The recipes below partner with episodes on our new YouTube cooking series, Flippin’ Greek! ™, to show you how we do it in our kouzina. The link from each recipe to its YouTube episode will be active on the day of the week noted. Join us!
First up, a vibrant flavor-infused eggplant dish loaded with bell pepper, tomatoes, herbs, and feta that can also be served as a vegetarian main course.
KOUZINA TIP: Soaking in saltwater for 15 to 30 minutes takes the bitterness out of eggplant and also flavors the vegetable. Soaking is the preferred method but if you’re short on time, place the eggplant slices, in a single layer, on a paper-towel-lined cookie sheet, liberally sprinkle with sea salt, and let stand 5 minutes. The towels will turn a brownish color as the salt draws the bitter fluids out of the eggplant.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes, plus standing
COOKING/BAKING TIME: about 40 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 to 6
2 medium eggplants (1 1/4 lbs)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground pepper
2 medium onions, sliced (2 cups)
2 red bell peppers, chopped (1 3/4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/4 cup crumbled Greek feta
1. Peel the eggplants and cut lengthwise into slices. Transfer to a large bowl and fill with enough water to cover, then stir in 1 tablespoon sea salt. Let stand at least 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Spread the slices out in a single layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a grill or grill pan and place the eggplant, seasoned side down, on grill; drizzle the other side with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden, about 2 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking dish.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2/3 cup olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato, parsley, and mint, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until combined, cover, and cook 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Top the grilled eggplant slices with the vegetable mixture and feta. Bake 15 minutes. Serve hot.
For our second side, we combine two veggies with a sprinkle of shredded carrot for color, then toss it all with a zesty Greek ladolemono (olive oil and lemon juice) dressing. The dressing will enhance just about any veggie, turning even the fussiest of kids (and grownups) into veggie lovers. It’s a win-win on fish as well!
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 10 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 to 6
1 large head of broccoli, broccolini, or broccoli rabe, or a combination (about 12 oz)
1 medium zucchini (about 8 oz)
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1. In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Cut the broccoli and zucchini into bite-size pieces. Place in the basket, cover, and steam until just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a large serving bowl, and toss in the carrot. Set aside.
2. Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and gently toss to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled.
Our third side pairs scallions and zucchini in this savory pancake dish. We folded some feta and herbs into the batter for deliciousness that can also be eaten as a light vegetarian meal. If serving as a meal, top with our Greek-Yogurt Aioli with Dill (see our Meat-Pie Fry recipe in our Super Bowl Fryers blog, video on Flippin' Greek! ).
KOUZINA TIP: To quickly squeeze the water out of the shredded zucchini, use a potato ricer.
PREP TIME: 25 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 25 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 to 6 (about 15 pancakes)
6 scallions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 large zucchini (about 10 oz)
1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
1. Place the scallion in a large bowl. Shred the zucchini and squeeze out the excess water; add the zucchini to the scallion along with the feta, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper.
2. In another bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder. Whisk in the water until combined, then add the eggs and whisk until smooth and not lumpy. Stir into scallion-zucchini mixture until combined well.
3. In a large skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of olive oil over medium-low heat. Using a ladle, scoop the batter into the skillet, flattening like a pancake, to form patties about 3 inches in diameter. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Serve warm.
For our final side, we’re tossing fresh green beans with golden onion, garlic, and crunchy almonds. It’s one of our elegant go-to recipes that we make often, and you will too.
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 15 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 to 6
1 1/2 pounds green beans, rinsed and trimmed/string removed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
1. In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Place the green beans in the basket, cover, and cook until bright green, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes more. Add the green beans and almond slivers to the onion mixture, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat well with oil. Cook until the beans are just fork-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm.
Recipes copyright © Kukla's Kouzina
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
ABOUT Kukla’s Kouzina Flippin’ Greek! ™
Flippin’ Greek! ™ is our new cooking series on YouTube and the next exciting chapter in our kouzina. It’s four episodes a week, Monday through Thursday, featuring familiar non-Greek recipes we flipped to Greek-island style using ingredients and cooking techniques found in Karpathos. Each episode runs 2 to 15 minutes, the perfect length for viewers to quickly learn how to recreate foods and beverages/cocktails right alongside us.
The ingredients used in Greek-island cuisine is what sets this style of cooking apart from standard Greek fare, giving meals a fresh take that keeps them interesting. Karpathos, the home of Kukla’s Kouzina, has its own unique style, and we’ll show you how to take common dishes and reinvent them into Karpathian versions with our simple substitutions.
Many think that everyday Greek cooking is made up of dishes like spanakopita (spinach pie), moussaka, and pastitsio. These are classics for sure, but too time-consuming to make on a regular basis. During our time in Karpathos, we learned that the locals’ quick meals made from the island’s staples like fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices, and protein, prepared using certain methods, came out tasting Greek-island delicious. So we thought this would be a great way to bring our hometown flavor into YOUR kouzina, adding some spicy variety to your life while keeping it simple and fast. Recipes for each week will be posted right here on our blog with links to the episodes.
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