Greece has always been on my bucket list, but so far, I have yet to go. And, with the way things are currently, I am not going anytime soon either, especially with all the lockdowns. But, I can go to Greece by using my creativity and my imagination, even if only for a day.
We have been doing a lot of puzzles during out confinement, and the last puzzle we did was a picture of Greece. I am still holding out hope that one day, I will actually be here in person – diving it of course. But for now, all I can do is a virtual trip.
We bought a box of puzzles that have 10 cityscapes, and this was one of them. So I thought it would be kind of fun to plan a Greek meal to coincide with our virtual trip to Greece. I am going to try to plan a meal that matches each city once we finish the corresponding puzzle.
For my Greek dinner, I started off by using the rest of my leftover lemon-basil vinaigrette to make some chicken kebabs. Building a Salad I added some mayonnaise to make a marinade for the chicken. Then I cubed the chicken and let it marinate for about 3-4 hours before putting them on a skewer to grill.
I couldn’t just have chicken though, so I found an interesting recipe for a cool, Spring Greek/Mediterranean sidedish to go with the chicken. It is a very traditional dish found all throughout the Mediterranean, with slight variations depending on where you are eating it. The recipe called for fava beans, although I did not have fava beans so I substituted canned butter beans instead, artichoke hearts, onions and garlic. The combination of fava beans and artichoke hearts is found in almost every Mediterranean country. In Sicily, they add green peas as well. I made mine Sicilian style.
Mediterranean Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Butter Beans and Peas
1/2 onion, diced fine
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 can butter beans, drained
1-1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 TBSP garlic
2 tsp dried mint – or 2 TBSP fresh mint
2 tsp dried dill – or 2 TBSP fresh dill
salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
4 TBSP water
Saute the peas, onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Bring to a boil, then cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
It’s now ready to serve. It is best when served either hot or at room temperature.
The whole meal was grilled chicken kebabs topped with the remaining sauce/marinade, Mediterranean vegetable medley and pesto-tomato focaccia, (coming soon) served with a chilled citrusy white blend. So even though I was at home, in my heart and certainly my dinner menu, were in the Greek Isles.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.