Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Three Sisters Back to the Beginning: Timeless Greek Recipes Made Simple

"Food is Love": The Bakopoulos Sisters' Second Cookbook

During my early twenties I had the opportunity to live in Greece. It is a country of islands, olive groves, mountains, and gorgeous azure water. Greeks are a passionate bunch, and place a lot of value on food and family.

Last month we held a book launch for the Sisters Bakopoulos (Betty, Eleni, and Samantha), who were launching their new cookbook, Three Sisters Back To The Beginning: Timeless Greek Recipes Made Simple. It was an evening of good folks, good food, good drink, and some fantastic biodynamic olive oil from Acropolis Organics.

The sisters' first cookbook, Three Sisters Around The Greek Table, received international acclaim by winning the Gourmand Award for best foreign cookbook in Canada in 2009, first place at the New York Book Festival, and fourth place at the Best in the World competition in Paris, France.

We tasted a number of canapes throughout the evening, including grilled halloumi cheese, warmed citrus olives, shrimp saganaki, shrimp and orzo salad, red lentil soup, and lamb burgers. All of them were delicious, but halloumi cheese is my new favourite appetizer. Try this recipe—it will become a staple in your household!

Grilled Halloumi

A tasty, salty, and squeaky cheese made in Cyprus. It is made from sheep’s and goat’s milk, and can withstand very high temperatures, making it an ideal cheese for grilling or frying. Try it on vegetarian skewers for added protein.

Serves 4


4 halloumi cheese slices, ¼-inch (6 mm) thick
Olive oil for greasing


2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh mint, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh red chili pepper, deseeded, minced
2 Kalamata olives, sliced

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Brush both sides of the halloumi cheese with olive oil and place in the hot skillet. Cook cheese on both sides until cheese has a golden-brown colour, about 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer grilled cheese to a serving platter.

In a separate small bowl whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together and drizzle over the cheese. Serve warm.

Alternatively: Halloumi can also be grilled on a barbecue.

If you like this recipe, there are dozens more Mediterranean delicacies in the Bakopoulos sisters' new cookbook. Do your taste buds and your stomach a favour and pick up your copy at The Bookshelf.

Thanks for throwing a fantastic party ladies!


- Ben

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