For those not in the know, today is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada and it’s Columbus Day in much of the US. You might find blogging traffic a little slower and these two holidays are probably part of that absence today.
Regardless, I find myself wanting to share more food and travel experiences from my recent trip to Greece.
You will recall that I visited the island of Sifnos and that as a food enthusiast, one of the criterion I chose when picking a travel destination is it’s food.
Sifnos did not disappoint. I had one of my most memorable meals on the last night of my stay in the island.
I plopped myself into the seat of a seaside taverna, covered to protect us from still hot sun, Greek music playing in the background, the sounds of other Greeks eating, cracking jokes and dreading their return to the city.
I order grilled & stuffed calamari, a baked feta with tomato and hot peppers and I had ordered a plate of vlita. Al this would be accompanied by the day’s fresh baked bread and a carafe of Tsipouro (raki).
Myself, tired and hungry – I comply.
This one of food’s weird, surprising and most enjoyable food finds. It’s so simple yet when the ingredients are fresh, the easy preparation only heightens the taste and overall eating experience.
Essentially, this warm bean salad is boiled in salted water to an “al dente”stage, it’s then shocked in an ice bath (to retain it’s vibrant green colour) but strained quickly enough to keep the beans very warm.
In my research, this warm bean salad is served with Skordalia – a Greek aioli if you will. In my instance, it was served warm, obviously tasting of lots of garlic, tossed in extra virgin olive and fresh lemon juice and seasoned with sea salt.
Vlita or boiled wild greens are a favourite accompaniment for many Greeks but “ampelofasoula” will give them a run for their money.
- Take a whole bulb of garlic and just cut the top off with a knife. Place inside some aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap it up with foil and place in a pre-heated 400F for 30-40 minutes. You now have roasted garlic – reserve.
- Place a large pot of water on your stove top and bring to a boil. Add a good amount of salt and drop your green beans inside. From the time the water returns to a boil, count 5 minutes and your beans are done. Blanch in an ice bath or pass under cold water but you still want to keep the beans warm. Strain and place in a large bowl
- Add 3 cloves of roasted garlic with the beans, along with the olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to coat and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.
- Serve warm as a side dish to your favourite seafood.
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