Here are three favourite recipes from Betty, Eleni and Samantha Bakopoulos' award-winning cookbook, Three Sisters Around the Greek Table, published by Adelfes.
Stuffed peppers. (Photo by Mark Holleron)
Marinated Olives (Elies)
These olives will keep in the fridge for several months so it's easy to always have them on hand.
- 1 cup Kalamata olives
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Soak the olives in a bowl of fresh water overnight. This helps remove the salty brine that the olives come packed in. Drain.
2. Add the olives with all of the remaining ingredients to a glass jar with a lid. Stir or shake to combine. Refrigerate at least overnight; the longer the olives marinate, the better they taste.
3. Remove the olives from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving so the olive oil has time to liquefy again.
4. Bring marinated olives to the dinner table with just about any meal or save for a party platter.
Traditional Greek Salad (Maroulosalata)
- 1 head romaine lettuce (about 1 lb.), chopped ¼" thick
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup marinated olives
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
1. Place the finely chopped lettuce in a salad bowl. Add the cucumber and tomatoes.
2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and use your hands to massage the dressing into the lettuce.
4. Top the salad with the feta cheese and marinated olives. Serves 6.
Stuffed Tomatoes, Peppers & Zucchini Flowers (Yemista)
- 8 whole tomatoes
- 4 whole yellow and red bell peppers
- zucchini flowers (optional)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, minced
- pinch salt
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
- 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1. With a sharp knife, slice off the tops of the tomatoes to make lids. If possible, try not to cut the lids off completely. Remove the tough inner core of the tomato.
2. Scoop out the soft flesh of the tomatoes with a spoon and place in a large bowl. Purée the flesh with a hand blender or simply use your hands.
3. Make lids for the peppers and seed them.
4. If using, wash the zucchini flowers.
5. Arrange the hollowed vegetables in a roasting pan with a tight lid so that the vegetables fit snugly and are holding each other up.
6. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 20 minutes over medium-low heat until the onions are soft and caramelized.
7. Add the onions to the bowl of tomato flesh. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the rice, mint and parsley. This is the stuffing.
8. Completely fill the hollowed vegetables with the stuffing and place the lids back on the tomatoes and peppers.
9. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the vegetables and into the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan, covered, in the middle of an oven preheated to 425F and cook for 60 - 75 minutes.
10. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the lid and let the vegetables rest for 15 - 30 minutes before serving. Serve with some bread and a dollop of plain Greek or Balkan-style yogurt. Serves 6.