In Edinburgh I live with 3 other lovely ladies, all weird and wonderful in their own mystical ways.
The African one, lets call her Matuki, is the one you would go to to find out anything, everything and about everyone. She is fantastic at marketing, even though she studies classics, and she was quick to brand our twisted little family. (As the picture above shows).
My other flatmate, the Greek/South African/ Portugese/ whatever else you can think of adding into the mix, stuck to this by whipping up a delicious Greek feast for us fatties and a couple of others who we tried to convert.
And just so the final one doesn't feel left out, stay tuned to find out more about the French one. She has many culinary skills similar to the likes of those at Laudrée, Le Meurice et La Patisserie de Reves. She makes the Champs-Elysees of cakes, roasts and soups! Unfortunately there was a crisis with her baguettes and comté cheese production and she had to leave us for a few short days. So she missed out on this delightful soiree.
Sticking to what we know best, and in order to feed the masses, we had a traditional greek salad and fakes (otherwise known as lentil soup or peasant food - no joke, this is what would be eaten widely in greece because it is very filling and very cheap to make). The jumble of cultured flat mate is fantastic at making these. They are my absolute favourite, especially when I'm feeling down, I always feel loved after a bowl of these (and another and another and another). We call it "Yiayia's (Grandma's) cooking!"
Greek salad is very easy to make and the concept comes from what foods are available to you. So, if we were in Greece, for summer, the tomatoes would be in abundance, gorgeous cucumbers would raid the fridge and red onion would peak out the ground! The locals would have fresh feta at the ready and dried oregano, hand-picked fresh from the mountains. And not to mention, the staple ingredient, Greek Olive Oil. Far better than Extra Virgin, in fact it is so Virgin that not even Balsamic could de-purify it. But, alas, we are not in Greece but in humdrum Scotland, so Lidl and Tesco's versions of all that had to do!
Classic Greek Salad:
- A whole cucumber
- 1 Red Onion (large)
- As many tomatoes as you can fit (organic is best)
- A Block of Feta
- Dried Oregano
- Salt, Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
- Parsley (optional)
1) Chop up the tomatoes, onions and cucumber into desired segments toss them in a salad bowl
2) Add the block of feta on top (as done in greek restaurants) or crumble it over the top
3) Sprinkle Oregano
4) Drizzle Olive oil, and Lemon Juice
5) Season and add chopped parsley if desired
Et voila, Kali Orexi! (Bon appetite!)
As for the Lentils the recipe is as follows:
- 8oz Red Split Lentils
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- Oregano, Bay leaf Black Pepper
- Tomato Paste, 1 tbsp
- few cloves of garlic, depending how much you like
1) Boil the Lentils for 10 minutes in a pan
2) Drain the Lentils
3) Place 2tbsp of olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion
4) When softened add the garlic, carrot and herbs
5) After a couple of minutes stir in the lentils, to absorb the flavour
6) Add enough water to cover the lentils and leave on a low heat to simmer for about 30-40 mins, stir in the tomato paste about half way through
7) When you have your desired texture, serve up and eat away!
Goes lovely with some warm crusty bread! Courtesy of Lidl of course.
Overall, it was a great evening, the only thing missing was the ouzo! But with great friends, phenomenal food and atmospheric music what more could one ask for. This is a must try! I hope you enjoy, and thanks again to the mixed up mumbo jumbled weird one for cooking :) S'agapo! (I Love You).