By Erik Cosselmon
Conventional kinfolk recipes and the traditional Hellenic customized of welcoming the stranger as a pal identified in Greece as philoxenia have encouraged the uniquely welcoming atmosphere of Kokkari eating place in San Francisco. an entire spring lamb spit-roasting over an open fireplace greets diners, and the menu bargains regular dishes like dolmades, avgolemono soup, and lamb moussaka in addition to more odd Greek dishes akin to deep fried smelt, watermelon and feta salad, and grilled octopus. via its use of unpolluted seasonal elements, Kokkari brings a cultured, cosmopolitan sensibility to a loved Mediterranean culinary culture. Its vendors and cooks are proud to have ushered in a brand new period of appreciation for shiny Greek flavors. Now they invite you to aim a few of their favourite dishes at domestic, and need you a Greek bon appetit: kali orexi!
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Extra info for Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors
We make dakos to order at Kokkari and Evvia, with tomatoes that are too ripe for Greek salad. You could add capers, or substitute feta for manouri. Restaurants on Crete offer this meze year-round, but summer is the time to order it. To grate tomatoes, cut them in half and use the large holes of a box grater. 1 cup coarsely grated ripe tomato Sea salt 6 Cretan Barley Rusks (page 176) 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar ¼ pound piece chilled manouri cheese Thinly sliced red onion for garnish Crumbled dried Greek oregano for garnish 1 dozen unpitted Kalamata olives Put the tomato in a small bowl and season with a pinch of salt.
Bring to a simmer, skimming any foam. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, until the peas are tender but still hold their shape, about 50 minutes, adding boiling water as needed to keep them covered. Do not allow the peas to overcook or you will have trouble draining them. Drain well in a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid. In a food processor, puree the warm peas and garlic with the lemon juice and wine vinegar until smooth. With the motor running, add the olive oil gradually.
Pitting compromises texture and flavor and makes olives taste saltier because of exposure to the brine. When scooped from a properly stored container, Kalamatas are purplish-red, not black. They blacken with oxidation. Refrigerate Kalamatas in their brine with olive oil on top to keep the air out. We use exclusively Greek brands of orzo, the rice-shaped pasta, at Kokkari. Although some Italian manufacturers make a shape that resembles orzo, discriminating Greek diners would notice a difference.