Traditional cooking recipes of Lesvos island

Dips Dishes Deserts
Stuffed Pumpkin Flowers Mushroom Balls Amigdalota Sikaminias
Aubergine Balls Kiskek Baklava from Gera
Choriatiki salad Liokafta Platzeda
Chick-peas with meat Halvas with syrup
Stuffed Calamari Melomacarona
Stuffed Lamb
Beef with green Beans

Stuffed Pumpkin Flowers:

Ingredients:
25-30 pumpkin flowers, 1/4 kilo of feta cheese, 2 eggs, 1/2 glass of ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, oil for frying. For the batter: 2 glasses of flour, 1 glass of water, 1 egg and 1/2 tea-spoonful of salt.

Preparation:
Prepare and wash the pumpkin flowers. Mash the feta cheese into a bowl, add the ricotta cheese, the 2 eggs and some pepper. Mix well. Fill each pumpkin flower with one spoonful from the filling, dip one by one into the batter and fry in hot oil both sides.


Aubergine Balls:

Ingredients:
2 kilos of aubergines, 2 eggs, 1 cup of crushed rusk bread, 1 spoonful of oregano, 2 spoonfuls of mint, 1 spoonful of salt, 1/2 spoonful of pepper, 5 cloves of garlic, some vinegar, 1 cup of olive oil from Mytilene.

Preparation:
Bake the aubergines and put them through blender. Put the mixture into a bowl together with the crushed rusk bread and add the rest of the ingredients after they are put through blender as well. If the mixture is not thick enough add some more crushed rusk bread to it. Mould into small balls and coat them with flour. Fry them into hot oil and serve with wine or ouzo from Mytilene.


Mushroom Balls:

Ingredients:
10 big fresh mushrooms, 1 onion, 4 slices of stale bread soaked in water, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, olive oil for frying.

Preparation:
Wash and cut the mushrooms into small pieces. Salt them and let them dry. Chop the onion and combine with the soaked bread and the rest of the ingredients into a bowl. Mould into small balls. Coat them with flour and fry into hot oil. They are served with ouzo so you might as well add a small cup of it into the mixture.


Kiskek:

Ingredients:
1 kilo of wheat (with its husk removed), 1,5 kilo of lamb and real with fat, 1 table spoonful of cumin, 1/2 kilo of butter, 5 onions.

Preparation:
Boil the wheat, then drain it and boil again. In another saucepan boil the meat with the onions and after you have drained it remove the bones and add with the wheat. Mash the mixture either with the traditional way “kouskouda” or in the blender. Add hot butter to the mixture and serve with cumin.


Liokafta (the fisherman’s favorite dish):

Ingredients:
1 kilo of fish (i.e. mackerel, tuna fish), salt, pepper, oregano.

Preparation:
Clean the fish removing the head, innards and scales. Open them in half and add salt, pepper and oregano in between. Tie their tails with a string and hang them to dry into the sun for a day or two (keep away the flies). Broil them on a well heated grill and after they’re cooked evenly coat them with oil and lemon.


Chick-peas with meat:

Ingredients:
1 kilo of chick-peas, 1 kilo of veal, 1/2 kilo of onions, 1 cup of olive oil, 1/2 kilo of tomato paste, 1 spoonful of soda, 1 tea-spoonful of salt.

Preparation:
Put the peas into lukewarm water and salt to soak overnight. In the morning strain them and put them in a bowl, mix them with soda. Allow them to stand in the soda for about half an hour and then wash them with plenty of running water. Boil them into plenty of water for 1 hour. Put the meat on to heat with the onions and the oil and turn it so that it browns evenly. Add water and when the meat is ready (tender). Put the peas in the meat with the tomato paste and pepper and when they are soft add half spoonful of salt.


Amigdalota (Sugared Almonds) from Sikaminia:

Ingredients:
1 kilo of almond kernels, 1 kilo of sugar, 3 glasses of water, 1 coffee cup of rose-water, 1/4 kilo of caster sugar.

Preparation:
Boil the almonds so as to remove their skin and let them dry. Crush them finely. Put the water and sugar into a saucepan and boil them so as to make a syrup (not too thick) and add the crushed almond kernels stirring with a WOODEN spoon. Before the mixture becomes too thick add the rose-water and stir for a few more minutes. Let it cool and mould into different shapes of your likeness. Finally coat with caster sugar.


Baklava from Gera:

Ingredients:
1 kilo of ready-made sheets of f fyllo pastry, 1 kilo of almond kernels (with their skin removed and roughly crushed), 5-6 bitter almonds, 1 tea-cup of fresh butter, 1 tea-cup of fine semolina.

Preparation:
Mix the almonds with the semolina. In a square baking pan covered with butter spread 5-6 sheets of pastry and sprinkle with the almonds and so on. When you reach the top of the pan spread a few more sheets of pastry (5-6) so that it won’t burn while baked. Mark out the baklava with a knife into diamond shaped pieces and put fresh butter in between and all over the pan. In each piece plug a clove in its center so that the pastry won’t be removed during the baking. Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour.

Syrup:
2 kilos of sugar, 4 glasses of water, 1 spoonful of lemon juice. Boil the ingredients until it becomes thick. Remove from the heat and add half a glass of rose-water. Pour the syrup of the baklava and leave a couple of hours to absorb.


Platzeda:

Ingredients:
1 kilo of ready-made sheets of fyllo pastry, 1 kilo of walnut kernel, 1/2 glass of sugar, 1 nutmeg, 1 coffee-cup olive oil.

