Aegean Cookbook Giveaway & Quick Bites

Enter to win one of two copies of Aegean: Recipes from the Mountains to the Sea by Marianna Leivaditaki.

Aegean: Recipes from the Mountains to the Sea by Marianna Leivaditaki delivers an authentic approach to Cretan food and culture with contemporary flavor combinations. This book is all about eating natural, fresh food, and taking the time to enjoy it.

In Crete, the sea provides fish and seafood that is cooked simply, the land grows fruit and vegetables that are served as main meals and the mountains offer game and herbs. This book features sunny dishes that marry the water and earth with the region’s wild foods – but also reflects the fact that Marianna lives and works in London, and embraces ingredients and influences that come from the Mediterranean.

Our EYBDPreviewButton takes you inside this beautiful book and features the following EYBD Recipe Button

Beautiful photography fills this book of both the land, sea, people and food of this special region. A few of the recipes that have caught my attention include the Zucchini and feta fritters, Small fried pies with pastourma, cheese and dill, and Oven-baked potatoes with capers and anchovies. The dessert chapter is tempting with simple but elegant offerings including an Orange and broken filo pastry pie that I am anxious to try. I am starting to veer more toward seafood and vegetarian dishes myself but there are plenty of meat-centric dishes to please the carnivores at your table.

Marianna graciously took the time to answer a few questions for our members in our Quick Bites below.


Quick Bites

Marianna Leivaditaki is the head chef at Morito, Hackney Road. She grew up in Chania, Crete, where her father is a fisherman. They had a local seafood restaurant where Marianna helped in the kitchen from an early age. After studying forensic psychology in the UK, cycling around southern Europe, and volunteering in Ecuador, she went back to work in the family restaurant for two years. She returned to the UK and asked Sam and Sam Clark of Moro for a job at Moro and has worked for them ever since. She has written recipes for Guardian Cook, was on the front cover of Observer Food Monthly magazine, and helped to write the Morito cookbook. She is a judge of the Observer Food Monthly Awards.

Q: What first triggered your interest in cooking? What is your first cooking memory?

A: My entire childhood was spent in a kitchen. As a family, we owned a seafood restaurant in Chania, Crete where my father being the fisherman would catch the fish and we would sell it at the restaurant. I spent most of my evenings there in the hot, mad, very loud kitchen peeling potatoes and descaling fish.

I was also lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing ladies in the neighborhood that taught me about the land and introduced me to their amazing knowledge of their vegetable patches and wild food. But above all, I think my first memories are eating sea urchins straight from their shells by the water, with half a lemon held between my knees and a chunk of freshly baked bread. That’s still my favorite thing to eat to this day.

Q: If you had to describe your cooking style, what would it be?

A: My cooking style has evolved and developed into a style I really like and feel inspired by. My foundations were built in Crete, with lots of seafood, seasonal produce, and granny lessons. I then moved to England and worked in a farmers’ market that revealed the incredible ingredients and produce the UK has to offer. This really impressed me as I had no idea of the plethora of good stuff available here.

As time passed and I started my career as a chef I was truly taught and inspired by my mentors Samantha and Samuel Clark. I cooked at Moro for a number of years and the knowledge I acquired is invaluable. I found myself wanting to create the Greek food that I love and miss but with a more Eastern twist. More than anything, traveling and reading has been the most important force behind my food. I like to create “marriages” of cultures and dishes in a way that both parties feel beautifully represented.

Q: Are you a cookbook collector? If so, tell us about your collection – the number of books, favorite genre, favorite author? What you look for in a cookbook.

A: I own far too many cookbooks. I think last time I counted I was at about 150. This is a lot for me but I love every single one of them. My favourite thing to do is choose a pile and place it on the floor with a rug and a coffee and start looking at the pages hoping my brain and palate will be triggered and new ideas will be formed.

I love Tessa Kiros. Before I cooked in a professional kitchen I would spend hours reading her books and making her recipes. The way she writes about food, the recipes she chooses to share, and the photos that come with them have been truly inspirational for me.

Q: What is the best part of your job? Do you sometimes feel like working with food all day keeps you from wanting to get creative in the kitchen?

A: Being a chef can be tough at times. Long hours, intense services, and tiredness – especially with a young baby – can bring you down sometimes but the rewards are amazing and most of the time outweigh the difficult bits. You cannot be creative all the time and expecting to be will only be frustrating and counterproductive. Creativity in the kitchen can happen anywhere actually. It can happen at home, at work, while sharing a meal with friends or when driving your car to the petrol station. The most important thing for me is to embrace it when it comes and give it time to flourish and never force it to come because the end result will never be good.

Q: What is your go-to for a quick dinner?

A: Fried fresh fish with lots of lemon and a Cretan salad with barley rusks and fresh goat’s curd.

Q: What projects are you working on?

A: I have been doing quite a lot recently since my book got published. A few collaborations here in the UK with other chefs, lots of recipe testing and writing including article writing. I am also trying to build my website which is quite a lot of work admittedly.

