Writing a food blog it goes without saying that I love cooking, especially for my friends. When it comes to entertaining I’ll usually gather around 6 – 8 people for a cosy dinner party, but this time things were a little more crazy. This time I had 25 hungry mouths to feed. Wow!
I had a very good excuse though. My friend Monica secured a new job in Ireland and was leaving Athens for good. So we had to see her off in style with plenty to drink and lots of lovely Greek food! It was not going to be a leaving do though, instead as Monica loved to describe it, we were having a party to celebrate her new start. And what a great party it was. I’m afraid pictures by candlelight don’t come out very well, but here are a couple from when I was prepping for the main event.
Now, a full menu for 25 people demands preparation… so I locked myself in the kitchen for a couple of days. Pots were steaming, vegetables chopped, pastry sheets gently rolled open and my oven constantly baking. We went for a buffet to avoid the intricacies of a sit down dinner and here is what I came up with:
Two dips: tzatziki and tirokafteri, a spicy cheese dip
Two salads: traditional potato salad and black-eyed bean salad
So what was everyone’s favourite? Undoubtly soutzoukakia, I think my sauce is getting better and better with this dish, because nothing was left!
Of course I wouldn’t leave you without a recipe and here is something very quick and refreshing: Black-eyed bean salad
- 300 gr of black-eyed beans
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 large cucumber
- A small bunch of dill
For the dressing
- 100 ml olive oil
- 25 ml red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp of salt, bit of pepper
What to do
- Boil the black-eyed beans for 5 minutes, discard the water
- Boil again with some salt until tender, approximately 15 -20 minutes. This might depend on how fresh your beans are, so do check they are soft
- Let them cool and add the dressing and chopped tomatoes, cucumber and dill
For the dressing
- Mix the olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice with salt and pepper until creamy
- Add to the beans when cool and mix well
The salad is light and fragrant, wonderful with a pint of cold lager or to accompany your favourite tipple.
from Athens with love,