QUARANTINE DIARIES, COMFORT FOOD & ALL THE SMALL THINGS THAT KEEP US GOING
Have you met Nicoletta from One Quarter Greek? If you like Santorini you definitely should! She is sharing with us her lockdown experience and comfort food: tomato fritters! A Santorinian specialty.
Head straight to the recipe.
A few words about you and where did the quarantine find you?
Have you ever seen ‘Captain Corelli’s mandolin’ movie? Well, imagine Penelope Cruz being my γιαγιά (grandmother) and Nicholas Cage my παππού (grandfather) and you have my story! My name is Nicoletta, I only took my long hair by my granny who was from Kefalonia. My grandfather played mandolin for real and he was a soldier from the south of Italy during the II World War.
I always felt a bit more Greek than the ¼ of blood I have in my veins and after some strolls around (Milan, Rome and London) I decided to make my dream come true and moved to the island I had fallen in love with years before, Santorini. Now, I live permanently in this magic place where I am the Italida (the Italian girl) of my village.
Currently, for family reasons, I am in Italy, near Milan, where my parents live, since the beginning of March.
What did it change for you ?
It changed everything. Besides being happy to be near my family and help them to overcome this difficult situation, I deeply miss Santorini.
When I relocated to the island I not only moved to the place of my dreams, I stubbornly created my ideal life, one that is closer to my needs and passions. It’s a slow kind of life, near the sea (even if I don’t like to swim! Weird I know…), full of small simple habits which make my every day a special one.
How many loo-rolls can you count in your cupboards?
Difficult question, I am currently ‘’jumping’’ from my parents’ to my sister’ house so not sure, but we have enough! Loo-rolls were never an issue in Italy while it was difficult to find yeast for baking but I made my own starter!
Comfort food: tomato fritters.
Difficult question, you know, Italian vs Greek food…
When I am in Santorini I crave pizza, even if I am not a big fan of it, but I am a lover of my mum’s one! So when she comes to Santorini she prepares for me the dough that then rest in my freezer for nostalgic days.
In the same way, now that I am in Milan longing my island, food has a big role in my days because it’s not only comfort, it makes me travel and remember.
My comfort-to-go food these days are tomato fritters. This is a traditional dish from Santorini where women are able to make thousands of different yummy plates out of tomatoes!
It’s a super easy and quick recipe and when you bite the first one you feel the sound of the waves, you see the volcano and feel the wind in your hair.
Tomato fritters, a specialty of Santorini
- All purpose flour
- 500 gr cherry tomatoes
- 1 onion
- salt and pepper
- 5-6 sprigs of Basil
- 5-6 sprigs of Mint
- vegetable oil for frying
- Grate or blend the tomatoes with the onions.
- Add in the chopped herbs and flour until you have a sticky dough (it shouldn't be too watery).
- Place the tomato mix in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Shallow fry in a bit of vegetable oil.
How do you cope?
I am focusing on my project, One Quarter Greek. Currently it’s a blog about Santorini and my life there. My aim is to offer a more local and authentic view on this island which is very popular but where there are still hidden paths and magic places to discover. The next step is creating services and products that can help anyone who would love to visit the island in a more sustainable way or change their life. Working on this makes me feel a little bit closer to Santorini so it makes me feel good.
And then a lot of books, I am an eager reader, some movies and exercise.
Where will you go eat once this madness is over?
I crave to go and eat at The Cave of Nicholas in Akrotiri, near the Archeological Site of Santorini.
It’s a family tavern (my Greek family!) on a small harbour. You always eat with the sound of the sea in your hears. The food is delicious! The products come from the organic farm of the family.
My favourite dishes are Skordomakarona (pasta with tomatoes and garlic) and Koloukithanthi (courgette flowers) but everything is really yummy! This is the place for fresh fish and traditional dishes and it’s a good place for vegans and vegetarians too (I am vegan btw).
I love passing by the kitchen and have a chat with Minas, the owner and the chef, and his team and family (they overlap!).
Share a wish, just so we can finish on a happy note.
I am one of those who did not losoe her positive attitude during this quarantine, maybe because my actual life in Santorini looks very much like a sort of quarantine. But I think this is and will be an opportunity to think about what kind of life we want for the future, it says that some changes needs to be done and change is always good and exciting!
from Milan with love,
PS: If you wish to be part of my quarantine cuisine diaries and share your experience on Eat Yourself Greek (EYG), please drop me a line here. Thanks, Eugeniaby