The Olive and the Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking by Susanna Hoffman

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    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: country bread; olive oil
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: kasseri cheese; dried oregano; bread
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: Greek olives; parsley or basil
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    • Categories: Salads; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: eggplants; store-cupboard ingredients; bread
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    • Categories: Salads; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: eggplants; tomatoes; parsley; mint; dried oregano; dry mustard; bread
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    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: eggplants; yogurt; basil; Kalamata olives; red onions; bread
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    • Categories: Salads; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: green beans; fresh peas in pods; carrots; baby lima beans; baby red potatoes; capers; store-cupboard ingredients
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    • Categories: Salads; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: red peppers; yellow peppers; green peppers; store-cupboard ingredients
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: kasseri cheese; dried oregano; capers; country bread
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    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: dried chickpeas; tahini; ground cumin; coriander seeds; parsley; country bread
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    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: Italian bread; tarama; shallots; cilantro; olives; country bread
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    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: potatoes; tarama; olive oil; cilantro; olives; country bread
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    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: Italian bread; potatoes; tarama; shallots; cilantro; olives; country bread
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    • Categories: Rice dishes; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: dried currants; golden raisins; retsina wine; grape leaves; Arborio rice; pine nuts; dill; mint
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: porcini mushrooms; cremini mushrooms; button mushrooms; fennel; thyme; dry white wine
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: country bread; ground beef; kefalotyri cheese; mint; parsley; dried oregano; almonds; store-cupboard ingredients
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    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: beef; dried oregano; bay leaves; country bread
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: lamb livers; marjoram; dried oregano; store-cupboard ingredients
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: loukanika sausage; country bread; Kalamata olives; canned anchovies; capers; basil; store-cupboard ingredients
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: smelts; cornmeal; retsina wine; dried oregano; lemons
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: canned anchovies; olive oil; red wine vinegar; parsley; country bread
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: baby squid; parsley; lemons; ground cayenne pepper; peanut oil
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: parsley; dried oregano; shrimp; tomatoes; Kalamata olives; lemons; white peppercorns; capers; salt
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: lemons; dried oregano; parsley; octopus; white peppercorns; olives
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    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Greek
    • Ingredients: octopus; retsina wine; bay leaves; fennel; mustard seeds; parsley
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Notes about this book

  • sck on July 31, 2010

    I love this book. It's a fun read, and the recipes are simple and delicious. My favorite recipe so far is the Chicken Kapama (flavored with coffee and tomatoes).

  • jknows on March 07, 2010

    Good read and good cooking information

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Tzatziki

    • Breadcrumbs on March 25, 2012

      p. 465 – This is my absolute favourite Tzatziki recipe. Ingredients are all fairly standard however the acid in this version is red wine vinegar instead of the usual (or at least in my case) lemon juice. I have to say we loved this version, maybe even more than my usual version and the ones in AMFT and Arabesque. It was very good and perhaps a little more mellow. Somehow the vinegar served to take a bit of the bite out of this dish. Really great. I’m making it again tomorrow as we ran out of this version and still have appetizers to serve!!

    • TrishaCP on July 26, 2015

      This is probably the best tzatziki that I have made flavor-wise. I didn't do a good job with squeezing the water from the cucumber, so it could have been thicker. Next time I will probably just use Greek yogurt and not fuss with the cucumber. My version just used mint (since that is what I had) and it was lovely.

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I had leftover Beef Kapama from the other night, and decided to use it in Greek-ish tacos. I made the tzatziki to accompany, with several other taco additions. I made approximately a half recipe. It's hard to tell what a "small cucumber" is; I used half of an English cucumbet, and a combination of mint and dill. I thought this was delicious; I had some difficulty not just eating it all with a spoon! Without a doubt one of the best tzatzikis I have eaten. I enjoyed the process also, I did the salt and garlic, and then the herbs, with a mezzaluna, which I found much more rewarding than any kind of electric chopper or processor (which I am prone to rely upon)!

    • Delys77 on March 30, 2012

      Tzatziki Pg. 465 This makes a lovely thick sauce for dipping or topping meats such as kebabs. Really nice flavour and I love her technique of mining the garlic with the salt. I added a bit of pepper, a bit more salt, and a bit more acid. Tasty!

