Cover image for The glorious foods of Greece : traditional recipes from the islands, cities, and villages
The glorious foods of Greece : traditional recipes from the islands, cities, and villages
Kochilas, Diane.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 496 pages : map ; 27 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX723.5.G8 K595 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
TX723.5.G8 K595 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TX723.5.G8 K595 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Transporting readers deep into the heart of a country steeped in 3,000 years of history, culture, legend, and food, The Glorious Foods of Greece is a sumptuous collection of 400 authentic and classic recipes from every region.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Spring not only heralds the beginning of the new growing season, it also heralds the debut of a new crop of cookbooks. While some of these new offerings reflect the new season, most simply build on themes already dominant in the current world of cookbook publishing. Spring means planting seeds and harvesting the very earliest garden crops such as asparagus and chives. Pollard's Simply Grande Gardening Cookbook provides a guide to a whole year's worth of gardening with guidelines for propagation, preservation, and consumption of these fruits and vegetables. Based on her and her husband's experiences in community gardening in central Maine, the book catalogs the history, characteristics, planting season, and uses of dozens of garden items. Anyone throughout the northern states may productively use Pollard's encyclopedic guide, both for gardening and for cooking. Those still fascinated with the hunter-gatherer stage of food-creation development will relish the recipes for wild foods found in Mogelon's Wild in the Kitchen. Mogelon has combed America's roadsides for fiddleheads, morels, milkweed, chokecherries, hawthorns, nannyberries, and other comestibles that appear without cultivation. For most of these, preparation is simple, involving some cooking and sweetening. Others, such as Jerusalem artichokes, need extra attention, and some merely flavor everyday dishes as does wild mint in tabbouleh salad. As with all wild foods, accurate botanical identification is critical to prevent confusion with toxic species. The popularity of Italian cooking shows no signs of waning. Since many of this cuisine's products depend less on specialized cooking technique than on ingredient availability, it's an ideal cooking style for the home chef. Television cooking teacher Esposito's Ciao Italia is structured according to Italy's most important gastronomic regions. Beyond some often-appearing treats such as pork cooked in milk and a fine assortment of pastas, Esposito offers a recipe for mashed-potato-based pizza crust topped with Gorgonzola and sun-dried tomatoes. Her version of Neapolitan Easter pie calls for a sweet pastry stuffed with rice and ricotta cheese spiked with orange juice. Esposito's personality and enthusiasm for her subject shine through her work. With Michele Evans' assistance, the mother-daughter team of Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene has brought out a successor to their prize-winning volume of recipes from their popular Sicilian mountain inn, Gangivecchio. This time they feature Sicilian Home Cooking, foods they and their neighbors prepare for themselves. The new volume brings its share of surprises: vegetable tarts with fennel, artichokes, peas, and spinach, another with ricotta and hazelnuts; pasta with figs and pancetta; and a fish pie of cod and shrimp. Reflecting Sicily's proximity to North Africa, couscous has its own chapter. Those who cooked from the authors' first volume will want this one, too. Italy's near neighbor, Greece, has a long culinary tradition now enjoying renewed interest. Both the mainland and the Greek islands have distinctive regional differences in their politics and in their cooking, so Kochilas has organized her comprehensive book, The Glorious Foods of Greece, with those frontiers in mind. The cooking of the Peloponnesian peninsula conforms to what many people who've sampled the food served in America's Greek restaurants think of as Greek cooking. But in the north, where Greece fades into the former