This dish (Bouyiourdi) comes from Greece’s second largest city and the capital of the province of Macedonia, Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki gets it’s name from Alexander the Great’s half-sister and much like walking in any other part of Greece, one is aware that they are walking on history.
Although the city’s main character has always been Greek, many peoples have come & gone and the city’s famed walls kept intruders out until the year 904, when pillaged by the Saracens.
Today, although not in tact but still present are these same city walls that kept Thessaloniki safe from invaders through time. One of the most charming vantage points to see Thessaloniki is from the Akropolis (Akropoleos). In Greek, Akropolis refers to the highest point in a city or town. In Thessalonki, “ta Kastra” are the city’s highest point.
As a tourist, one is extremely lucky to be given a tour by one of the locals. I know Thessaloniki well, I’ve been to Greece numerous times (this year will mark my 20th visit) but there’s always a new taverna, bar or corner of the city that only a local can show you.
Back in my visit in 1988, my good friend Niko (another Kalofaga) took me up to the “Kastra” for a late evening bite at a small “psarotaverna” (fish tavern). Before this visit, I had never been to this part of Thessaloniki. I was in awe of the wide expanse of the city and at night, I could see the lights to the far west of the city, where Esso Pappas used to be and then stretch my view all the way east to Thessaloniki’s airport and club district.
Thessaloniki’s charm, it’s people and it’s food will inspire you and your love of all things Greek. Thessaloniki’s vibrant cuisine will cement your love of Greek food. A trip up to the “Kastra” in one of the quaint, family-run tavernas would complete y0ur trip to Thessaloniki.
One specialty from Thessaloniki and a likely transport from the cuisine of the Greeks from Constantinople and Smyrni is Bouyiourdi.
This is another baked dish, similar to a Baked Feta but the two mezedes (appetizers) have subtle differences. The Baked Feta contains one slab of Feta and the intent is to have the cheese warm, soft but still in tact.
With Bouyiourdi, what you want to achieve is a mÃ©lange of gooey cheese, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. If there ever was a dish in Greek cuisine that resembles Fondue, this is it.
When in Greece, you’re likely to find this meze (appetizer) on the menus of appetizers throughout Greece. It’s popularity has expanded beyond Thessaloniki and the province of Macedonia.
Order this dish among the other array of appetizers, break some bread with family and friends and dunk, scoop and eat away.
If you can’t make it to Greece, there’s always the Greek blog route – you know I always share Greece’s finest with you. You’ll need some ripe tomato, banana (or cubanelle) pepper, Feta cheese, olive oil, some chilli flakes and another ripe, pungent white cheese.
In Greece, Bouyiourdi can be made with Feta cheese alone or combined with another white, firmer cheese known as Kasseri. Kasseri is a pale yellow cheese, it’s often also found on the Greek table and my favourite version of BouyiourdiÂ includes some Kasseri in it too!
If you cannot find Kasseri, a Gruyere or Gouda or aged white cheddar would pinch-hit wonderfully here. Finally, Bouyiourdi is a meze that is “pikantiki” or spicy. To omit the heat and chilli flakes from this dish would be like asking for a Greek salad without Feta….keep the chilli’s in there!
(makes 1 appetizer serving)
1 tomato, concasse (peeled and diced)
1 slab of Feta cheese
slices of Kasseri
some slices of sweet banana pepper
Boukovo (chilli flakes)
1 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 small, oven-safe baking vessel
Pre-heated 400F oven
- Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Prepare your ” mise en place”. Place half of your diced tomatoes in the bottom of your baking vessel.
- Add a layer of your Kasseri cheese slices, followed by your slab(s) of Feta cheese.
- Add the other half of your diced tomatoes over the Feta.
- Now add your remaining Kasseri slices and the green peppers.
- Drizzle with olive oil and finish with some chilli flakes and some dried Greek oregano.
- Place the cover on (or cover tightly with foil) and bake in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately with lots of crusty bread. Spoon portions onto each plate or go communal and just dunk your bread in the Bouyiourdi.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
Â© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis
© 2009 – 2010,
. All rights reserved.