I absolutely adore Greek food, simple, fresh and clean flavours that speak for themselves. You can deliver a Greek feast in no time at all and I always feel like we are on holiday when we have it. The centre stage to our Greek meze is always the homemade pittas. It is essential to have a carrier for all those lovely dips, and this bread serves perfectly well for ‘mopping up’ plates. From thought to plate ,it will take you approximately an hour and 10 minutes to deliver those little envelopes of deliciousness, and to be honest most of it is waiting time, not that you would wait. It tastes 100 times better than a shop bought one and that is a fact! I did invest recently in a pizza baking stone which makes an incredible difference when baking bread and pizzas, It was £12 well spend, thanks to that wonderful discounted store on the high street which Max… imise your buying potential. If you don’t have one, just use a baking tray line with parchment.
Octopus salad is very easy to make, remember it is simple, Greek and delicious. I love squid, but due to a recent absence of squid I purchased Octopus and decided to make it a part of our meze. It is much cheeper than a squid and makes an ideal alternative, but you must remember to tenderise it by cooking it in water for about an hour or so.
- 250g strong white bread flour
- 5g salt
- 7g instant dried yeast or 5g fresh yeast
- 2tbs olive oil
- 160ml warm water
- semolina for dusting
Place the flour, salt on one side and yeast on opposite and olive oil in a bowl. Add a small amount of water and start mixing the dough. Continue to add remaining water a little at a time and keep mixing it with your fingers. When the mixture forms a rough dough, tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for about 5/10 minutes until the dough feels smooth and silky. Place it into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave it to rise for about an hour, or until at least doubled in size.
Meanwhile heat your oven to 220C and place inside a bake stone or a baking tray to heat up.
When the dough has doubled in size, dust the work surface with flour and tip the dough onto it and knead again until the air is knocked out (about one minute should suffice). Divide the dough into eight pieces and shape each one into a bowl. With a rolling pin, start rolling out the pieces of dough into oval shape and about 2mm thick.
Take the baking stone or tray from the oven, dust with semolina and place the pitta breads on it with some space between them. Bake for 5-10 minutes, remove and cool on a baking rack.
- 2 medium octopus clean and ready to use
- 1 bay leaf
- 4tbs extra virgin olive oil
- some freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
- 1tbs balsamic vinegar
- half of red onion
- a few fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper
Ask your fishmonger to clean and remove all viscera from a head sac.
Bring a medium pan of water to boil, add the bay leaf. Place the octopus in the boiling water and simmer with the lid on for about one hour, this is essential to do as it tenderizes the octopus. Check by inserting a knife, it should offer a little resistance when inserted.
Remove from the water and let it cool. Slice the octopus into a little bite chunks and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and finely sliced red onion. Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste and a few lightly torn basil leaves. Keep it refrigerate it but remove about 30 minutes before serving to take the chill off and release the flavours.