budget dinner for one – shakshuka

Shakshuka is an exciting breakfast dish with tomato and eggs from the Middle East – great for lunch, brunch or dinner. Here I  have simplified the moderate all-in-one dish, normally I would soak up the good sauce with a piece … Continue reading

going japanese my way – goma dressing (roasted sesame seed dressing)

胡麻ドレッシング I haven’t been to many Japanese restaurants before I visit Japan this spring. 15 times in total maybe through my whole life and I visited Japan in 1978-79. And I have never come across Goma dressing before I came … Continue reading

had it twice in a week … barbara’s lebanese couscous

About 8 weeks ago Barbara@ justasmidgen posted this fantastic recipe – on Remembrance Day, 11-11, “Vegan Lebanese Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives” Once again a recipe talked to me directly- “make me soon”. I didn’t have time to try it out until … Continue reading

23.03.2002; tomato & mozzarella stack


Checked my product list and costing sheet – 23.03.02 was the day I came up with this dish – but it didn’t reach fleet wide until the summer of 2004, as a starter.
My photo is terrible when transferring it – so I use “corbis” instead.
Now on the net – looking for a good picture there is loads of stacks – and I found one with red onion and watercress with corbis – thank you!. A starter that I have quite often done at home when having guests or main course (all depend on the size of tomatoes) – and everybody loves it and impressed by its look. Have to have a steady hand while carrying the plates.Where always told I was ahead of my time – served chocolate mousse in coffee cups years before every one else started. Where I got my ideas from ????? Keeping my eyes and month open while travelling.


Tomato Mozzarell Stack with Marinaded Red Onion and Watercress
4 person

4 beef tomatoes
40g/1.4oz water cress
240gr/0.5 pound good quality mozzarella cheese.
12 black olives, sliced
2 red onions, sliced and marinade covered in balsamic vinegar for about 30 min
(you can use the balsamic for dressing afterwards) – make sure the rings are not too wet when start stacking. Let them soak on absorbing paper in the fridge.

2 shallot onions, very finely chopped
180ml/6oz olive oil
60ml (4tbsp) balsamic vinegar
30ml (2tbsp) water
5ml (1tsp) caster sugar
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Just mix everything together – dissolve the sugar in the water first before adding to the dressing.

A little tip how to get even onion rings – you slice the onions with the peel on – and remove that afterwards – because that means the onion doesn’t move on the cutting board and the knife don’t slip.

1. First slice the bottom of the tomatoes straight – so they stand stabile– then sliced them into 4-5 slices. Wouldn’t cut the tomatoes in advance because they go all mushy but the cheese – no problems and same with the olives.

2. So when time for serving just start stacking – tomato, onion rings, cheese, black olives and very little watercress – drizzle with a very tiny amount of dressing between every “floor”/tomato slice  – and you do so until it’s only the top left – done!

Photos provided by; corbis.com / ecovf.com / cbsnews.com / tradgardenifokus.blogspot.com / greeksunnyday.bmp.sk/  cookwithtom.com

what happen in athens – stays in athens; alexander & caesar!

There is always a story behind my food.
During the Athen-time did I have dinner at least twice per week at newly opened Hilton Hotel – in their restaurant “Alexander”, I think today it’s called “Milos” – it was in the basement of the hotel with a beautiful stair case down from the bar. Before every dinner I stopped in bar and had a White Russian – haven’t drank it again after leaving Athens– what happen in Athens, stays in Athens.

There I met Alexander … a beautiful salad that was made in front me at the table. This was before I met “Caesar”. Don’t remember when or where I was introduced to “Caesar” – he didn’t make the same impact on me as “Alexander” did.

Where so fascinated when they prepared the salad, starting of with the garlic and egg yolks, then the anchovy’s and the oil. First the waiter took the garlic glove and dressed the inside of the wooden bowl with it. Then the egg yolk and anchovy’s. Must have eaten that salad nearly 100 times.

 So what is the original Caesar Salad. – don’t ask me. Have eaten so many different versions through the years, still “Alexander” must have been close to perfect. Only one time after Athens – the salad have been prepared in front of me and that was at The Yacht Club in Victoria, BC.

It’s without any doubts the world most famous salad and most sold salad too.
We had it on and off the menu – mostly on – because so soon we took it off – the guests start asking for it. We served with chicken, grilled cured ham, salmon or king prawns through the years. Still the plain is the most popular.

So hear comes my/our version – even if we used a ready made dressing – we made a fantastic salad. Think they are still serving it – StenaPlus (business class).

