Authentic recipes

Octopus with orzo pasta

 

A recipe from the seaside village Ligia – Lefkas

Ingredients:

  • An octopus about 2 kg
  • a cup of olive oil
  • 2 soup-spoons of tomato paste
  • an onion
  • ½ a glass of white wine
  • pepper
  • noki pasta

Preparation
Clean the octopus, cut it in large pieces and place it in a baking dish together with the finely-chopped onion, the olive oil, the tomato paste, 3 glasses of water, the wine and bake at medium temperature of about 170 degrees Celsius. Add warm water as needed. When the octopus is nearly done add the noki pasta, season and stir from time to time until thoroughly cooked.

Riganada

Riganada in Karyia Lefkas

Riganada is a festivity held on the main square of Karyia in the mountainous heart of Lefkada to celebrate traditional food. Riganada is made from stale bread which is soaked in water and then squeezed, then seasoned generously with oregano, extra-virgin local olive oil, coarse sea salt and red wine vinegar. Usually it is accompanied by tomatoes, olives, anchovies or feta cheese. Riganada is equally delicious as it is easy to make. At the festivity riganada is prepared right then and offered to the guests with local wine. Live music and traditional dancing make this occasion very special.

Lentils

Lentils from the village of Eglouvi Lefkas

The renowned lentils of the village called Eglouvi are grown at an altitude of 950m. They are of excellent quality and the growers have never used any pesticides, they remove weed by hand. This laboring method makes the lentils deserve the “organic” label. On the 7th August there is a celebration at the church of Agios Donatos where the day before festivities take place as the women of Egglouvi cook lentils in large pots and offer samplings to the visitors accompanied with olives, anchovies and wine.

Ingredients:

  • 600 gr lentils
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • a head of garlic, peeled
  • a sprig of oregano (or dried)
  • salt
  • vinegar

Preparation

Remove any impurities and wash the lentils, place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water, cook for a few minutes and then drain the water. Return the lentils to the saucepan and cover with warm water, add the garlic and oregano and cook until the water is almost evaporated. Then add the olive oil and warm water according to the consistency you wish for your soup and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the fire and add some salt. It is important to stir the lentils while cooking only with a wooden spoon. Vinegar is added directly to the served dish according to personal taste.

Briam – A colorful selection of vegetables and herbs

Traditionally Greek cooking follows vegetarian paths where simplicity and wisdom meet…

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggplants
  • 4 large floury potatoes
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • a few sprigs of parsley, basil and mint
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of water

Preparation

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Wash and cut your vegetables into big chunks, season and place in a large dish. Blend the garlic with the oil in your food processor and pour over the vegetables, add the water and the finely chopped herbs. Toss to cover the vegetables evenly. Place the dish in the oven and cook for about an hour, for the first half hour cover the dish then remove the cover. You will end up with the most delicious, sweet, melt-in-the-mouth baked vegetables in a sumptuous tomato and olive oil sauce that you’ll ever taste. Feta cheese and crusty bread are all the accompaniments you’ll need.

Scrambled eggs with fresh tomato

Three(3) large and ripe tomatoes skinned and finely chopped, 6 large, free range eggs, olive oil, salt and pepper, that is the basic recipe which can be enriched by adding smoked ham, sausage, bell peppers or feta cheese. Bon appetite! Heat the oil in a pan. Add the tomatoes. Let it cook for a few minutes. Beat the eggs in a bowl, season them with salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the pan and let them cook in the juices of the tomato. So simple! Yet so delicious!

Sofigado

The Greek sweet and sour beef stew

Α dish of Lefkas rooted in the times of Venetian occupation

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1.2 kg boneless beef stewing steak like chuck steak
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized red onions
  • 7 medium-sized garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 330-350 ml hot water
  • Salt
  • 3 large quinces (1 – 1.1 kg), peeled and cut into wedges
  • 100 ml petimezi (grape-must syrup / grape molasses)

Preparation

Cut the meat into pieces, wash, pat it dry. In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. When it starts to shimmer, add the beef pieces and brown on both sides, then the onion pieces to soften and become translucent. Now add the vinegar, syrup, garlic, rosemary, tomato, salt and pepper and finally enough water to stew slowly for about 1-1,5 hours. When the meat is almost done add the quinces and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes. In the end you should end up with tender beef in a rich sweet and sour sauce.

Spanakopita – Spinachpie

Ingredients:

  • ½ kg fresh spinach
  • ½ kg mixed greens whatever wild greens available
  • 1 cup spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 finely chopped leek (only the white part)
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ kg phyllo pastry or 4 sheets of homemade phyllo pastry
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

Preparation

Wash the spinach and greens well in cold water and remove roots and bad leaves. Chop coarsely, place in colander and let drain well. In a large pot heat the olive oil and lightly sauté the onions with the leek. Add the spinach, greens, dill, salt, pepper and stir. Remove from heat. Oil a shallow baking pan and spread half of the phyllo pastry, one by one, lightly brushing each sheet with oil. When laying the sheets in the pan, leave an overlap of phyllo outside the pan rim all the way around. Add the spinach mixture and spread evenly. Fold the extending phyllo in over the mixture, then lay the rest of the phyllo pastry on top, again brushing each sheet one by one with oil. Brush the top sheet with oil, sprinkle with a little water and bake at 180°C for about 1 hour. For a more piquant taste you can add feta cheese to the greens.

Custard pie from Lefkas

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter of milk (goat’s milk is available)
  • ¾ cup of semolina
  • 1 ½ cup of sugar
  • 4-5 eggs
  • 2 spoons of butter
  • vanilla
  • 1-3 sheets of phyllo pastry

Preparation

Combine the milk, the semolina , the sugar, the butter and the eggs after whisking well them in a bowl in a saucepan. Place over slow heat stirring constantly until the cream starts to thicken but making sure that it does not stick on the bottom of the pan. Butter an oven proof dish and spread the phyllo pastry which needs to be buttered as well. When laying the sheets in the pan, leave an overlap of phyllo outside the pan rim all the way around. Add the cream mixture and fold the extending phyllo in over the mixture. Bake the pie at 180°C for about 50 minutes. While the pie is still hot sprinkle cinnamon and sugar to cover.

Traditional olive oil pie (ladopita)

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo plain flour
  • 4 glasses of water
  • 2 glasses of sugar
  • 3 glasses of oil
  • sesame and cinnamon

Preparation

Ladopita (olive oil based) is a traditional cake of Lefkada that is served at weddings, celebrations or any social events. In a saucepan boil the water with the sugar creating a syrup. At the same time, in another pot, heat the oil and slowly add the flour stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon until the flour gets a golden color. Then slowly add the warm syrup slowly stirring and finally add the sesame seeds and cinnamon, stir again until the dough is soft. In a sesame-sprinkled pan, pour the mixture of the dough and spread evenly. The mixture is ready for baking in a preheated oven at 180-200 degrees Celsius for about 1 hour until it gets brown and easily removed from our baking dish.