My Greek Family Table: Fresh, Regional Recipes

By Maria Benardis

(Countryman Press)

Maria Benardis, founder of Greekalicious, the cooking school and blog, and a CHNY member, shares beloved recipes from her Greek heritage, updating the classics for the modern cook while imparting ancient Greek wisdom and stories along the way, proving that there’s much more to Greek cuisine than spanakopita and baklava. The dishes and preparation are simple, resulting in bright, flavorful and enticing meals. Throughout the book, Benardis transports the reader to summers spent cooking at her grandmother’s elbow on the Greek island of Psara. In addition to demonstrating that the foods of ancient Greece are as relevant—and delicious—as ever, Maria emphasizes eating for health and well-being. The recipes in the book feature an abundance of vegetables, healthful fats, and wholesome ingredients, and there is healing wisdom throughout the book as well as a glossary of the “Healing Ingredients of Greece” to show readers how to choose ingredients to treat ailments. Among the more than 100 recipes are Barley and Pomegranate Salad; Rosemary and Garlic Kalamata Olives; Chargrilled Haloumi in Grape Leaves; Swordfish Souvlakia with Fennel and Parsley Salad; Barbecued Greek-Style Lamb with Pomegranate Salsa; My Aunt Stavroula’s Quince Spoon Sweet; and more. Color photos illustrate the book, which Maria says “is a personal invitation to experience all the depth and flavor of Greek cooking and the wonderful spirit of kerasma— the sharing and offering of food to loved ones.”

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