Before the Livanos family opened Molyvos they wanted to be sure their food hit all the right notes. So they hired gifted chef Jim Botsacos and took him on a tour of the Greek isles, spending many nights dining and cooking in Greek homes. Jim’s immersion in Greek cuisine and his own bistro-influenced sensibility made an immediate impression on New York restaurant critics, including Ruth Reichl, whose three-star rave thanked Molyvos for reminding her “how truly wonderful Greek food can be.” Now, with The New Greek Cuisine, anyone can “go Greek” with flair.
While staying true to tradition, the recipes in The New Greek Cuisine bring everything to the next level by emphasizing ingredients and presentation and intensifying flavors. Home cooks can start small by learning to make marvelous mezes, including mussels with mint or a crustless leek and cheese pie. When it’s time to move on to entrees, there are plenty of tasty and satisfying options, from braised lamb shanks with orzo to plank-grilled prawns. Inventively simple sides such as roasted “cracked” potatoes with coriander and red wine, or comforting pastitsio, a Greek macaroni and cheese, could become new family favorites. And no Greek meal would be complete without desserts like semolina cake with yogurt and spoon sweets or easy pinwheel-shaped baklava.
Based on staples such as fish, whole grains, and olive oil, Greek food is not only healthy and delicious but offers a welcome break from other overexposed Mediterranean cuisines. And this richly illustrated cookbook by one of the new Greek’s most talented practitioners is the perfect way to discover its many delights.