Yugoslavia, Macedonian food offers unique dishes based on wheat rather than rice. Kochilas distinguishes the cooking of the Greek islands, dividing them into subgroups to discuss their culinary specialties. Kochilas' recipes are clear, specific, and attractive. Exhaustively detailed and painstakingly researched, this volume belongs in every international cookery collection. Given today's requirements for energy conservation, the pressure cooker is poised for a comeback. It cooks foods quickly, consuming less gas or electricity than other ethods. Chavich has selected a list of The Best Pressure Cooker Recipes and gathered them in a single volume. Those who've never used a pressure cooker will delight in standard dishes such as Swedish meatballs and mushroom and barley soup. More adventuresome cooks may branch out into Jamaican chicken fricassee or Indian lamb rogan josh. Fish dishes and even risotto find a place in Chavich's recommendations for pressure cookery. Some may draw the line at preparing cheesecake in a pressure cooker, but it's good to know that Chavich says it can be done. Recipes conveniently list both American and metric measures. Except for those unfortunates who suffer from shellfish allergies, almost everyone dotes on shrimp. Only a century ago this crustacean was used mostly as bait. Now it's a dominant seafood and in high demand. Livingston has compiled Strictly Shrimp to bring together the principal dishes that shrimp fans most crave. Although he acknowledges that shrimp taste best freshly caught and quickly steamed whole, most of his recipes use standard supermarket frozen shrimp available nationwide. Thus, he offers Cajun specialties, Atlantic-shore recipes, and even Chicago's original shrimp de Jonghe. Livingston's recipes are so ultra-precise he even specifies "chicken eggs" lest anyone be tempted to use another variety. Self-conscious midwesterners seeking validation of their native cuisine by sophisticated New Yorkers can find it in Recipes from Home. Page and Shinn, from Wisconsin and Ohio respectively, have established a reputation for solid American cooking at their Greenwich Village restaurant. There they entice jaded New Yorkers with scalloped potatoes and macaroni and cheese from their parents' and grandparents' recipes. Although their grandmothers probably didn't employ the plethora of fresh herbs that the authors call for, the humble origins of many of these dishes are evident. Nevertheless, lamb sausage with mint and mustard, appetizing as it may appear, is something few midwestern kitchens ever dreamed of turning out. For genuine contemporary American home cooking, one need look no further than Bannister's Cook & Tell. This compilation of recipes from the author's cooking newsletter contains only the best of home cooking. She downplays prepackaged, processed foods, but she keeps recipes simple, flavorful, and attractive. Egg salad sandwiches get a few anchovies for interest. Apple pie has a thin layer of cheddar inside. Raspberry bars are enriched with coconut topping. Bannister walks a tightrope between sensible cooking and convenience, and she rarely falls. Sometimes, how things look outweighs the food itself. For the baker, this is particularly important. Dozens of books on cake decorating crowd the shelves, but Farrow has made a singular contribution with Decorating Cookies. In some cases, Farrow replicates complicated cake decorating ideas with rolled fondants. In other instances she uses simple icings and commercially available edible sugar decorations to turn ordinary flat cookies into sumptuous works of art with decidedly modern color palettes. Home cooks will be inspired by the book's color photographs to try their hands at Farrow's techniques. Serious scholars of French cooking will enjoy digging through Schehr and Weiss' anthology French Food, not for recipes but for its many revelations. Although a reader must soldier through articles couched in academic style and veiled in polysyllabic obfuscation, one can ferret out for cocktail-party gossip tidbits such as Brillat Savarin's borrowing heavily from an obscure earlier work, Grimod de la Reyniere's Almanac des Gourmands, for his now-legendary Physiology of Taste. Elsewhere in this heavily footnoted anthology is an amusing rumination on whether Belgium has a verifiable cultural identity.

