This may wrap up the posts on Greece, though I could go on and on, as the food was really that good, and for veggie lover like myself, I was in a food heaven throughout the trip as there was always a Greek (or village) salad on the table. A few other dishes that really popped were the incredible roasted potatoes that were crisp outside, but creamy inside; and the gorgeous roast beets with sautéed beet greens and various other seasonal greens finished with lemon, olive oil and vinegar. Fresh and vibrant in both their color and their flavor – incredibly delicious.
Roasted Beets with Beet Greens, Kale and Fennel
2 or 3 large red beets, greens removed, peeled and cut in half (save the beet greens for sauteing, roughly chop them)
3 cloves garlic, minced and divided in half
1/2 cup white wine
red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 bunch baby kale, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb, frawns removed but saved for garnish, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 lemons, zested and cut in half
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the beets on a roasting pan and drizzle generously with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season generously with salt and pepper and top with half the garlic. Place the pan in the oven and roast for about an hour/hour and a half or until the beets are tender, turning them over half-way through cooking. Remove from the oven and set aside. Meanwhile toss the fennel with olive oil and salt and pepper and pour them out onto another roasting pan and roast for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
When you are almost ready to serve the dish heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes to soften. Add the zest, garlic, beet greens and kale and the white wine. Season generously with salt and pepper (about 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons of each) Stir to combine then place a lid over the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until the greens are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. When the greens are tender add a healthy dash of red wine vinegar and cook for about 2 more minutes. At this stage you can either layer the greens, then the fennel and top with the beets on a serving dish, or you can add all three to the pan and stir together. When ready to serve, with either method, squeeze 1 whole lemon over the whole dish and garnish with the other lemon and a sprinkle of parsley and a few chopped fennel frawns. Adding a heaping spoonful of tzatziki sauce is also delicious.
Greek Style Roasted Potatoes
The potatoes were simply divine in Greece, crisp and creamy with a hint of acidity and loads of olive oil. This process is super easy, but a little time consuming, However, it is well worth it….Gary asked if I could make these everyday….
4 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
1 lemon, cut in half
1 stick salted butter, softened
parsley for garnish
Using a fork prick a few holes in the potatoes. Add the potatoes to a large pot of cold water with about 3 tablespoons of salt and set over medium high heat on the stove top. Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes are just slightly tender (the rest of the cooking will take place in the oven so you don’t want them to be mushy or cooked through yet.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the potatoes have boiled for 25 minutes drain them and let cool slightly. Then cut into thick chunks lengthwise and place in a baking dish. Drizzle generously with olive oil and then add spoonfuls of butter to the entire dish (it is a rich dish.) Season with 1 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and place, uncovered, in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes turning the potatoes over a few times while roasting, then broil for 3, 1 1/2 minutes on each side (watching carefully to make sure the potatoes don’t burn) until the outside of the potatoes are crisp and the inside are soft and creamy. Scoop into a serving dish and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the top of the potatoes. Garnish with parsley and serve.