Caesar Salad, 4 person
2 garlic cloves
4 anchovy fillets
5ml (1tsp) salt
5ml (1tsp) freshly ground black pepper
15ml (1tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice
5ml (1tsp) Worcestershire sauce
2.5 ml (1/5 tsp) Dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 head of romaine lettuces
2 head of baby gem lettuces
300ml grated parmesan cheese – 100ml to be mixed with the lettuces.
200ml shaved parmesan as garnish.
4 slices of old white toast bread. – frozen Italian mixed herbs and olive oil

Dressing: –
Place the garlic, anchovy fillets and salt in a wooden bowl. Use 2 dinner forks to mash everything to a paste. Use one fork for whisk in the pepper, lemon juice. Worcestershire sauce, mustard and egg yolk – whisk everything together – add parmesan.

Bread croutons; – we use just old white and brown toast bread – cut the edges of – then turned them in olive oil mixed with frozen Italian herb. Then into the oven (180C) until turned golden – stir around once in a while. We stored them in airtight container. 2 days life span.

The salad – we use two kinds of lettuces to get a some texture to the salad and the baby gem lettuce will lift the salad and it looks much bigger then it’s.
Make sure the lettuces are properly washed – preferable the night before – shaken free of all excess water – stored in air tight container, that will makes the leaves so much crispier.

We mixed a small amount of grated parmesan in with the lettuces – arrange the lettuces on indv. deep large plates or bowls. Scatter the croutons on top and – Drizzle the dressing over and finish off with shaved parmesan on top and freshly ground black pepper.

 To get the best shavings of Parmesan cheese – we used a Swedish domestic kitchen tool – called “osthyvel” – we eat a lot of hard cheese in Sweden and we need to slice them, that’s when we use the “osthyvel”. I use it for thinly shavings of cucumber & carrots for other salads (shave them length-ways)  – to be find abroad – at IKEA (of course).

 Here you have a fantastic – Caesar Salad … καλή σας όρεξη !

Photos provided by; panoramio.com / katiekieffer.com / exploracation.blogspot.com /me / redskapsboden.se /nb-otc.com

Πλατεία Φιλικής Εταιρείας – traffic and hot; warm greek salad

3.09.1976 – I landed at Athens’s airport – for a 3 months adventure in one of Europe’s most exciting cities  …. Coming out that plane was like walking into a hot wall.. Even if the airport is just by the ocean – it was so hot – never felt anything like it – even the wind was hot.

My “boyfriend” from Monte-Carlo had moved back to Greece after the fall of the Junta in 1974 – and we kept contact through years – so he invited me to stay in his apartment in Athens while he was going away in business for 3 months to Bordeaux.
His apartment was in the fashionable “Kolonaki Sq” (at least in those days) – only 5 min walk to the Syntagma. We had a couple of days together and off he went to France leaving me to the wolfs *smile

During my whole stay – my breakfast every day was – coffee with milk, fresh  squeezed 50/ 50 orange and grapefruit juice (tip from one of the waiters) plus a club sandwich and a platter with fresh fruit – at a café just of the Syntagma Square along Vassilissis Sofias Avenue – never knew the name of the café. Just went there every morning.  Never had a Club Sandwich (probably the best sandwich in the world)  before and never gave it a thought until – I came to America a year late.  Same with my lunch, nearly every day – I had a Greek Salad for lunch – where ever I was I ordered a Greek salad. Horiatiki Salad, I think  is what the natives call it. It’s very hard to beat a good Greek Salad. Have never returned to Athens …. but it’s on my “bucket list”.

A couple of years ago I came across a recipe from a Swedish TV chef, Fredrik Eriksson – we have them too – he made the salad warm. Just had to try it and it’s really – REALLY good. A lettuce free salad – so now I share it with you.


Warm Greek Salad, 4 portions
1 cucumber
200 gr Feta cheese
4 ripe tomatoes
1 red onion
1 bunch fresh basil
olive oil
100 ml Calamata olives
fresh ground black pepper & salt

1. Halve the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the pips. Cut the cucumber and the feta cheese in thick sticks.
2. Cut the tomatoes into rough pieces and roughly chop the basil
3. Put some olive oil into a sauté pan – and fry the cucumber on very low heat, 4-5 min
4. Add tomatoes, red onion and feta cheese – fry for 2-3 min more.
5. Turn down the chopped basil and olives – and serve.  Seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper on top.

Απολαύστε !!!!

Photos provided by:  Pepe Nilsson /  greeceathensaegeaninfo.com / photocarsonline.com / panoramio.com