Kolokythokeftedes with Spinach and Potato / Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες με Σπανάκι και Πατάτα


Μετάφραση της συνταγής πιο κάτω

Kolokythokeftedes are Greek Fried Zucchini Patties, which you can find all over Greece and are served as a mezes in Greek restaurants but at home we serve them for lunch with a salad but can also be served as a side dish.

This is one of the twists I have made adding spinach and mashed potato.  This is an older recipe so Myronia and Kafkalithres are out of season, but you can leave them out and substitute with another pesto of your preference.

Εκτός από την κλασσική συνταγή για Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες, έφτιαξα αυτή τη συνταγή με σπανάκι και πατάτα βραστή.  Η συνταγή είναι παλιά γιαυτό είναι εκτός εποχής οι καυκαλήθρες και τα μυρώνια, αλλά μπορείτε να βάλετε κάποιο άλλο πέστο της αρεσκείας σας.

Kolokythokeftedes with Spinach and Potato, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Makes: 12 or more depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 10 very small green zucchini, grated
  • 200 grams spinach
  • 1 large boiled potato, mashed
  • 1 cup myronia, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • ½cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dill, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cupof mixed cheese.  I used feta, halloumi and graviera
  • 2 tablespoon crumbled dried mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup kafkalithres pesto
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Wash the vegetables and let them drain the water away.
  2. Grate the courgettes and place into a colander with salt for half an hour.  Squeeze to remove all water.  Do the same with spinach.
  3. Add the mashed potato and all aromatic herbs, the eggs and cheese, pesto, salt and pepper. Easy on the salt, as all cheese mentioned above are quite salty and don’t forget that we added salt to the grated courgettes and spinach.
  4. Finally add the flour and mix.
  5. After this, the mixture is helped by being allowed to stand in the fridge for, at least, an hour, before frying in olive oil.
  6. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet or non stick frying pan.
  7. Scoop out patties with a spoon, and make flattened patties on a floured surface. Fry in hot olive oil. The level of olive oil in the frying pan should cover half the patty. (Turn the patties once, browning both sides.
  8. Finish by placing them on absorbent paper for a minute before serving.

Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες με Σπανάκι και Πατάτα, συνταγή της Ήβης

Χρόνος προετοιμασίας: 30 λεπτά

Χρόνος μαγειρέματος: 30 λεπτά

Μερίδες:  γίνονται περίπου 12  ανάλογα με το μέγεθος

Υλικά:

  • 10 πολύ μικρά πράσινα κολοκυθάκια, τριμμένα
  • 200 γραμμάρια σπανάκι
  • 1 μεγάλη πατάτα βραστή, λιωμένη
  • 1 κούπα μυρώνια, ψιλοκομμένα
  • 2 φρέσκα κρεμμυδάκια, ψιλοκομμένα
  • ½ κούπα μαϊντανό, ψιλοκομμένο
  • ½ κούπα άνηθο, ψιλοκομμένο
  • 2 αυγά
  • 1 κούπα τυριά τριμμένα (έβαλα φέτα, χαλούμι και γραβιέρα)
  • 2 κουταλιές της σούπας ξερό δυόσμο τριμμένο ή ½ κούπα φρέσκο, ψιλοκομμένο
  • Αλάτι και φρεσκοτριμμένο μαύρο πιπέρι
  • ½ κούπα αλεύρι για όλες τις σκοπό
  • ½ κούπα πέστο από καυκαλίθρες
  • Ελαιόλαδο για το τηγάνισμα

Εκτέλεση:

  1. Πλένουμε καλά τα λαχανικά και τα αφήνουμε να στραγγίξουν.
  2. Τρίβουμε τα κολοκυθάκια και τα βάζουμε σε ένα σουρωτήρι με αλάτι για μισή ώρα. Τα πιέζουμε για να αφαιρέσουμε όλα τα υγρά. Κάνουμε το ίδιο με το σπανάκι.
  3. Προσθέτουμε τον πουρέ πατάτας και όλα τα αρωματικά φυτά, τα αυγά και τα τυριά, το πέστο, αλάτι και πιπέρι. Προσέχουμε το αλάτι καθώς όλα τα τυριά που έχουμε βάλει είναι αρκετά αλμυρά και ήδη έχουμε αλατίσει τα κολοκύθια και το σπανάκι.
  4. Τέλος προσθέτουμε το αλεύρι και ανακατεύουμε.
  5. Αφήνουμε το μείγμα να μείνει στο ψυγείο για τουλάχιστον μία ώρα, πριν τα πλάσουμε κα τα τηγάνισουμε σε ελαιόλαδο.
  6.  Ζεσταίνουμε το ελαιόλαδο σε ένα βαρύ τηγάνι ή αντικολλητικό τηγάνι.
  7. Παίρνουμε μια γεμάτη κουταλιά από το μείγμα και τα πλάθουμε στρογγυλά και πάνω σε μια αλευρωμένη επιφάνεια τα πιέζουμε να γίνουν πλακέ.
  8. Τα τηγανίζουμε σε καυτό ελαιόλαδο. Το ελαιόλαδο θαπρέπει τουλάχιστον να τα καλύπτει μέχρι τη μέση.
  9. Γυρίζουμε τους κολοκυθοκεφτέδες να ροδίσουν και από τις δύο πλευρές.
  10. Τους αφήνουμε σε απορροφητικό χαρτί για ένα λεπτό πριν τους σερβίρουμε.

Kolokythokeftedes (classic recipe)

Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες (κλασσική συνταγή)

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi / Κοπιάστε και Καλή Όρεξη!

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Cooking Lessons at Assini, Drepano or Nafplio


Cooking Class

Private or Group Cooking Classes in English

If you live in Argolida or are visiting Nafplio (Peloponnese) and wish to learn to cook traditional Greek dishes or Greek Contemporary Cooking, with a fusion of modern cuisine, you are at the right place.

farmers market

My mission is to make your culinary experience unforgettable by discovering local culture through gastronomy. You are welcome in my house where I will show you what Greek hospitality means. I will show you how to cook healthy, traditional Greek dishes and you will experience real Greek home-cooked food, everything cooked from scratch, using the freshest ingredients available, all cooked using extra virgin olive oil.

Mezede 2

My cooking classes are generally one day courses and depending on the time you have available it can be from 3 – 6 hours long. This will include the preparation of a multi-course meal, which you will enjoy with amazing local wine at the end of the class.

Cooking class 28 April 2015

Menus will vary according to season and available fresh produces in local markets, but they usually consist of 2-3 starters-salads, a main course and a dessert.  Vegetarian or vegan dishes can be requested.  If the cooking classe is on a Wednesday or Saturday, we can visit the farmers’ market together, buy the ingredients and then we’ll cook what we have bought.

my cookbook

Cooking with locals:

Are you an expat now living in Greece? You have surely tasted some delicious dishes in local tavernas but does cooking them yourselves seem complicated?  How about impressing your friends and family with a typical Greek dish?  Dolmades, moussakas, pastitsio, giouvalakia, soutzoukakia, papoutsakia, giouvetsi, spanakopita, fassolada, etc. or desserts such as galaktoboureko, baklavas, ravani, loukoumades, amygdalota, kourabiedes, melomakarona, etc., the list is endless.  Name it and you’ll learn them in no time.  Each cooking session takes minimum 2 to 3 hours, depending on the number of dishes you want to learn, during which you will learn to cook some of the above most known Greek dishes in a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. During those sessions you will feel as if cooking at home together with a friend, while chatting and learning about Greek food, vegetables, herbs and spices, Greek traditions and much more.  Why not invite some of your friends as well and share the expense?

The hands-on cooking class, for individuals or groups up to four persons, takes part in my house in Assini, a village 7 km from Nafplion.

For bigger groups, a cooking class can be arrange in a local restaurant / hotel.

If you want to combine your vacation with cooking classes and sight-seeing, we can arrange a custom made program to suit your requirements, which can include picking you up upon your arrival in Athens and transporting you to Nafplion / Tolo / Drepano or other nearby destinations, Hotel accommodation in a hotel we co-operate with or at a camping, guided visits to archaeological sites, visits to museums, tours in the city, visit to local wineries, ouzo distillery, artisanal producers etc.

 

collage for cooking lessons

Whether you are travelling solo or with a group, please drop me an e-mail or use the contact form and we can arrange a custom-made program for you.

2014-09-14 19.26.43

You can read reviews of my classes in Tripadvisor

Look forward to seeing you in Greece.

Ivy Liacopoulou,

Food Blogger, Culinary Instructor and Author of Cookbooks:

Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

More Than A Greek Salad

Drepano, Vivari, Candia, Iria


Spring is finally here and this alone makes me feel very happy.  I hate cold, gloomy weather and this year the winter in Greece was harsh and colder than ever.  Well, this is behind us now and the weather is much warmer (although lower than the normal temperatures during April), the skies are the same pure, cloudless blue and you can enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors, at least during the day and going for a walk at the beach, lying down reading a book relaxing, taking in fresh air under the limitless sky are some of the reasons why we are looking forward to living here in the future.

