Allahu Ak Bar
Is what Stuart reckoned would be a brilliant name for a restaurant. Picture that
on a T-shirt.
Perhaps with the & Grill
bit on the back? Imagine the admiring looks :)
So I'm back from a terrific holiday sailing along the Peloponnese peninsula with Stuart, and others, on a very new Beneteau Oceanis 48 called
(not Σκιρων, oddly) the Greek god of the northwest wind.
Out from (a rather broken-down-looking) Athens to Poros (for an excellent Red Snapper dinner), then the sail to Spetses, where we lost the dinghy,
and down to the fortress town of Monemvasia - the furthest point on our voyage. And where we broke the canopy with a pomegranate - long pirate story.
We returned via the surprisingly shallow Maggie's Inlet
where we broke the outboard.
It isn't really called that - it's just that it was our friend Maggie who told us about it.
It seems to actually be called Limani Garakas
Finally back to Athens via the truly fabulous port of Hydra, on the island of, er, Hydra.
It's also tiny - and only due to the late time of year that we managed to get any kind of berth there.
The island being as barren as it is, virtually everything has to be shipped in,
which unfortunately doesn't explain the terrible food they served us - it being a lobster risotto. At least the music was entertaining.
Due to the abundant cafés, bistros, taverns and restaurants ashore everywhere we went,
there was little need to cook anything onboard other than a bit of breakfast, and a light lunch.
So I return with nothing more than my recipe for Monemvasia Daffodil Soup
And some olive oil.
And some olives.
or possibly Wild Onion
nautical veg soup
First, scour the wild rocky shoreline of the Greek island of Monemvasia
for plants which look like wild spring onions, smell like onions, taste like onions, but might be daffodils.
Prepare on the sail between Momemvasia and Hydra, by way of Maggie's Inlet
and serve for a late lunch
(there's a surprisingly long period of peeling and chopping).
Note: Better hope they aren't daffodils because they're toxic, of course.
- 1 red onion, quartered
- wild spring onion bulbs, whole
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- half dozen garlic cloves
- 3 tomatoes, quartered
- wild herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano)
- peel of 1-2 lemons
- 4 potatoes, peeled, chunked
- 4 carrots, peeled, sliced
- 2 red onions, roughly chopped
- half dozen garlic cloves, halved
- 4 aubergines, chunked
- wild herbs (thyme, chopped oregano)
- large bunch of wild spring onions, chopped
- 3 tomatoes, peeled & seeded
- 4 cucumbers, peeled (if coarse), seeded, chunked
- salt & pepper
- Feta cheese, chopped
- cultivated spring onions, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- juice of 1 lemon
- olive oil
unless you've bought some...
Heat a small amount of oil in a pan and throw in a peeled, quartered onion,
any bulbs from the daffodils wild spring onions, then the roughly chopped carrot.
When they've caramelized nicely, throw in the whole garlic cloves to brown a little, then crush the tomatoes into the pan,
add water to cover, add the herbs, pepper and lemon zest, and simmer until the vegetables are on the point of disintegrating.
If you can't make the stock in advance you can have it brewing while you work on the soup ingredients,
though it would be best to have it ready by the time you've prepared the potatoes, carrots and onions.
Most of the solid vegetables should be cut to roughly the same size - perhaps slightly less than 1" cubes:
Cube the peeled potatoes, grind over some peppercorns, and fry quickly until browned and put in the soup pot.
Slice the peeled carrots and fry quickly until browned and add to the pot.
Roughly chop the onion and fry quickly until browning at the edges,
add the garlic chunks until they too brown slightly then add to the pot.
Add the stock and more fresh herbs and begin gentle simmering while you continue to add more soup ingredients.
Chop the aubergines (you can try and remove excess seeds if you like, but this pitiful Greek variety seems to have seed incontinence),
so that there will not be great skeins of leathery skin in the soup, and fry in a generous amount of oil until collapsing. Add to the soup.
Slice the (mostly) white parts of the daffodils wild spring onions, and add to the soup.
Peel and de-seed the tomatoes, chop them roughly, and add to the soup.
Peel the cucumbers (if necessary), quarter them lengthways and cut out the seeds from their centre, chop roughly and add to the soup.
Season to taste.
Roughly chop the Feta, slice the spring onions.
Mash the garlic, mix with the lemon juice and olive oil to make a thin paste.
Serve the soup with a scattering of small cubes of Feta cheese, a sprinkling of sliced spring onions and a drizzle of the dressing.