Having conversations to initiate a project working with refugees and their favorite food memories and recipes, which I hope will happen and we can achieve a small publication for this. Some possible documentary work here and in the UK. And looking for new ways to do more writing as I love it.

Marianna has a gorgeous food hamper for holiday ordering on her site with 10 percent of the profits from same going to charity. For those in the UK this would make a special gift for someone you love – or yourself!

Special thanks to Marianna for providing us a look inside her busy life and to Interlink for providing two copies of this book in our giveaway below.

Special thanks to the publisher for offering two copies of this title to our members in the US and EYB is offering one copy worldwide. Entry options include answering the following questions in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index of this title would you make first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on February 7th, 2021.

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100 Comments

  • stepspior  on  November 17, 2020

    Breakfast hand pies

  • hbakke  on  November 17, 2020

    Prawns with ouzo, orzo and courgette

  • youngsvnnhrs  on  November 17, 2020

    Stuffed courgette flowers with fresh cheese and honey

  • Shelley.b  on  November 17, 2020

    Bakrd potatoes with prawns and smoked salmon mayonnaise

  • DarcyVaughn  on  November 17, 2020

    Grilled squid with graviera, rocket and lemon zest

  • Sanyo12  on  November 18, 2020

    Smoked and fresh fish fishcakes with capers and lemony aioli

  • lean1  on  November 18, 2020

    Cretan barley rusks with grated goat’s cheese

  • sarahawker  on  November 18, 2020

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • lene  on  November 18, 2020

    Zucchini and feta bake

  • Sophiecuisine  on  November 18, 2020

    Stuffed courgettes with lemon sauce

  • miggsy  on  November 18, 2020

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • debbiehb  on  November 18, 2020

    Rose Turkish Delight ice cream

  • jd5761  on  November 18, 2020

    stuffed courgettes with lemon sauce for me

  • dbranigan27  on  November 18, 2020

    I would try the Fried salt cod with beetroot and garlic mash .

  • calguire  on  November 19, 2020

    Octopus with red wine and black olive pasta

  • Siegal  on  November 19, 2020

    Semolina cake with syrup

  • nvernon  on  November 19, 2020

    Sea urchins on toast, if only I could get sea urchin here.

  • agreaves19  on  November 21, 2020

    Zucchini and feta bake

  • Plumbobmummy  on  November 21, 2020

    I’d like to make courgette and feta fritters

  • Breeze81  on  November 21, 2020

    Rose Turkish Delight ice cream

  • Sbst  on  November 21, 2020

    Cretan courgette and feta bake with sesame

  • Dendav  on  November 21, 2020

    Rose Turkish delight ice cream

  • maci234  on  November 21, 2020

    Prawns with ouzo, orzo and courgette

  • MarciK  on  November 21, 2020

    Baked potatoes stuffed with prawns and smoked salmon mayonnaise

  • ravensfan  on  November 21, 2020

    Ox tongue with caper and lemon butter

  • rubytue  on  November 22, 2020

    I’d like to make “Slow-cooked pork in apple juice with malotira, chickpea purée and leek and parsley sauce”

  • size_27  on  November 23, 2020

    Gotta love fresh squid: Grilled squid with graviera, rocket and lemon zest

  • southerncooker  on  November 23, 2020

    Meatball curry with rice or lamd curry wit turnips. Son and I love lamb so many of those recipes look sound great. This book is going on my wish list.

  • southerncooker  on  November 23, 2020

    Not sure what happenef but thought Id posted my previous comment about lamb recipes on another cookbook giveaway.

  • sequoia55  on  November 24, 2020

    Semolina cake with syrup

  • luccio  on  November 24, 2020

    Crispy filo, custard and Cretan mangoes

  • foodie16  on  November 24, 2020

    Raw artichokes with lemon and oil

  • maggz19671  on  November 24, 2020

    Zucchinni and feta bake

  • Jellyfish  on  November 25, 2020

    Ouzo cured trout with fennel and red onion salad. MMmmm

  • maisietoo  on  November 25, 2020

    Courgette & feta fritters sound nice.

  • fbrunetti  on  November 25, 2020

    Whole charcoal-grilled fish with lemon, oil and parsley

  • Breeze81  on  November 26, 2020

    Almond and raisin pastries with carob molasses

  • JessHeilman  on  November 26, 2020

    Zucchini and feta bake

  • LeMinou  on  November 27, 2020

    Breakfast hand pies

  • Mayandbill  on  November 27, 2020

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • hrk  on  November 27, 2020

    Cretan courgette and feta bake with sesame

  • JenThomas318  on  November 27, 2020

    Stuffed vine leaves with rice and carrots

  • roxlet  on  November 28, 2020

    Semolina cake with syrup

  • ruthdenton  on  November 29, 2020

    spicy summer salad with clams and capers

  • Jenniferw88  on  November 29, 2020

    Will try anything from the cookbook – we love visiting the Greek islands!

  • silversand  on  November 29, 2020

    Blanched greens with olive oil, lemon, chopped tomato and garlic (Horta)

  • ChicagoJen  on  November 29, 2020

    Beef with dried figs and instant pickled salad

  • RuthHarwood  on  December 1, 2020

    Rose Turkish Delight ice cream – delish!!

