Grilled octopus

Grilled octopus

Grilled octopus

 

Here it is….our first entry in Our Kouppes, the space we have carved into Mia Kouppa to share our own recipes.  As we mentioned when we introduced Our Kouppes, many of the recipes you find here will be inspired by the food that we grew up with, and this grilled octopus is definitely that!  We have vivid memories of summers in Greece, where we would see freshly caught octopus drying in the sun by the port, and sun-kissed fishermen eager to sell their bounty to locals and local restaurants.

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Chickpea soup (Ρεβιθόσουπα)

Chickpea soup (Ρεβιθόσουπα)

Chickpea soup (Ρεβιθόσουπα)

 

Most of the recipes we have shared thus far come from our childhood, but our parents’ cooking has evolved.  As years rolled by they would introduce new meals into their repertoire and onto our family table.  This chickpea soup for example, despite being a staple in many Greek homes, was not something that we had as little children.  In fact, we think we were both teenagers when our parents first served us a bowlful of this delicious meal.  This led to a pretty significant “Huh?!” moment.

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Eggplant, zucchini and potato bake

Eggplant, zucchini and potato bake

Eggplant, zucchini and potato bake

 

Have you noticed that we have a fondness for eggplant?  They are so versatile, and so very delicious.  This fruit (yes!  eggplant is a fruit, and botanically a species of nightshade, a family of flowering plants) can be treated in all sorts of ways, including being fried for eggplant chips, stuffed in yemista, and even used as a substitute for crostini!  It also plays well with others, and in this baked vegetable dish, it is combined with zucchini and potato to make one of our families most favourite dishes.  We are so excited to share it!

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Briam (Μπριάμ)

Briam! Greek roasted vegetable recipe

Briam! Greek roasted vegetables recipe

This is an incredible dish that we just know you are going to love.  Not only is briam a luxurious way to eat your vegetables, but it is an incredibly easy way to eat them too.  All the goodness is simply thrown into a roasting pan, mixed together, and baked; this makes clean-up a breeze, giving you more time to enjoy your family, your garden, or this blog.

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Grilled zucchini (Κολοκυθάκια στη σχάρα)

Grilled zucchini

Like many Greeks, we are a gardening family.  In our experience, it is rare to find a Greek who has access to even a little bit of land, who doesn’t then use it to plant some sort of vegetable or herb.  Even when all that is available is a balcony, eggplants and tomatoes find themselves growing in pots, next to the basil. Gardening is a lovely heritage, and although our parents are the master green thumbs, we do pretty well ourselves; we had wonderful mentors after all.

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Black-eyed peas and spinach (Φασόλια μαυρομάτικα με σπανάκι)

Black-eyed peas and spinach (Φασόλια μαυρομάτικα με σπανάκι)

Black-eyed peas and spinach

We know, we know, we have probably already told you that some other dish we have previously written about is our absolute favourite…but here we go again!  Black-eyed peas and spinach is our true absolute favourite food (until the next favourite comes along that is).

We believe that black-eyed peas (also called cowpeas) are the Queen of Legumes, and apparently we are not alone.  They are awesome enough to have a music band named after them, to be the conduit with which to poison an abusive husband named Earl in the Dixie Chicks hit, “Goodbye Earl” (we do not condone murder by the way) and to have a franchise restaurant in Texas and Tennessee named after them. The restaurant, of course, serves black-eyed peas.  We don’t think any other legume has received as much popular attention.  There must be something to these little gems.

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Spanakorizo (Σπανακόρυζο)

Spanakorizo (Σπανακόρυζο)

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If we were to assign a relationship status to each of our parents’ recipes, the one for spanakorizo would definitely read “it’s complicated”.  You see, as children, we hated this dish almost as much as we love it now.  And we didn’t just, not like it…no.  The mention of spanakorizo for supper, or the smell of it cooking for lunch, elicited a physical response which included gagging and waves of nausea.  The upside is that our visceral dislike for spanakorizo did support sibling connectedness, as we all worked together to rid ourselves of the vile meal without actually having to consume much of it.  Many a times, a diversion was created, just enough of a distraction to allow us to wrap some of the spanakorizo in a paper towel and toss it in the trash.  Our poor parents.  We don’t think they ever caught on.

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