The door to my kitchen on Ikaria opens up onto our little stone terrace and a few years ago Vassili planted an herb bed in a dirt patch he left unpaved right in the middle, under a trellis of grapes and between a few very old almond trees. We’ve planted rosemary, sage, mints, lavender, oregano, thyme, and, every spring, replenish with all the perennials: different varieties of basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, lemon balm and more. All of these find their way into my cooking. I get inspired by the absolute freshness and immediacy of ingredients on Ikaria, the fresh-cut herbs, the chicken that strutted in my neighbor Titika’s coop until she brought some of it over for me to cook for the kids, by the onions we pick out of the ground and that are so peppery and sharp you want to cry before you even unpeel them! This is real food, the ultimate locavore diet! But that's not to say that with good quality seasonal ingredients, you can't recreate this and other dishes no matter where you are. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here
, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
Potatoes fried in olive oil are the dish to serve with this as an accompaniment.
Variation: This same recipe, with or without the almonds, which are my addition, may also be made with rabbit.
Adapted from Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life & Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die