  • lpatterson412  on  December 2, 2020

    Cretan phyllo pies of mutton and wild greens with burnt butter yogurt!

  • vhfvhf  on  December 2, 2020

    Almond and raisin pastries with carob molasses

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  December 3, 2020

    the watermelon, charred feta and bread salad with mint found on page 98

  • ljsimmons  on  December 4, 2020

    Pan-fried prawns with Metaxa

  • antpantsii  on  December 4, 2020

    I love grilled squid so it would be
    Grilled squid with graviera, rocket and lemon zest

  • Dannausc  on  December 5, 2020

    Sea urchins on toast

  • Steben  on  December 5, 2020

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • RickPearson54  on  December 7, 2020

    breakfast hand pies

  • kmn4  on  December 9, 2020

    Rose Turkish Delight ice cream

  • t.t  on  December 12, 2020

    Lamb kofte with parsley salad

  • Floragpap  on  December 14, 2020

    Always trying to go back to my roots when it comes to cooking and feel our usual repertoire of family recipes needs expanding so getting my hands on this book would make my day!

  • Pizzacat13  on  December 17, 2020

    Mutton and Spinach rice with Goat’s butter

  • Emwitting  on  December 20, 2020

    Fried rabbit

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  December 21, 2020

    I would like to make the Bitter leaf salad with grape molasses, grapes and crispy fish skin.

  • v.t  on  December 22, 2020

    A cruciferous vegetable salad with pomegranates

  • choppergirl  on  December 24, 2020

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • ceejayen  on  December 27, 2020

    Octopus with red wine and black olive pasta

  • clairew137  on  December 27, 2020

    Breakfast hand pies

  • dbielick  on  December 27, 2020

    Baked potatoes stuffed with prawns and smoked salmon mayonnaise

  • moralla  on  December 27, 2020

    Baked potatoes stuffed with prawns and smoked salmon mayonnaise

  • Kduncan  on  December 28, 2020

    Slow-cooked pork in apple juice with malotira, chickpea purée and leek and parsley sauce

  • dzm  on  December 29, 2020

    courgette and feta fritters

  • michelle666  on  January 3, 2021

    Semolina cake with syrup

  • beckwalks  on  January 4, 2021

    breakfast hand pies

  • Tutu81  on  January 5, 2021

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • Sand9  on  January 5, 2021

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • Welsh1  on  January 6, 2021

    Grilled squid with graviera, rocket and lemon zest.

  • friendlyperson  on  January 8, 2021

    Stuffed courgette flowers with fresh cheese and honey. Delicious.

  • CapeCodCook  on  January 8, 2021

    The Pan-fried prawns with Metaxa sound delicious and easy!

  • Hedgehog101  on  January 9, 2021

    Rose Turkish Delight Ice Cream

  • Laura1419  on  January 9, 2021

    I would like to make the whole charcoal grilled fish

  • shahedc  on  January 10, 2021

    Baked potatoes stuffed with prawns and smoked salmon mayonnaise

  • aesop57  on  January 10, 2021

    breakfast hand pies

  • elisabeta  on  January 10, 2021

    Zucchini and feta bake

  • MrRichTea  on  January 10, 2021

    spicy summer salad with clams and capers

  • Ishtar  on  January 11, 2021

    Fried rabbit with rosemary and vinegar

  • bookmark77  on  January 13, 2021

    Rose Turkish Delight ice cream

  • bookmark58  on  January 13, 2021

    Stuffed vine leaves with rice and carrots

  • Munchkinnerd3  on  January 13, 2021

    Rose Turkish Delight ice cream! Sounds delicious

  • libcmr  on  January 14, 2021

    Stuffed courgettes with lemon sauce I think

  • Caadamson  on  January 17, 2021

    Courgette and feta fritters I’m always after ideas for the masses of courgette I always end up with

  • DimensionAEB  on  January 20, 2021

    Semolina cake with syrup

  • jrhymer  on  January 20, 2021

    Slow-cooked pork in apple juice with malotira, chickpea purée and leek and parsley sauce sound so lovely x

  • PatBarrett  on  January 20, 2021

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • Dessallara  on  January 21, 2021

    Courgette & feta fritters

  • sheridarby  on  January 21, 2021

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • Chilledout  on  January 22, 2021

    I’d love to try Cod and clams with smoked spicy gazpacho and bread salad. Sounds delicious, and our local morrisons sells clams.

  • andyszym  on  January 22, 2021

    Fried salt cod with beetroot and garlic mash

  • Isis1981uk  on  January 22, 2021

    Whole charcoal-grilled fish with lemon, oil and parsley

  • pluckypuddin  on  January 23, 2021

    Rose Turkish Delight ice cream sounds amazing, would definitely have to try that. I think it would make a perfect Summer dessert.

  • Poppyjoey  on  January 23, 2021

    Courgette and feta fritters

  • bonosfly  on  January 23, 2021

    The roasted lamb breast with spicy feta sauce sounds delicious

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