Publisher's Weekly Review

With this massive and masterful collection, Kochilas (an American with Greek roots who works in Athens as a food reporter for a Greek newspaper) brings Greek cooking front and center in American kitchens. Region by region (the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades, etc.), she provides over 400 appealing Mediterranean recipes. Fine seafood dishes such as the Fried Mussels of northern Greece and Spiny Lobster Cooked with Spring Onions and Herbs from Lesvos abound, as do interesting meat preparations, including the many lamb and goat dishes of Roumeli and Quinces Stuffed with Ground Lamb from the north, as well as poultry standouts like One-Pot Chicken with Broth-Simmered Noodles and Ground Walnuts (upholding the tradition of cooking noodles in broth because water was scarce). Many dishes use common ingredients in surprising ways, like an earthy Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions from Kassos and Chard-Stuffed Turkey from Nazos. Kochilas doesn't skimp on savory pies (Fresh Cheese Pie with Fennel from Kalavyrta, Pumpkin and Carrot Pie from Cephalonia), bread (Raisin-Stuffed Lazarus Bread from Lesvos), or desserts (Pancakes with Yogurt and Currants), and she presents numerous appetizing vegetable dishes. The text sections are of uniformly high quality, with indispensable pages on regional cheeses. Kochilas writes lovingly and insightfully about her adopted country, profiling the many Greeks (mostly women) who generously shared recipes with her, and displays a deep grasp of history. (Apr.) Forecast: Kochilas's eight years of research show in the book's thoroughness. A landmark for Greek cooking in the U.S., it's a likely candidate for cookbook awards and can be confidently billed as the definitive source. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kochilas is the author of The Food and Wine of Greece and an acknowledged authority on Greek food. After traveling extensively throughout the country, she moved there in 1990, partly to begin research on this ambitious work, which is obviously a labor of love. She includes more than 400 recipes from all regions, starting with the Peloponnesus and the Ionian Islands, moving on to Macedonia, the islands of the Aegean, and Crete, and finishing up in the city of Athens. Many of the recipes will be unfamiliar to Americans indeed, some are unknown in Greece outside of their particular provenance. Kochilas also provides extensive historical background, cultural as well as culinary, along with detailed descriptions and explanations of ingredients, from "the last barrel fetas" to Macedonian peppers. While her book does not have quite the charm of Aglaia Kremezi's lovely, more narrowly focused The Foods of the Greek Islands (LJ 10/1/00), its scope and range of recipes make it an essential purchase. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Glorious Foods of Greece Traditional Recipes from the Islands, Cities, and Villages Roasted Eggplant Salad with Capers and Onions Melitzanosalata Me Kapari Kai Kremmydia Makes 6 to 8 servings Roasted eggplant spreads and salads come in many variations throughout Greece and are usually embellished with local flavor. In the North, yogurt is often added to the eggplants, for example, throughout the Cyclades, it is the ubiquitous caper and tomato that season this delicious dish. Ingredients: 3 large eggplants, roasted (see page 461) 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt to taste 1 medium onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced 1/4 cup small, preferably Greek capers, rinsed and drained 1 large firm, ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste Freshly ground black pepper to taste Instructions: Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Roast them whole over an open flame on top of the stove or under the broiler, turning, until the skins are charred on all sides. (This may also be done on a grill.) Remove and let cool slightly. Have a large bowl with the olive oil ready. Cut the eggplants open lengthwise and remove as many of the seeds as possible. Scoop out the roasted eggplant pulp and place it in a bowl with the olive oil. Salt lightly. With a fork and knife, cut the eggplant so that it is chunky. Add the onion, garlic, capers, tomato, and parsley and mix with a fork to combine well. Add the vinegar and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, and vinegar if desired. Semolina and Ground Almond Cake Samali Makes 24 pieces One of the great sweets of Thessaloniki, made in pastry shops, at home, and hawked from small carts on the streets all around the Kapani market. Ingredients: 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened 1 cup confectioners' sugar 4 large eggs, separated 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups coarse semolina 2 scant teaspoons baking powder 1 cup finely ground blanched almonds 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest Pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice For the syrup 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups water 1 small cinnamon stick 4 to 5 whole cloves, to taste One 1-inch strip lemon zest 2 tablespoons brandy With an electric mixer in a large bowl, whip the cup of butter until soft. Add the confectioners' sugar a little at a time and whip until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and continue whipping for about 5 minutes. Combine the semolina, baking powder, almonds, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Slowly add the semolina mixture to the butter and sugar, beating to combine thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 12- by 18-inch glass baking pan. In a medium metal bowl, place the egg whites, salt, and lemon juice and whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the meringue into the semolina mixture, working fast to combine, Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes. About 15 minutes before the samali is finished baking, prepare the syrup: Combine the granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the sugar dissolves, add the spices, zest, and brandy. Reduce the hear to medium-low and simmer until the syrup is viscous, about 10 minutes. When the samali is baked, Pull it out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F. Score it into 3-inch square pieces with a sharp paring knife. Pour the warm syrup over the hot samali and place back in the oven. Bake until the syrup is absorbed, another 5 to 7 minutes, and remove from the oven. Let cool and serve. The Glorious Foods of Greece Traditional Recipes from the Islands, Cities, and Villages . Copyright © by Diane Kochilas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Glorious Foods of Greece: Traditional Recipes from the Islands, Cities, and Villages by Diane Kochilas All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.