A Mahvelously Mediterranean Salad with Garlic and Cumin Roasted Chickpeas

One of the main reasons that I’ve come to enjoy blogging so much is the incredible range and variety of ideas that get shared and exchanged via comments here, and in reading and commenting on other blogger’s posts as well. Honestly, there are so many terrific sounding recipes out there that I want to try, and I know I will never get to them all. But each and every one informs and inspires me in some way…informs my thought processes in planning meals, in buying and growing food, and inspires my creative efforts in the kitchen. As I rapidly approach my first year of blogging, I realize that this process has become an integral part now of who I am and how I operate.

And here’s a perfect example of this process in action. Continue reading

Glorious Greece: Part 1, Tzatziki

It was 12 years ago this spring that my husband and I went to Greece on our honeymoon, and I’ve had a love affair with Greece and Greek food ever since.

Wildflowers in an olive orchard, Maleme, Crete.

We spent a large part of our trip on the island of Crete, where the wildflowers and wild thyme were in bloom, and where many endemic plant and animal species and subspecies are not to be found anywhere else in the world. It’s a truly magnificent and diverse island in its terrain, culture and in the food. The inhabitants of Crete are especially known for their healthy lifestyles, and for food dishes featuring what’s locally available—and some of the world’s best foragers of wild plants live there. To this day, I will never forget my first taste of Horta, wild greens cooked in garlic, olive oil and lemon, and what a revelation it was to me to realize that I could love greens­. There was also Horiatiki, a refreshing salad of cucumber, tomato, onion, kalamata olives and feta. And oh, those Cretan hot pots—stews of meat, herbs and vegetables, topped with grated hard local cheese and then cooked in small covered clay pots—something I would love to taste again and cannot replicate. Continue reading