Cold Comfort

By Jennifer Gay

HEARTY and nutritious, these winter warmers feature seasonal vegetables like cauliflower and artichoke.

Cauliflower casserole
Yields 8 servings

1 kilo cauliflower
2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped into pulp
1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 sprig parsley
3/4 cup olive oil
3 pimentos
1 cinnamon stick
freshly ground pepper


1. Wash cauliflower and trim, keeping tender florets and discarding tough part of stalk.

2. Saute onion in olive oil for 4-5 minutes. Add cauliflower and 1 cup water.

3. Cover saucepan and cook over high heat for 10 minutes.

4. Add tomato, parsley, spices, and one cup water. Cook until cauliflower is tender.

5. Remove cinnamon stick. Serve cauliflower in its sauce, hot or warm.

Baked beans with greens
Yields 8 servings

1 kilo spinach
500 grams large, dried flageolet (or broad) beans
1 small leek, finely chopped
1 tbs dill
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 cup hard feta cheese, crumbled
2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
salt, pepper
dry breadcrumbs


1. Soak beans in water overnight. Boil until half-cooked, then drain.

2. Wash and trim spinach. Chop coarsely. Drain in colander and rub with salt to draw out liquids.

3. Wring spinach dry. Chop leek, spring onions, and dill; add to spinach along with half of the feta.

4. Spread half of the mixture in bottom of baking dish. Place beans on top, then layer remaining spinach mix over beans.

5. Cover with oil, tomatoes (pulp and juice), and remaining feta.

Sprinkle pepper and breadcrumbs or fine semolina on top. Bake in medium oven for approximately one hour.

Baked lamb with artichokes and yoghurt
Yields 8 servings

1 1/2 kilos lamb, preferably whole shoulder-blade or leg
2 kilos artichokes
1/2 kilo thick yoghurt
3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
1 large lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pepper


1. Clean artichokes and rub with lemon to prevent discolouring. Boil in plenty of water for 5 minutes.

2. Season meat with salt and pepper. Place in baking pan. Add olive oil and 1 cup water. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 55 minutes.

3. Beat yoghurt, eggs and nutmeg together. Place artichokes around lamb. Pour yoghurt sauce over meat and vegetables. Continue baking at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes more or until yoghurt topping is brown.

4. Serve hot or at room temperature.

(Recipes compiled by Cordelia Madden)

This week at your local laiki

CELERIAC (Apium graveolens var rapaceum) is a biennial plant growing to about 30cm tall with an edible, turnip-like, swollen, knobbly and fragrant bulb (actually a corm) at the base of the stem. It is, not surprisingly, closely related to celery, and may share the same origins in the wild. Celeriac combines the tastes of celery, nuts and parsley and has the wonderful ability to absorb flavour. It makes a great addition to vegetable soup and also mashes well in
combination with potatoes and garlic, adding an earthy, smoky flavour. It can be grated raw and used in salad: try mixing it with mustard and honey as vinaigrette, or marinade in olive oil and lemon juice. Some people like to blanch it briefly in hot water before grating.

The tops of celeriac are not considered edible. You can add a small amount to stock in place of real celery, but don't overdo it or your stock will be bitter. The leaves can be used as a garnish.

Celeriac contains useful amounts of phosphorus and potassium and is an excellent source of dietary fibre.

Peel fairly thinly to preserve the goodness just under the skin and cut into even-sized chunks. Lemon juice will help to stop discolouring. It needs about 10 minutes in boiling water until cooked. If you only need half the root, the remaining half should keep for a week in the bottom of the fridge - celeriac has a tendency to dry out so, it is best stored in a cool place with a little humidity.

Buy this book at 30% off!

This week's recipes are taken from Greek Cuisine, An Easy Guide for All, by Myrsini Lambraki and published by Ellinika Grammata. You can now purchase this book for 6.72 euros, down from its usual price of 9.60 euros. This 30

percent discount is offered exclusively through the Athens News. You can pick up your reduced price copy in person from Ellinika Grammata bookshop (9 Christou Lada St, Athens). Otherwise, email your order to or fax it to 210-333-3971. Include your name and address, the name of the book and the fact that you are taking advantage of this special offer. DO NOT include payment or a credit card number. A courier will deliver the book and collect payment in cash. There is a 4.50 euros delivery charge. For more information call Vassilis Tsonoglou at 210-333-3970.


AMATEUR oenologists interested in sampling the vintages of Greece's top producers are invited to Sale e Pepe's winetasting nights.
From February 1 to March 29, the celebrated Kolonaki trattoria will host a different winemaker every Thursday. Participating producers include Semeli, Sigalas, Gerovasileiou, Viogiatzi, Spyropoulou, Nico Lazaridi, Creta Olympias and Kyr-Gianni. For 50 euros per person, winetasters will sample the featured estate's wines, and then drink a selection during a three-course menu created by restaurant owner and oenophile Ivan Ottaviani to suit the wines. To book your place, ring Sale e Pepe on 210-723-4102

(Posting Date 5 February 2007 )

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