I had a wonderful time at the beautiful Saira Khans house last week as I cooked a six course summery lunch for a bunch of the Loose Women (Stacey Solomon, Nadia Sawalha, Jane Moore and of course lovely Saira) plus a bunch of other gorgeous girls.
Luckily I had Saira’s husband Steve there for moral support 🙂
Fresh ingredients feature heavily in the recipes, which are divided into seven sections. The author states that “… the heritage of Greek food is not simply about the ingredients, […] but it’s also the stories that cradle a plate of food, the childhood memory of eating something all together and the conversations around a table.” To this end, at the beginning of each section, he brings us a slice of Greek life, explaining the traditions behind the dishes or childhood memories associated with particular foods. He also introduces each recipe with a brief story detailing the origins of the dish or his inspiration for creating it. The recipes don’t follow the boring, traditional format we’re used to in other cookbooks. These are more conversations with the author, in which he provides tips and tricks learned through experience, as well as humorous asides such as, “tomatoes are very self-conscious and would hate to feel overdressed” and “serve with a green salad and smug expression”.
The author’s personality and humor radiate from the pages. This cookbook is as entertaining to read and look at as it will be to cook from. Mostly it’s about combining fresh ingredients with splashes of ouzo, glugs of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and of course, family. As the author states, “I always find that food never fails to start a conversation and bring people together.” Kali Orexi!
“Rooted in Pelion and Thessaly, our grandfathers’ olive groves have raised and maintained our families. For us, olive oil is life, flavour, company, remedy, an offer of nature to people. In every bottle we produce, we make sure to include in the ingredients the authentic Greek cultivation of olive oil”. Besios Limited