Tahini and honey on toast

This is my breakfast on most weekday mornings with a Greek coffee.

Tahini is a paste from roasted and ground sesame seeds. Similar to peanut butter or more like a seed butter, it is very nutritious, high in protein and iron, pure honey has many important health benefits.

I’ve never believed in having big a breakfast. If you’ve only been awake a short time, why shock your system with a large amount of food.

Toast two slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread, spread Tahini on toasted bread then drizzle desired amount of high quality raw unpasteurized honey on top. Enjoy with green tea, strong coffee, Turkish coffee or espresso.

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Roasted red pepper feta dip

In Greek this dip has been referred to as kopanisti. This dip is simply amazing, I have made it for parties and people wanted to lick the bowl. The sweetness of the bell peppers, smokiness from the grill and the contrast with salty feta cheese and the spicy chilli pepper gives it a kick. I’ve given out the recipe to several friends, if you like it spicy add more chilli peppers alternatively you can use pickled pepperoncini or even pickled banana peppers for the heat, or just leave it out if you prefer without spice. The dip really can go well with crackers, pita bread, veggies or even chips or crisps.

Ingredients:

2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers
150g. Greek feta or goat feta cheese
1 small chile pepper
pinch dried Oregano
50ml extra virgin olive oil or more as needed, try and use Greek olive oil
handful of fresh basil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Put peppers on the grill or oven broil for about 10-15 minutes turning often to char the peppers all around. When done transfer to a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap while they are still piping hot- allow the peppers to steam for 15-20 minutes. When the peppers now have steamed and have cooled down enough to handle take off the stems scape out the seeds and peel off and discard the charred skin. If needed rinse the peeled peppers under cold water. Combine all inqredients in a food processor except olive oil and pulse until well combined. Transfer to a bowl stir in oil until desired consistency is achieved. Can store in the refrigerator for one week in a sealed container but I think once you taste it it won’t last the day.

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Gigantes Plaki (baked Greek giant beans)

This dish is usually eaten as an appetizer, with crusty bread, I do recommend a red wine with a lot of body and soft tannins.

Ingredients

400g dried Gigantes beans or large Lima beans
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 french shallot, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup passata tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Greek dried oregano

When beans are cooked add
1 tsp fresh dill weed
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
1 tsp sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Feta cheese (optional)

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water unless the beans package does not recommend it. Drain, rinse, then place in a pan covered with 2″ of water. Bring to the boil, boil vigorously for 5 minutes, drain water and fill pot with new cold water and bring to a boil again, reduce the heat, then simmer for approx 50 mins until slightly tender but not soft. Drain, then set aside.
Heat oven to 350. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, tip in the shallots and garlic, then cook over a medium heat for 2 mins, add the passata and cook for a further min, add remaining ingredients, then simmer for 2-3 mins. Stir in the beans. Tip beans into a large ovenproof dish, then bake for approximately 30 minutes uncovered until the beans are fork tender. The beans sauce will thicken, if sauce is too thick loosen with some water. Check beans for tenderness and take out of oven, then scatter with parsley, dill, salt and pepper and drizzle with a couple more glugs of olive oil to serve.

Serve with Feta cheese, more parsley and really good extra virgin olive oil, with crusty bread as an appetizer or side dish.

Please note: there are certain beans that do not need soaking, read directions on package.

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Gigantes Plaki (baked Greek giant beans)

This dish is usually eaten as an appetizer, with crusty bread, I do recommend a red wine with a lot of body and soft tannins

Ingredients

400g dried Gigantes beans or large Lima beans
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 french shallot, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup passata tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Greek dried oregano

When beans are cooked add
1 tsp fresh dill weed
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
1 tsp sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Feta cheese (optional)

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain, rinse, then place in a pan covered with 2″ of water. Bring to the boil, boil vigorously for 5 minutes, drain water and fill pot with new cold water and bring to a boil again, reduce the heat, then simmer for approx 50 mins until slightly tender but not soft. Drain, then set aside.
Heat oven to 350. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, tip in the shallots and garlic, then cook over a medium heat for 2 mins, add the passata and cook for a further min, add remaining ingredients, then simmer for 2-3 mins. Stir in the beans. Tip beans into a large ovenproof dish, then bake for approximately 30 minutes uncovered until the beans are fork tender. The beans sauce will thicken. Check beans for tenderness and take out of oven, then scatter with parsley, dill, salt and pepper and drizzle with a couple more glugs of olive oil to serve.

Serve with Feta cheese, more parsley and really good extra virgin olive oil, with crusty bread as an appetizer or side dish.

Please note: there are certain beans that do not need soaking, read directions on package.

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