Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Vicar's Kitchen - The Delicious Delights of Crete

Reader, I am well and truly in withdrawal. Not just from the beautiful sunshine and unending glittering turquoise seas of the Med but also for the most amazing week of food. Ever. I've long been a fan of Greek food from my first trip where I was taught by a new Greek friend to make tzatziki the proper way (i.e. fully loaded with garlic!)

Sissi, Crete
I was really excited to try Cretan food having heard that it has some interesting specialities of its own as well as drawing in some middle eastern flavours due to its more southern location in the Med. I lapped up Yotam Ottolenghi's programme on Crete before I went so I was fully prepared to seek out a couple of delicacies, sweet cheese pies with honey and Dakos in particular.

Dakos from http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/04/dakos-onepot-chicken-recipes-ottolenghi
Dakos was a particular revelation and it only took me about 20 minutes from landing for me to curse myself for not bringing some of it home and start googling for recipes. Dakos is a dark twice baked roll made in the highlands of Crete.

When you eat it, it is all crispy but topped with crushed tomatoes and olive oil which soaks into the roll and makes it softer and oh so delicious. We ate Dakos daily topped with piles of feta. Swoon. I've already been on the hunt for a Greek deli in the UK that stocks Dakos rolls so watch this space for a recipe in the future.
A pretty gorgeous view for lunch!
Meanwhile I am making use of something I did think to buy and bring home, some lovely herbs including a big bag of Greek Oregano. To ease my post holiday woes and attempt to bridge the gap between meze lunches on the beach and soggy sandwiches I've been making a Med Veg Cous Cous with Feta for lunch this week. It is very easy, good for you and beats a sarnie and a bag of crisps any day of the week!

Med Veg Couscous with Feta

1 large aubergine
1 large courgette
2 red peppers
2 red onions
A sprinkling of oregano
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
100g couscous
100g feta

Chop the veg into roughly equal size chunks and toss with the olive oil and oregano in a large roasting pan. Pop into a high oven, about 200 C, for half an hour to 45 minutes. You want the veg to be slightly blackened at the edges and lovely and soft.

Meanwhile make the couscous. Place at the base of a large bowl, pour over boiling water until the couscous is just covered. Add the lemon juice. Leave for five minutes and then fluff up with a fork.

Mix the veg into the couscous, top with feta and serve. Yum!

A beautiful Cretan morning

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