Well my friends, it has been quite cold and wet here for the past week, which has thrown a wrench in my plans to go out and shoot Cycladic scenery. But no matter, the local farmers are very happy to be getting some much needed rain, and the stormy, white-cap ridden harbor is a nice daily reminder of the sea surrounding me. And in the meantime…we eat! I consume, on average, 2-3 flaky pastries of varying sorts per day, down Tsatsiki like it’s my job, and generally try to be adventurous culinarily. We usually order ‘family style’ when we dine in groups, sharing a bunch of different things amongst the table, which means I have unfortunately tried a LOT of good dishes that I cannot remember the names of. But fear not, I am very willing to do further research in order to get to the bottom of them, and procure a few names and recipes for you. On Saturday I have my first Greek cooking class! Until then, here is a little bruschetta-esque pizza with halloumi cheese that I made for myself tonight.
Brushcetta χαλούμι (Halloumi)
-oregano and sage
-salt and pepper
First I sautéed some diced garlic in a pan with dried oregano and sage, which I gathered in the hills of Lefkes on our hike last Friday. Then I added the tomato cubes and let them cook down, setting aside after straining some of the excess water out.
I added more olive oil to the pan and allowed a few slices of sourdough bread to soak it up…olive oil is so cheap here, so why not? I buy baked goods from the same shop every day, often multiple times a day, so tonight I decided to try a new loaf of bread. It had sesame and anise seeds on the top, giving it a surprising pop of licorice flavor every now and then.
Once the bread was good and oily, I topped with a dollop of pesto, the tomato concoction, salt, pepper, and cubes of halloumi cheese (the OTHER greek cheese, which tastes like a very salty mozerella, though not quite as soft. It’s usually some mixture of goat, sheep and cow milk), then stuck under the broiler to melt for a bit.
Served up with a carafe of Greek table wine, it was a delicious end to a full day of classes, though I still need to work on my drawing assignment… 1, 2 and 3 point perspective, so I must bid you Kalinixta for now!