I am super excited because ... we are traveling back to Greece! Greek cuisine is all about fresh, tasty veggies complimented by fresh, tastier herbs. I was enthralled with the dishes that we made a few months ago for the last Greek menu. While summer is still in full bounty, I wanted to bring back out some of those tasty treats, as well as trying out some new ones. Before scrolling down to see what we are offering, please check out a couple of items of business just below:
1. Some catering jobs are coming our way. (Yay! Keep Govinda's in mind while planning your next business lunch, reunion, yoga teacher training, wedding, etc. Just a little subliminal advertising there.) And sometimes our weekly orders are also getting a little voluminous. This is all good, and in order to celebrate and be real with my physical limitations, we arereplacing the Tuesday night pick-up in Durham with a late afternoon pick-up in Durham on Wednesdays. Same location, same great food, just different timing. Please contact me if you have more questions about that.
2. I have received some feedback that the look and format of this newsletter are not so reader-friendly. I am in the process of rectifying that. It is not super difficult (just kind of), it just requires using a new template and rebuilding the newsletter. Before doing all that, I would LOVE your feedback on what improvements you would like to see. Even if you don't order this week, would you send me some suggestions - ie. black type on a white background, more photos, less words, more stories, more reviews, less personal chat, etc. I can't promise that I will meet all of them, and yet I will do my best to improve your reader experience. It really is all about you, and great food, and you eating great food, and you sharing great food with your friends. So I want to make it as shareable as possible.
Speaking of food...
Our grain choices this week are brown rice and Spanakorizo, Greek Spinach Rice. Please specify if you would like Spinach Rice, and add $2 to your order. Regular orders with plain brown rice are $8 per 2-cup serving.
Entree #1 - Green Split Pea & Carrot Soup. Regardless of which country we travel to with the weekly menu, I like to keep at least one dal on the menu. Dals are not only our best seller; they are to Indian cooking what pasta is to
Italian, or what rice and sushi are to Japanese cuisine. Dal is the quintessence of
(photo poorgirleatswell.com)Indian food, a daily staple for most, especially for the country's thousands of vegetarians. This is a wonderfully hearty and nourishing dal that is mildly spiced with ginger, instead of green chilies. I felt like it was an appropriate addition to our Greek menu, since that part of the Balkan peninsula is famed for its delicious produce, especially its succulent carrots. *GF, soy-free
Entree #2 - Greek Cabbage Soup. From here on out, all the recipes are from The Greek Vegan. I have not explored this site extensively, yet I am thrilled to have a resource with authentic, traditionally vegan Greek dishes. The author specified that she has not taken any dishes and altered them so that they would be meat-free. These are all vegan recipes that are part of the culture. Oh dear God, yet another factor fanning the fire of my desire to visit Greece! Okay, staying on task... This vegetable soup looked light and perfect for the summer weather. It calls for fresh veggies and herbs, like dill and thyme. I was intrigued and happy to see that the author said this about making the cabbage soup, "The trick is to first saute all the vegetables...before adding the water to your soup. This gives you a much more intensely flavored, layered, robust finished dish." I almost always prepare my soups this way, even if the recipe calls for simply boiling the veggies. I didn't have such a beautiful explanation of why I did it, I just did it because that is how you bring out the flavor of vegetables in Indian curries. Every day you learn something new, if you just keep looking. :-) *GF, soy-free (photo thegreekvegan.com)
Entree #3 - Baked Giant Beans (Gigantes Plaki). I was first intrigued by this recipe on account of its name. Gigante means "giant" in Spanish. My inner linguistic nerd was aroused, and I became curious about other similarities between Greek and Spanish. I am not sure exactly what the link is and how it has developed over
the ages; although I am sure that the vague sense of familiarity that I am feeling with Greek culture is on account of a certain similarity to Latin American culture. The people have similar coloring, are warm, hospitable, fond of food, music and dance, and now I see they also love big beans! I have seen these big lima beans at Compare Foods, the Latin grocery wonderland that I go to in Durham. This dish came out fantastically the last time we made it. The slow-cook bake time of this dish really allows the flavors of the celery, tomato, parsley, and mint to meld together in a particularly mouth-watering way. Highly recommended. *GF, soy-free (photo thegreekvegan.com)
Greek Peas - $6/lb. I am sure many of those children who ever said "Yuck, peas!" would reconsider if they had peas served to them like this. Lovely little round peas are lightly stewed in a tomato sauce sesoned with oregano and fresh dill. A perfect summer side dish! *GF, soy-free
Roasted Potatoes - $3/serving So these potatoes are kind of the secret impetus for repeating the Greek menu. The last time we made them, I had a customer who bought a large quantity for a family party. He later told me that he almost didn't serve out the potatoes because he was so tempted to eat them all himself. I had to laugh because I had, um, almost done the same thing when I tasted how outrageously delicious they were. Oh and what is it that makes them so awesome? A marinade of olive oil, rosemary, oregano, and lemon juice. *GF, soy-free