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Talking Greek food with Theodore Kyriakou: Five classic Greek recipes to try at home tonight

Greece’s culinary tradition dates back hundreds of years and has evolved over time to absorb many diverse influences. Many well-known Greek dishes are in fact part of the larger tradition of the food of the Ottoman Empire, with classic dishes such as moussaka, börek and tzatziki having Arabic, Persian and Turkish roots.

With the growing popularity of Greek food here in the UK we’ve enlisted the help of leading Greek chef Theodore Kyriakou to help us cook some delicious and healthy Greek dishes in the comfort of our own kitchen. Theodore was credited with changing the image of Greek food when he opened the ‘Real Greek’ restaurant in London’s Hoxton Market. He went on to expand the ‘Real Greek’ chain of restaurants by opening The Souvlaki & Bar in Clerkenwell and numerous other locations throughout London before selling the chain. He has since opened The Greek Larder restaurant in London’s King’s Cross.

Here he picks five of his best recipes

Htipiti – Red peppers with feta

Htipiti - Red peppers with feta
Htipiti – Red peppers with feta

300gr banana shallots, peeled
120ml Odysea Extra Virgin Olive Oil
500gr preserved red peppers
400gr Odysea feta cheese
1/4 bunch thyme, picked
Sea salt & freshly grounded black pepper

1.) Cut the onions in half, brush them with olive oil, salt them and put them in the oven.
2.) Roast for about 30 minutes or until soft.
3.) By hand, coarsely chop the peppers and the cooked onions.
4.) Crumble feta cheese and add it to the pepper and onion mix.
5.) Add the remaining olive oil and thyme.
6.) Serve it with grilled pitta bread

Kefalotyri saganaki & potato gnocchi

>Kefalotyri saganaki & potato gnocchi
>Kefalotyri saganaki & potato gnocchi

250gr gnocchi
200ml extra virgin olive oil
4 x 80gr pieces of kefalotyri
150gr all-purpose flour
Ice-cold water
30 sage leaves
A good knob of butter, melted
½ lemon
Sea salt & freshly grounded black pepper

1.) Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil over medium heat. Add the gnocchi (drop onto base of pan in a single layer, but don’t overcrowd as they can stick together) and cook until they rise to the surface. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle over some olive oil & cover with cling film to keep warm.

2.) Dip the cheese in ice-cold water and then into flour so that you cover all sides. Repeat and then shake off excess flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the cheese until golden on all sides, turning as necessary.
Rub about 30 sage leaves in your hand to release the flavour, then fry for a few seconds until they darken slightly. Lift out and drain on paper towel.

3.) Put the kefalotyri saganaki & gnocchi in a serving bowl and scatter over the sage. Drizzle over a little melted butter and then finish with a grating of black pepper.

4.) Serve immediately with a lemon drizzle.

Caper & tomato yachni

 Caper & tomato yachni
Caper & tomato yachni

500gr button onions, peeled & left whole
100ml Odysea extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled & left whole
100gr, capers, strained & rinsed well
1 jar (330ml each) Odysea Perasti
1 whole cinnamon stick (medium size)
Sea salt & a few pieces of fresh thyme

1.) In a saucepan add whole onions, garlic cloves & cinnamon stick and cook over a very low heat with the lid on until are softened.
2.) When the onions are 70% cooked, add the tomatoes and finish cooking together.
3.) Stir in the capers and take off the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning.
4.) Serve the sauce warm with either grilled fish or lamb.

Salad of R&Y peppers, roasted peaches & Aegina pistachios & strained Greek yoghurt

  Salad of R&Y peppers, roasted peaches & Aegina pistachios & strained Greek yoghurt
Salad of R&Y peppers, roasted peaches & Aegina pistachios & strained Greek yoghurt

4 peaches, not overripe
1 knob of butter at room temperature
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
1 jar Odysea red & yellow peppers, sliced quarterly
100gr pistachios
50ml Odysea virgin olive oil
40ml Odysea balsamic vinegar
Sea salt & freshly grounded black pepper
4 tbsp strained Greek yoghurt

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
2.) Cut in half the peaches & remove the stone.
3.) In a small bowl add the butter, sugar & cinnamon and mix until combined well and turned into a loose paste.
4.) Heat grill to high.
5.) Rub peaches with the butter mix and grill until golden brown and just cooked through. Let them cool down.
6.) Place them in a mixing bowl, add the peppers & pistachios, add olive oil & balsamic vinegar and mix well. Add thyme & adjust seasoning. Adjust seasoning and serve with strained Greek yoghurt.

Chocolate sorbet, Odysea’s organic olive oil & Greek basil

Chocolate sorbet, Odysea’s organic olive oil & Greek basil
Chocolate sorbet, Odysea’s organic olive oil & Greek basil

500ml water
125g cocoa
250g golden caster sugar
100g dark chocolate chips, 58.5% (this is a dairy free version)
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
30ml Odysea organic olive oil
Some Greek basil (if not available use other fresh basil)

1.) Heat the water, sugar and cocoa powder together, stirring, until everything is smoothly mixed.
2.) Allow to cool a little then add the chocolates, stir to melt.
3.) Add the cinnamon & salt.
4.) Leave to sit in the fridge for a few hours to make sure the flavours mature and the mixture cools properly.
5.) Freeze in an ice-cream maker and store in the freezer.
6.) Serve with a few drops of Odysea’s organic olive oil & some Greek basil leaves

All the recipes above have been created by Theodore Kyriakou from The Greek Larder in partnership with Odysea.

Specialists in supplying a touch of the real Greece and Eastern Mediterranean to the UK market, Odysea proudly offer hand selected traditionally cured Greek olives, premium Greek extra virgin olive oils, feta and traditional Greek cheeses, Greek meze, Greek honey and specialty products.

Best known for launching ‘Livebait’ in 1995 and ‘The Real Greek’ in 1999, Theodore opened ‘The Greek Larder’ in Autumn 2014 serving Greek regional produce from unique food producers, exploring the rich culinary history and fabulous offerings of the Eastern Mediterranean basin. A restaurant and delicatessen open 7 days a week with a distinctive menu that captures the tastes, flavours and very essence of Greece and the Aegean.