Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cooking in Greece Part 2

Things continue to be lovely over on this side of the Atlantic. The hubs and I took a little day trip today to Epidavros, a very cool ancient ruins site with an amazingly preserved, 14,000 seat theater with perfect acoustics. It was quite awesome.

Just thought you might like a little culture with your food. Anyways, I was jonesing for some healthy eats tonight so I decided to make my go-to healthy dish, which just happens to be Greek. Honestly, I can't believe I haven't posted it here yet - I seriously cook this every week or so. It's one of the few things I can make without consulting the recipe, it's ridiculously cheap to make, and I've given out the recipe to many friends who now love it too. So here, it is: Greek Lentil Soup (called Fakes - "fah-kess" in Greek).

(taught to me by my husband, whose mother taught him)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 carrots (I like 2, but 1 will suffice)
8 oz brown lentils
1 quart water
dried oregano
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1 to 2 TBSP tomato paste (to taste)

Put lentils in a large, heavy bottom pot and cover with about an inch of water. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes, then strain into colander and set aside.

Dry out the pot and pour in the olive oil. Heat to medium high heat and saute the onions and carrot until soft, about 10 minutes. During the last minute of sauteing, throw in the garlic until fragrant. Add the lentils back to the pot, along with one quart of water, the oregano, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover and boil for 10 minutes.

Uncover the pot and stir in the tomato paste. Re-cover, turn down the heat so that it simmers, and continue cooking for 30 to 40 minutes more, until the lentils are tender.

Serve with Feta and a drizzle of red-wine vinegar over the top.

Who would've thought I'd be a Greek lady when I grew up?

It was neat to cook a meal in my husband's family's kitchen. I never got to meet my mother-in-law, sadly she passed away in 2001. Tonight, standing at her stove, cooking a dish I know she cooked a hundred times before, I felt as though I knew her a little bit. It was really special, one of the many moments in my life where I've been grateful for food and the way it has brought me closer to people I love.

Kalinichta (good night) from Greece!

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