Greek Vegan Cooking Lesson

We left Tinos yesterday and are in Hiraklion, Crete now, but I have at least 10 more things to post from Tinos! I’ll probably do the rest when I get home, but our cooking lesson was the best.

I’m told you’ll be hard pressed to find measuring cups in Greece, and we certainly didn’t use any for this lesson. Cooking can be a science, but in this case it was all art.

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Argie and Carole did the grocery shopping and put the menu together for us. We started with stuffed squash.

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Argie showed EM how to hollow the squash with a melon baller, something he was familiar with thanks to Tete’s lesson on making stuffed cusa during the holidays.

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They had aprons for both of us. Yep, EM chose this for himself. He’s man enough to get away with it…

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While he worked on the squash, Argie and I peeled and seeded the tomatoes for our gigantes.

Making quick work of it.

Making quick work of it.

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Onions, green peppers and carrots sauteing in olive oil…

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then we blended our tomatoes,

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added them to the veggies,

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and added fresh parsley and dill.

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The beans, cooked ahead.

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The beans with stuff added.

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Add some more olive oil, it’s hard to have too much.

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This is the little kitchen and dining area next to Chrysanthi’s church.

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The filling for the squash was rice with tomato, onion, parsley & dill, salt & pepper, olive oil,

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and tiny raisins.

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Fill the squash,

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almost to the top, but not quite. You have to leave room for the rice to expand.

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Cover them with a plate, just like Tete would do! Then add water to the pot, and cook until the rice is done.

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Midway through we decided we need Mythos and a snack.

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Crushed tomatoes, Tinoan oregano, olive oil and a bit of salt.

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Mix it up.

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Spoon it onto dried bread rounds, I forget what it’s called…

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Argie added her favorite olives, she said she brings her own olives everywhere – she eats them for breakfast 🙂

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And now we have dakos. It’s really good if you let them sit a while so all the flavors soak in.

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Getting back to work, Argie roasted these eggplants ahead of time and began slicing them open when the skin was blackened,

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then left them in the colander to cool.

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Once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and remove the seeds.

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More fresh parsley…

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Add the parsley to the eggplant, then mash the eggplant up using two forks.

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Now let us make a Greek tomato salad.

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Tomato, onion, green pepper, cucumber. Olive oil.

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Capers, olives, and more of that lovely Tinoan oregano. Notice there is No lettuce in a traditional Greek salad. There would normally be feta, but they left it off for me.

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Boiled greens. I can’t remember if these were dandelion greens or another kind. Dandelion greens should be quickly blanched, then the water drained, and boiled again in fresh water to remove any bitterness. Other greens you may be able to simply boil without blanching.

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Our table.

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The greens with some extra squash. I believe these were served with olive oil and vinegar.

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Stuffed squash.

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Carole, cutting the obligatory loaf of fresh bread.

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They certainly know how to treat a vegan on Tinos. This was my favorite meal, by far.

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Afterwards we had Greek coffee.

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She made it a bit weaker for us (I think we could’ve handled it!)

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They offered to have Chrysanthi’s husband Niko read our coffee grounds.

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We ate this delicious Spoon Sweet while waiting for the coffee to do its thing, but

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Fr. R will be happy to know, we drank too much of the coffee, and the grounds were too thick to do much with. Niko tried anyway, between interjections of, “Wait, wait – give him more time to make up another lie!”

We took home the leftovers and had them later that evening for a snack, and the next day for brunch, and the next day for dinner. If you stay at the Peach House (which I highly recommend), you really must book the cooking lesson!

0 thoughts on “Greek Vegan Cooking Lesson

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