  • Sesame-crusted roast chicken in tahini and caper sauce

    • Breadcrumbs on June 29, 2015

      p. 416 - Admittedly, I'm a little late to the party but over 3 yrs later, I'm finally getting around to trying this (seriously, where does the time go, I remember this COTM like yesterday!!). The cooking gods must have been shining upon me today. No shattered baking dishes, no separated sauce, just one delicious sesame-crusted chicken with that tangy-caper sauce that just takes this dish from good to great IMHO. This was a whole new way to roast a chicken for me (covered @ high heat) and a fresh new way to season the humble bird. We loved everything about this dish. I served steamed rice with scallions, black olives, feta and a drizzle of oregano-infused evoo and a Greek salad alongside. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1017720?commentId=9624031#9624031

    • amraub on March 14, 2012

      Sauce seizes and separates very easily, but is still delicious.

  • Potato skordalia

    • Breadcrumbs on March 25, 2012

      p. 461 We love Skordalia and have enjoyed it at a number of Greek restaurants. Until now, I’d never made the potato version. While we enjoyed Ms Hoffman’s version, I have to say that we do prefer our T&T favourite from Martha. I think that this author’s version suffers for being prepared in the food processor which, despite my efforts to ensure I didn’t over-mix still managed to produce a gelatinous textured spread. I do think it would be best to combine by hand. Also I found the quantity of garlic and olive oil to be extremely excessive. The recipe calls for 1 cup of olive oil and I used 1/4 cup. It also calls for 15 cloves of garlic which I found to be an outrageous amount. I’d love to see how this recipe compares to those in other books. Nevertheless, this still was a tasty dish that everyone enjoyed. One of my guests even asked for the recipe. I’d also love to try this w roasted garlic vs fresh.

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I did use the full 15 cloves of garlic with ONE potato. I held back on the olive oil however, probably using a quarter of the amount called for. I like skordalia with a mashed potato consistency, and thought it would be too liquid with a cup of olive oil (not to mention, too oily). So the end result? Edible, but much too garlicky! And I never say that. I usually pair skordalia with roasted beets, but in a hurry last night, I purchased some beets tossed in vinaigrette. This worked OK, and was certainly easy. I will be trying to salvage this dish by adding some additional boiled potatoes and ground almonds. After dinner I found my regular skordalia recipe. It calls for 5 cloves of garlic to a pound of potatoes!

    • Hana.Sundet on September 01, 2022

      I ordered skordalia once in Greece, but I only remember liking it, so I was glad to find out what is called and how to make it! This is my first time cooking it, but I heeded the caution of over processing the potatoes and altered my plan. First, I cooked my (several small) potatoes whole in the same pot as some split fava bean soup. Then I processed the almonds, garlic, salt. Added the vinegar, and on a whim drizzled the oil in while processing to somewhat emulsify. Added the whole potatoes and pulsed about five times, then done! Creamy, punchy, great as a bread dip, kept sneaking a fingerful, and we put it on our fava bean soup. Didn't overwhelm me with the garlic, but I imagine that larger cloves or less potato could have altered my opinion. Plenty of leftovers, and I'll certainly make it again. So glad I could return to this dish I enjoyed in the past!

  • Sautéed chicken with shallots, tomatoes, capers, and sage

    • Breadcrumbs on November 16, 2010

      p. 411 - Nov 2010, first use of this recipe which I selected because it looked quick and easy, contained ingredients I had on hand and, fit with my Mediterranean inspired menu. This recipe delivered on all counts and produced a delicious, flavourful dish with a rich-tasting sauce that gave the appearance of being cooked for a much longer timeframe. Changes I made to the recipe were the substitution of canned Italian tomatoes for the fresh (which were flavourless from the supermarket this week) and, I also added 2 tsp of fresh, chopped garlic. I cooked with 4 bone-in, skin-on chx breasts and had to extend the simmering time to account for the fact that these breasts were massive. This worked out well as it allowed the sauce flavours to further develop. I served this over some steamed brown rice. Fabulous dish. 9

  • New potatoes with mint and spring onions

    • Breadcrumbs on March 19, 2012

      p. 278 – Really just boiled potatoes tossed with EVOO & herbs. Nonetheless, a simple, tasty preparation. I’d make these again. I tossed some fresh chives from the garden (yes, in March) and they were lovely.

  • Ground lamb kebabs with sorrel and pine nuts (Sousakakia souvlaki)

    • Breadcrumbs on March 25, 2012

      p. 391 - Delicious dish that had immediate appeal when I spotted it in the book. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find Sorrel which has such a lovely flavour so instead, I ended up using spinach which the author notes as a suitable substitute. FYI, instead of giving the chopped leaves a quick blanch as the recipe directs, I elected to steam them since I find that process to be quicker and, less messy. Prep couldn’t be simpler. Instead of pine nuts I used ground almonds instead. Also, in place of the coriander, I tossed in some chopped fresh dill since I had some on hand to use up and, some dried oregano. The mixture is then shaped into logs and grilled. While the Kebabs were tasty on their own, once combined w the Beet Tzatziki they really shone. The sweet, earthiness of the beets and the tang of the yogurt really elevated all the flavours in the lamb. Tonight we also served the regular Tzatziki from this book – a wonderful recipe that’s been my go-to for a couple of years now.

