Saturday, April 24, 2010

MARINATED MIXED OLIVES


This is a nice way to serve olives. The marinade is a delicious and colorful combination. It's served as a "mezé," which in Greek means something to nibble on: An appetizer to be served with an aperitif before dinner.


Ingredients:



1 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup oil cured olives
1/2 cup green olives
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon dry red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped dill
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano


Directions:

  1. Make sure all the olives are pitted. They can be purchaced that way, or if you like you can do the job yourself.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix well. I omit the red pepper flakes since I am not fond of them - too spicy for me. I have to say though that when they are added, the red color of the pepper flakes compliments the dish well.
  3. Serve the olives as an appetizer. They are delicious when accompanied by slices of crusty bread or warm pita slices.
  4. This dish can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for about two days prior to serving.

ROAST LAMB GREEK STYLE: ARNI PSITO




For this year's Easter Sunday dinner we roasted two legs of lamb. You can see them here snuggled inside a large roasting pan, where they marinated for a few hours before they were placed in the oven. Very easy to make. The lamb was out of the way once it started to roast, and that freed us up to do so many other things...The recipe given below is for one leg of lamb. Since I cooked two, I doubled it.


Ingredients:


1 leg of lamb on the bone (about 6 pounds)salt and pepper to taste
7 cloves of garlic peeled and
cut
in half

1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters
2 carrots, peeled and cut in 2 pieces each
1 fennel root, cut in quarters
4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs fresh oregano, or two teaspoons dried
5 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs sage

Some grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup water

1/4 cup lemon juice
Olive oil
1 large lemon




Directions:


With a small knife make about 6 slits into the leg of lamb and insert a piece of garlic in each one. Season the surface of the meat with salt and pepper.
Arrange the vegetables and the rest of the garlic on the bottom of a roasting pan. Season with a small portion of each herb. Place the lamb on top of the vegetables and arrange the rest of the herbs on top and around it. Pour the water and lemon juice on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the pecorino Romano cheese on top of the meat. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours. Take it out, allow the meat to come to room temperature, and bake at 325° F for about 1 & 1/2 hours, until the meat can easily be pulled away from the bone.
At the last 15 minutes of baking, remove the aluminum foil and raise the temperature to 450° F. Allow the lamb and vegetables to brown.
Dress with olive oil and squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon onto the finished lamb and vegetables. Let rest before serving.
It will be more convenient to cut up the lamb and place it sliced onto a platter before taking it to the table. Remove the potatoes to a serving dish. For those who want the jus, strain the fat out of it, then pour it into a gravy bowl.
This year we served everything buffet style. All the dishes were placed on the server in the dinning room. We had two tables set for guests, and everyone helped themselves. It was informal and fun. It was also more enjoyable for the hostesses!!!