a good rustic bread accompanied with Greek feta cheese and Kalamata olives

It is the beginning of August and the Farmers Markets are full of fresh home grown vegetables. My favorite time to make some of my favorite vegetable dishes. 

Briam-Baked Vegetables

Serves 4-6

2-medium potatoes' peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

1-medium eggplant sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

3-medium zucchini sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

1-cup extra virgin olive oil

Brush all the vegetables generously with olive oil and set aside seperate 

For the sauce

2-large onions thinly sliced

6-large cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced

1-cup thinly sliced celery 

2-cups can tomatoes with juice finely chopped

1-cup tomato sauce

1-cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

2-tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and brown each vegetable on both sides in single layers about 

2-3 minutes on each side. Keep vegetables separate.

To make the sauce

Add remaining oil into pan and sauté onions until translucent. Add the garlic, celery, tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley,dill season with salt and pepper

cook over medium high heat stirring frequently until all vegetables are soft. If sauce is getting too thick add a little hot water.

Pull sauce from heat and set aside. 

Assemble vegetables in a 9x12x2 1/2 baking pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Spread enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Arrange potatoes on top of the sauce in one layer. Spread enough sauce on top of potatoes

to cover them evenly. Add egg plant on top of sauce in one layer cover with sauce as before. Repeat with zucchini and more sauce.

If you have extra potatoes, egg plant or zucchini arranges top in any order in one layer. Top with remaining sauce.

Cover pan with parchment paper and aluminum foil on top of parchment paper. 

Place pan on a rack on bottom 1/3 of the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes pull pan out of the oven uncover pan and insert a knife into the center of the pan to check for doneness.  Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.

Let rest for 15 minutes. Serve hot or room temperature.