    • amraub on March 21, 2012

      Excellent with beet tzatziki.

    • Delys77 on March 30, 2012

      Pg. 391 Very tasty and easy to put together kebabs. I couldn't find sorrel so I went with spinach and just a touch of lemon. Broiled for about 6 minutes per side on high, keeping a very close eye on them. The result is a very tasty kebab with excellent texture from the egg and the pinenuts. Service wrapped in a pita with some of the lovely tzatziki from this book.

  • Beet tzatziki

    • Breadcrumbs on March 25, 2012

      p. 467 Full disclosure, this recipe did not appeal to me when I flipped through the book and, if it hadn’t been called for as an accompaniment to the Ground Lamb Kebabs I was making, I don’t think I’d even bothered to try it. So fast forward several hours and I’m delighted to report that I gave this a try as we absolutely LOVED this dish with and without the Lamb Kebabs. The earthiness of the beets play beautifully w the tang of the Greek Yogurt and in our case, proved to be the perfect partner to the unctuous flavours of the lamb. I prepared my recipe w roasted candy cane beets so I didn’t achieve the vibrantly coloured dish that others report. Instead my Tzatziki was pinkish in colour. We enjoyed this very much, I know this healthy dish will be part of our regular rotation.

    • amraub on March 21, 2012

      Loved the bright colour. Diced very finely and texture was okay. Great with lamb kebabs.

    • Delys77 on March 12, 2012

      Pg. 467 The result looks like a chemical spill because of the intense pink from the beets, it is really unappealing. The actual flavour is pretty good, but I would suggest grating the beets instead of dicing. All that said the colour is just too bizarre for me.

  • A mix of mushrooms marinated in wine, fennel, and thyme

    • ccav on February 21, 2016

      Made this without porcinis, and with white wine vinegar (in lesser amount) in place of white wine. Excellent flavors, very similar to mushroom dish had at Greek restaurant which we had hoped to replicate.

  • Bulgur and vegetable pilaf

    • amraub on March 10, 2012

      Can use any veg mixture. Great for excess CSA vegetables.

  • Beef and rice meatballs in tomato rosemary broth

    • amraub on September 04, 2012

      I was surprised by how quickly this came together. I had major problems with the meatballs sticking together. Quite a few of them fell apart during the browning phase. I substituted quite a bit with the broth and it was lovely (trying to use up turkey and duck stock from the freezer and a mix of sherry and white wine because I was low on white wine). I forgot the thickened yogurt when I first served it and remembered halfway through. It was a very nice addition to the meal. The leftovers were even better than the evening of.

  • Orzo and beans with mustard greens, olives, and toasted bread crumbs

    • amraub on March 21, 2012

      A bit bland and bread crumbs dried out the dish for us.

  • Classic shrimp and tomatoes baked with feta cheese

    • amraub on March 21, 2012

      Give flavors more time to meld. Subbed sherry for wine due to ingredient incident and think it worked better.

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      After reading Goblin's review in the COTM, I also simmered the tomatoes longer, and allowed them to reduce. I used use Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes. The shrimp that looked best at the store were rather large; I don't have the book handy, but I believe it called for medium shrimp. Shelling them was the only slightly time consuming element of this dish, and it didn't consume much. I bought a bottle of Metaxa for the recipe. Our local state store had only one brand, five stars. I liked the taste of it, sweeter than brandy. Anyway, the results? We were very happy with this simple dinner! I think the big, fresh, wild shrimp made a difference; they were very tasty. Also Goblin's suggestion of cooking the sauce longer really brought out the flavors. I just served it with a baguette for sauce-dipping, with beets and skordalia on the side. With only a few minutes in the oven, this will be a nice summertime dish when good tomatoes come in!

  • Homemade pork and veal sausage with orange, coriander, and red pepper (Loukanika)

    • amraub on March 10, 2012

      Ended up letting it rest for 2 days and the orange flavour was just a bit too strong. May increase the red pepper next time.

  • Grilled venison with sour cherry sauce

    • amraub on May 13, 2012

      Followed roasting directions and roasted to 140F. Sauce worked wonderfully with the meat.

