Greek Cooking Class: Spanakopita, Greek Salad, Baba Ganouj, Green Hummus, Couscous (and Chocolate Baklava)
Tonight in my cooking class, my students prepared tasty Greek and Mediterranean dishes. We had spanakopita with fresh spinach, a flavored pesto tofu, onions, spices, and filo dough; I couldn't find it, but sometimes also use Sunergia Soyfoods' organic vegan "feta cheese". It came out nice and flaky with good flavor.
We also had a (too?) garlicky "green hummus" (by mixing in parsley to the main ingredients like tahini, chickpeas, and garlic) and baba ganouj (similar but roasting an eggplant and using it instead of chickpeas). We had couscous sprinkled with fresh pomegranate kernels and a delicious Greek salad with cabbage, Kalamata olives, bell peppers, and other vegetables, plus lime juice and olive oil. Not shown here, we had chocolate baklava as well, always a hit; this time the bottom got a little burnt, so I need to update my recipe I give to my students to specify top oven rack baking.
We had a very nice anniversary dinner last night at Il Palio, one of our area's finest Italian dining restaurants, associated with a European style boutique hotel. I arranged with the chef a 3-course vegan menu. They started with an additional simple but tasty arugula salad course that the chef wanted us to try. They had quite fresh arugula and mixed in some olive oil and a lot of lemon. Then we had an excellent polenta dish. The polenta was in the shape of thick triangles and was sauteed, and served with crispy sauteed mushrooms - wow! After one more main course, a tasty sorbet finished up the meal.