This week’s Guest chef is Jimmy Boukas, owner and chef of Zorba’s – the place to go for Greek cuisine in St Thomas. (Jimmy makes absolutely the best bread in St Thomas but his secret is a wood burning oven so I guess that recipe wouldn’t do us much good.)
As the world’s health professionals have finally discovered, the cuisine of the southern Mediterranean is about the best way to go for a good-for-you diet. Most things that are good for you are, unfortunately, not very appealing to most people. Greek cuisine, on the other hand, is something you would choose to eat even if you weren’t trying to eat healthfully. Will wonders never cease!
And as a special treat this week – 2 recipes! One would just leave you hoping for more so while you’re in the kitchen take just a few more minutes and whip up both (they’re super simple).
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
- 2 cups plain yoghurt
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch white pepper
- pinch Kosher or sea salt
- 1 Tbsp dried, crushed mint (or 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint)
Sprinkle cucumber with salt, then set in colander to drain for 30 minutes. Combine yoghurt, garlic, white pepper and sea salt. Stir in mint. Add cucumber and mix well. Serve with a good peasant bread or pita.
- 1 16 oz can chick peas, drained
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- pinch salt
- pinch white pepper
Combine ingredients in bowl of food processor and process until well combined (can be thinned with a tiny bit of water if necessary). Mound onto plates and drizzle with additional olive oil, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, minced fresh parsley and paprika. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
These are my 2 favourite Greek side dishes – actually they could easily be the whole meal with the addition of the bread and a little Greek salad if you want to be fancy. And best of all you can feel smug and saintly while indulging since it’s unbelievably good for you! For dessert? What else but a slice of baklava!