Santorini, Greece!

Santorini, our second destination, is a different story than Naxos. Everyone knows the pictures of the sunsets and the white house’s on the edge of the cliff with the blue roofs. Well, that’s how it’s like, just like in the picture, really beautiful.

We ate the most beautiful Santorini fava (split peas) and a delicious garlic spicy tzatziki.

 

Tstock. Who would have thought that an ordinary split pea could make such a nice mezze.

Fava

Yellow split peas

Finely chopped onion

Finely chopped garlic

Pepper, salt

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Boil the peas with the onion and garlic in chicken stock until soft and squashy. Be aware that it doesn’t cook dry because the peas will soak up the stock and they inflate. Also try not to use to much stock so you don’t have to strain the peas in the end, you lose lot’s of flavor by doing that. Mix in the lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. Serve warm with a little onion on the side.

 

 stuffed tomatoes.

 

Stuffed tomatoes

Ripe but firm tomatoes (2 pp)

Rice, long grain or short (I made it with long but ate it in the restaurant with short, both were good)

Onion

Garlic

Olive oil

Dille

Parsley

Basil

Oregano

Pepper salt

Raisins and pine nuts (optional)

Small pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Cook the rice and strain. Cut the onion and garlic fine and bake in a skillet with olive oil until soft (you can add the raisins and nuts if you use them). Now go wild with the herbs, it should be well flavored, it is nice if you have fresh herbs but you can replace most of them with their dried variant if you have nothing else. For the quantities you should really use your taste buds.

Cut the head of the tomato and spoon out the seeds, keep aside. Brush the tomato with oil, fill them with the rice and place on a baking sheet. Put a spoonful of the tomato juice on top and place the head back on the tomato.

Bake in the oven on low temperature (150-160C) until nice and warm. Don’t leave it in the oven to long because the tomato would become to soft and falls apart.

 

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Naxos, Greece!

If there is a heaven I hope it looks like Naxos.

It was a long way to get there, three and a half hour by plain (just a day before the eruption in Iceland) an hour by bus and six hours by boat but all uncomfort is forgotten as soon as you set foot on the island. It’s a nice chaos when the people, cars, trucks who go off the boat meet the ones who try to get on in the middle. It seems so unorganized but somehow it works so who cares. We arrived at night and were welcomed by the lights of the city and masses of nightshades. Our host dropped us of at our little apartment with view to the sea and a little island with a massive ancient doorpost just before the coast, and invited us for a coffee in the morning.

The view from our apartment

Every island has its own specialties and Naxos is famous for its potatoes (of which they order the baby potatoes to grow with from Holland), it’s citron liquor, wild oregano, sausages.

our breakfast….

Unfortunately I was to early for the figs, the fig trees grow absolutely everywhere on the island but the fruits were not yet ripe. The island is maybe not famous for it’s bread but compared to Santorini or Athens it was quit special! The baker sold it to me with the dough dried on his hands, if I would have been more awake I maybe had remembered to ask which flour he used. I went to the bakery and cheese shop, vegetable shop every morning to get us breakfast which we ate in the sun in front of our apartment.

The Greeks are very nice hosts and they give something every time you  make an order. Is it not a little bowl of chips next to your ouzo or a glass of water next to your coffee then it is raki or a dessert at the end of the meal.

It doesn’t take long to discover what the most famous drink in the country is…. It’s not ouzo, it’s frappe. Everywhere you look, either when people are sitting on a terrace or when they are working, they have a cold coffee close by. Every place sells it and even in the most deserted villages we visited you could count on the classic picture of some local old man sitting in the shade enjoying a frappe. It didn’t take my boyfriend long to adopt this habit, he blended right in.

Of course we brought some coffee with us and recreated the drink at home. We have been arguing about if the nestle instant coffee they sell in Greece has a special taste and is different from the one they sell in Holland. My boyfriend thinks its something special, I think it was just the sun that added the special flavor.

Frappe

nestle instant coffee

milk (optional)

sugar (optional)

Dissolve a tablespoon of coffee in half a cup of water, add half a cup of milk, some sugar to taste and mix it for a couple of minutes until it becomes creamy (best to use half full milk) add some ice cubes and a straw. I think it would also be nice to mix it all up in the blender including the ice cubes but I did not see this version in Greece.

If you, like me, have trouble to pick what you want to order from the menu because you want to try it all but your stomach is to small, order the mixed starter/mezzes. We did this in one restaurant and it was the best choice we could have made. In one try we got to taste, dolmas, keftedes, courgette cookies, squid, eggplant dip, tzatziki, salad and fried cheese. There was no room left for a second dish, the Greek like their portions big.

My heart cried when I had to leave the island I fell in love with it, it was such a relaxing and great stay but there was a boat waiting for us to bring us to Santorini.

We did learn from the previous trip that you better take a picnic if you want to eat something on the boat because Goody’s (the local Mc Donalds) isn’t exactly all that.