Unfortunately, the economic crisis is holding us back but although there are so many things which still need to be done in order to move and have ran out of cash, we hope to spend some time here during the summer, even if the house is not ready.

Last Friday we went to Assini again as we had to be there for the assembly and fitting of the closet in our bedroom.

After opening the house to the workers, they told us that they would finish in about three hours and after standing there watching them for a while, we decided that we could take advantage of this time and explore a few places we had not visited yet.

Road to Drepano

Just next to our house the road leads to Drepano, a lovely little village just 2 km from Assini.  On our right were lots of cypress trees (you can see them at the end of the road), which serve as wind barriers to their fields and further on the right an old, destroyed wind mill.  Lots of thoughts passed from my mind how people would come here, their donkeys loaded with grain, to be milled for the production of flour.

Old Wind Mill

Drepano

In the villages you can find lots rooms to let and cafes, restaurants, tavernas etc., but at this time of the year the villages are mostly desserted.

Beach in Drepano during summer.

Drepano

This is the view of Drepano from far away and in the horizon you can see the hill of Agia Paraskevi which is just outside Assini.

Beatween Vivari and Candia

Candia Beach

Anginares (Artichokes) from Argolida

I have read that 90% of production of artichokes in Greece are  produced in the region of Argolida in two villages called Iria and Candia, of  the Municipality of Assini, not far from Nafplion and I was really looking forward for the day we could see some in the fields.

Artichokes from the region of Argolida at farmers’ market in Athens

And finally, just before reaching Candia there were fields, after fields, after fields of artichokes.  They do cultivate other products as well but artichokes is the main product.

Artichokes (cynara scolymus) do not need much water, so they are cultivated in hot and dry climates and they also grow in the wild (cynara cardunculus) as they do not need any particular care.  They are rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, fibre and vitamin C.

Wild Artichokes

If you are in the region during May don’t miss the Artichoke festival with traditional dances and folk music, as well as lots of  food with artichokes as its main ingredient.

In the past this plant was considered to be an aphrodisiac but nowadays this myth has been busted but it does have a lot of other healthy properties.   It contains an acid called Cynarin, which protects the liver from anything that might affect it such as hepititis or cirrhosis.  It is diuretic, anticeptic and helps relief gastroenteric problems.  It reduces the levels of cholesterol in the blood, it also reduces the sugar levels in the blood, it strenthens the immune system and recently studies have shown that the acids caffeic and flavoinoids help fight cancer.

Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean and in Greece they appear during the last months of winter and spring.  Although during the past years we have all sorts of vegetables cultivated in green houses, we never see artichokes after the end of Spring.

According to Greek Mythology, Dias (Zeus) the King of the Gods, had easy access to the women of the world and took full advantage of it. Also, his power as a supreme god made him difficult to resist.  He fell in love with a beautiful girl called Cynara, who rejected him and refused to resist and Dias got so angry that he transformed her into a plant.   In ancient Greek the name for artichoke was Cynara (pr. Kynara) in modern Greek An(cynara) = ankinara.

If you avoid cooking artichokes because you don’t know how to clean them, it’s very easy if you follow these simple steps:

How to clean / trim artichokes

First of all when buying fresh artichokes chose those that feel heavy for their size and if you press them just above the stem, where the heart of the artichoke is, it should be firm, with tightly closed leaves and tender stalks.

As artichokes oxidize and turn brown quickly, fill a bowl with water and add the juice of 1 lemon.  Your hands might get stained so it is better to use disposable plastic gloves when cleaning them.

Cut off the stem of the artichoke, up to the base but do not discard.

Remove any leaves that are hard around the base of the artichoke.

Cut off the top 1/3 of the artichoke because the lower part is not edible.

Spoon out the hairy choke.  Place the artichoke immediately in the water.

When done with all the artichokes, now peel off the stem around the fibrous core.  This part is edible as well.

(Note:  as there are many varieties of artichokes, I am not sure if the inner part of the stalk is edible in all varieties.  Peel it and if it’s flesh is firm, then it is fine).

Other relevant recipes:

Anginares à la Polita

Artichoke and Celeriac Soup

Agginaropita (Artichoke Pie)

Artichoke Lasagna – Pastitsio

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,