Preparation:
Cover the baking pan with oil. Grind the walnuts, spread 2 sheets of pastry and after mixing the nutmeg, sugar and walnuts together sprinkle them over the pastry and add some oil. Continue until you reach the top of the pan and coat the last sheet of pastry with oil. Cut to pieces and bake into moderate oven until it’s brown. Pour the already prepared syrup all over it.

Syrup:
5 glasses of sugar, 2 glasses of water, 1/2 lemon.


Halvas with must syrup:

Ingredients:
5 eggs, 1 glass of must syrup, 1 glass of sugar, 1 glass of hot water, 1 glass of oil, 2 tea-spoonfuls of soda, 1 glass of walnuts, flour, sesame seeds.

Preparation:
In a bowl mix the eggs with sugar and the oil and then add the must syrup. Fill a glass with hot water and dissolve the soda. Then add the walnuts. Finally mix adding the flour until the mixture is thick enough. Cover a pan with the oil and put the halva inside. Sprinkle sesame all over it and bake in already warm oven at 160oC.


Peasant Salad (Choriatiki)

Ingredients (5-6 servings):
2 medium-sized tomatoes, 1 medium-sized onion, half a cucumber rocket greens, 1 green pepper fresh mint, feta cheese, black olives, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation:
Peel and cut the tomatoes and place then in a salad bowl. Wash the rocket greens, cut them into large pieces. Seed and cut the green pepper. Peel and slice the cucumber. Peel and dice the onion and rinse it in a sieve, pushing the water out with your fingers. Wash and finely chop the mint. Add all the above ingredients to the salad. Add the onion, the feta cheese, the olives, the oil and vinegar and the seasonings.
If you want to prepare the salad in advance, do not add the salt until the last minute because the salt makes the tomatoes watery.


Stuffed calamari

Ingredients (5-6 servings):
1 kilo medium-sized (10-12 cm.) calamari (squid), 1 cup rice for stuffing, 1 1/2 cups olive oil 2 medium-sized onions, diced 1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and diced salt & pepper, 1 level tablespoon sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, a good amount of parsley finely chopped black currants and pine nuts (optional).

Preparation:
Wash and clean the calamari by removing the backbone and dice the tentacles. Rinse the rice and place it in a bowl with the calamari. Heat the oil through in a large frying pan and brown the diced onions. When they become transparent, add the calamari tentacles, rice, seasonings, sugar, currants, pine nuts and a small glass of water. When the water evaporates, remove the pan from the burner and add the chopped parsley.
Stuff the calamari hoods halfway with the stuffing and thread the opening closed with a toothpick. Place them in a saucepan and cover them with the tomato and let them simmer.
If you have some stuffing left over, peel and dice a tomato and add it with its juice and a little water to the leftover stuffing. Simmer it until cooked through and use it to garnish the calamari. You can also add a tablespoon of orange zest to the leftover stuffing.


Stuffed lamb from Mytilene

Ingredients (5-6 servings):
The torso of a lamb without the head or legs, the juice of 1 lemon salt & pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 heaping tablespoons cooking grease, 2 cups rice half of the lamb liver cut into small pieces, 2 large onions diced, 1 medium-sized potato cubed, two slices of bread without the crust cubed, 2 level tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons black currants, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, parsley finely chopped, mustard.
Wash the lamb thoroughly and rub it with the lemon juice. Season it with the salt and pepper.

Stuffing:
Rinse the rice. In a deep frying pan heat the olive oil and grease and separately brown the potato cubes, the bread cubes and the liver. Brown the onions and add the rice. While they saut� add the browned potato, bread and liver cubes, the currants and the rest of the ingredients. Saut� the whole mixture and add a small glass of water. Let it simmer for a few minutes and remove the pan from the burner. Add the chopped parsley.

Preparation:
Stuff the lamb with the mixture and sew it up using toothpicks or skewers. Place it in a large roasting pan, spread mustard over the lamb and cover the pan with aluminum foil or grease paper. Roast it at 100 oC for 5-6 hours. Then remove the foil of paper, turn the heat up, and cook until brown.
The lamb can also be roasted in a clay baking dish covered at 200 oC for 3 hours.


Beef with Green Beans

Ingredients (5-6 servings):
1 kilo of boneless beef, 1 kilo green beans, 1 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 large onions. diced, 2 ripe tomatoes peeled and diced (or 1/2 a can diced tomatoes), 1 seasoning cube, 2 cloves of garlic, parsley finely chopped, 1 level teaspoon sugar salt & pepper to taste.

Preparation:
Cut the beef into serving portions and saut� it in 1 cup of the olive oil along with the diced onions. Add tomatoes, cube, seasonings, sugar, parsley, a little water and let it simmer.
Clean the beans, saut� them in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and when the beef is about half cooked, add the beans to the meat. Let the whole mixture simmer until all the water has evaporated.


Traditional Christmas honey biscuits (Melomacarona)

Ingredients (two bratces):
2 water glasses olive oil, 1/2 water glass cognac, 1/2 water glass fresh orange juice, 1 water glass sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda all – purpose flour.

Preparation:
Beat all the ingredients except the flour and then add as much flour it takes to make the batter manageable (not too runny or too hard) beating after each addition. Form the batter into finger – length oval shapes and place them on grease paper on baking sheets. Bake in moderate oven at 200 oC for about an hour.

Syrup:
In the mean time, prepare the syrup by boiling 1 glass of sugar in 2 glasses of water and 2 tablespoons of honey until the sugar dissolves. When it cools, pour the syrup over the warm biscuits. If the biscuits have already cooled, then pour warm syrup over them. Sprinkle them with cinnamon and finely chopped walnuts.