Since we don’t have cable I will admit that I had never heard of Debbie Matenopoulos until I cracked open a review copy of her new cookbook, It’s All Greek To Me. Debbie will no doubt be familiar to those of you who know her from shows like The View, and her book is lavishly illustrated with beautiful photographs (I consider this a must for a cookbook) and has lots of relatively simple and flavor-packed recipes for Greek food. I do not do many reviews but I was drawn to this because I really adore the flavor profiles of Greek cuisine, and most of the food is focused on whole, fresh, unprocessed ingredients. The author grew up in a traditional Greek household and found that when she gravitated away from that diet and started eating a standard American diet her health began to suffer. Her renewed embrace of the healthier diet of her homeland was part of the inspiration for this book. In addition to my review copy, I was provided with a copy of the book to award to one of my readers–details at the end of this post.
Because we have had typically hot weather here for the past few weeks I gravitated towards the recipes that would work well with grilling, and I made a big batch of Debbie’s recipe for Walnut Skorthalia. Skorthalia is a garlic dip that you have probably had in restaurants made with potatoes, but the walnut version carries the same punch of flavor along with the rich, earthy flavor of the walnuts. Walnuts are blended with fresh garlic, sea salt, extra-virgin olive oil, and white wine vinegar. I lightly toasted the walnuts before blending and we had the sauce spooned over grilled garden vegetables.
The sauce is also good with grilled fish or chicken, or thinned out and used as a salad dressing. I also tried her Tahini Sauce, a non-traditional spin that she created for her vegan friends. It is also lovely on grilled vegetables and proteins. The book is full of recipes for seafood and seasonal produce, which makes it right up my alley. My “to-try” list includes the Oven-Baked Okra, the Baked Cod with Lemon Garlic Parsley Sauce, and the Greek Meatball Soup. I also am going to try to adapt the Classic Walnut Cake to make it Paleo-friendly.
My favorite cookbooks are those that give me a sense of another country and culture, and this one does this through both the photos and the recipes.
Giveaway has ended! Congratulations to Amy, who won the cookbook, and thanks to everyone who entered!
1. Leave a comment after this blog post, mentioning your favorite Greek dish or a dish you would like to try.
2. Giveaway is open to U.S. mailing addresses only.
3. The entry period will end at 5:00 M.S.T. on Sunday, August 10th. I will select a winner using Random.org to generate a number that corresponds with the placement of the winning comment. I will contact the potential winner via email and they will have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response in 48 hours I will select an alternative winner using the same method.
It’s just that simple! Good luck, and thanks for reading,