The food of the Greek Islands, which stretch from the Turkish shore to the eastern Ionian Sea, is simple but packed with flavor. Aglaia Kremezi has gathered over 150 recipes from these ancient, sunny lands and presented them with fascinating historical and cultural notes in The Foods of the Greek Islands, a landmark collection. The dishes she offers, such as Spaghetti with Lobster Sauce, Meatballs with Rice and Herbs in Lemon Broth, and Baked Mixed Vegetables, are as easy to prepare as they are wonderful to eat. Readers long hoping to find authentic recipes for the best Greek cooking, and those who enjoy fine Mediterranean food, should hail the book.
Beginning with island-by-island food profiles, the book then offers sections on meze, the famed small-dish appetizers; pitas and pies; entrees; seasonal salads; bread; and desserts. Welcome attention is also given to beans, rice, bulgur, and pastas, and dishes such as White Bean Soup with Wild Celery and Lemon, Bulgur with Chicken Liver and Currants, and Penne with Olive Oil and Toasted Cheese should become everyday and special-occasion household favorites. Bread and dessert recipes are equally satisfying: Kremezi's Olive and Mint Bread and Saffron, Allspice, and Pepper Biscuits, among others, will please bakers amateur and pro, while the sweets, based on honey, fruits, nuts, and cheese, are similarly tempting. Illustrated with color photos, and with a comprehensive ingredient glossary, the book is a window on cooking few of us could enjoy until its much appreciated arrival. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
The Julia Child Award-winning author of The Foods of Greece returns with an equally engaging, personal take on the foods of Greece's many islandsDeach very different from the othersDstretching from Turkey to the Ionian Sea. Like Marcella Hazan, Kremezi has an informed and authentic voice that is gentle enough for beginners, and though her anecdotes and folklore add an inviting context and charm to this cookbook, it's the enticing recipes themselves that make it so winning. Lemons and legumes feature prominently in Greek-island cooking, as does seafood. Among the array of "uncomplicated" yet "sophisticated" dishes Kremezi features are Terrine of Fish with Leeks, Orange and Lemon and Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Herbs, Walnuts and Pomegranates. One might expect Baked Chickpea and Lamb Stew from Greece, but Pork with Cabbage made with tomatoes, red wine, and cinnamon clearly reflects a multicultural influence. An entire chapter on savory pies could almost stand alone with such tempting offerings as Finger-Sized Fried Green Pies, and another on breads includes Savory Cheese and Mint Muffins. Desserts that make excellent use of fresh fruit include Baked Apples with Dried Figs and Almonds in Sweet Wine Syrup and Cherry Spoon-Sweet Preserves. Kremezi consulted on the menu for New York's premier Greek restaurant, Molyvos, and a dozen or so of the restaurant's recipes are included in this standout volume. (Nov.)
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