  • Little herbed meatballs (Kefthedakia)

    • TrishaCP on August 24, 2014

      Nice little mezze. I didn't have problems with the nut coating burning- but I used almond flour and had to make them the day before, which made the coating moist. (They still were decently crispy even making them ahead.). I didn't use the full amount of mint called for, just about half, and that was plenty for me.

    • Delys77 on April 29, 2013

      Pg. 52 I quite liked these without the nut coating. With it on I found the balls were hard to keep together and the nuts started to burn. After struggling with the first batch I did the rest straight without any nut coating and they worked much better. The seasoning is nice, and the lamb I used was a bonus since it added lots of flavour to an otherwise relatively simply little meatball. Not to say it wasn't good, they were just fine. I did serve with a little sumac sauce from Yotam's Jerusalem as I found they needed the lift of the acid in the sauce.

  • Pickled red onions

    • TrishaCP on June 01, 2017

      Made these to go into the radish salad, but they will have multiple other uses.

  • Classic spinach pie (Spanakopita)

    • TrishaCP on March 28, 2017

      I really liked this version of spanakopita. It was quite easy to prepare too. I concur with going for the extra layers of phyllo- 8 sheets was a nice and substantial layer and they were quite crispy. I used dried dill (about a tsp) in place of the fresh and I couldn't really taste the dill but the spring onions were great. I used frozen spinach, equal to the weight called for in the recipe, and that worked well too.

    • Delys77 on March 10, 2012

      Pg 92 This is quite nutritious with all the leafy veggies and there is a good deal of protein from the feta and eggs, and even the spinach provides some protein. The filling was just right as laid out in the recipe, except for the fact hat I added a bit of pepper and some additional salt. The savoury filling has some tang from the feta that went very well with the the dill and green onion. I did find the crust a little thin but that is my fault because I went with the 6 layers, but I think 8 would have worked out better. Also make sure you trim the phylo as suggested in the book. I used whole wheat phylo and I think it is a bit drier so a touch more oil and maybe about 25 degrees more heat would result in a crisper and more traditional tasting pie.

  • Radish salad with pickled onions and feta cheese

    • TrishaCP on June 01, 2017

      This was pretty tasty. By the time I was able to make this, the radish leaves had wilted, so I had to do without. I would really like to try this again with them for additional color and flavor. Loved the pickled onions.

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      Personally, I'm not a big radish fan. So that fact considered, this salad was a big success. Mr. NS thought it was "terrific"! I thought it was quite nice, and just different enough to be interesting. The pickled onions are the overriding flavor, and I can't wait to use the remaindered onions on a sandwich or with a meat dish.

  • The single vegetable salad

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      There is not much to this as a recipe, but the outcome was quite nice. I also made this salad using shredded cabbage, green and red, and that is about all there is to it. Instead of the Greek salad dressing, I made the oximeli described in the side note: honey is simmered and skimmed, then vinegar is added to taste. The ancient Greeks added water, the author suggests adding olive oil instead, which I did. After reading the note on page 196, I elected to add pomegranate seeds to the salad. These worked very well with both the cabbage and the honeyed dressing. I thought this salad needed a dash of salt and pepper, and I chose to use Aleppo instead of black pepper. Easy and appealing.

  • Sweet potato skordalia

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      I am a longtime fan of traditional skordalia with a russet potato base, especially served with roasted beets. So this recipe using sweet potatoes intrigued me. Full disclosure, as I was assembling it, I didn't feel it needed as much oil as specified in the recipe, I probably used about half as much. Also, I didn't find the need to add water as stated. The recipe calls for thinning with water, but I skipped this, as I was quite happy with the texture and consistency. As eager as I was to try this dish, I struggled to find the proper vehicle for it. The beets I usually serve with skordalia seemed too sweet to go with this version. So I just served it as an appetizer with pita bread. And I absolutely loved it! It's sweet, nutty, garlicky, with just a little bite from the cayenne. I think it would be lovely in a filo pastry, with some shredded chicken.

  • Clay pot chicken with eggplant, garlic, and green olives

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      Unable to enter a note longer than a few words. See review here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/836480#7198430

  • Warm greens (Horta)

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      Quick, and as easy as can be. Olive oil is heated, garlic is added, greens and olives are stirred in. When the greens are tender, stir in lemon juice. I used kale (and a bit of radicchio) left over from a very similar Italian dish made a few nights ago. Didn't find it necessary to add water, except what clung after washing. Quite tasty. Kalamata olives and lemon juice put a nice spin on the greens. Feels virtuously healthy also.

  • Beef kapama with wine, brandy, coffee, and honey

    • L.Nightshade on August 01, 2012

      It's true that the aroma is fantastic. Deep and rich, with spicy notes. Winey, with a hint of coffee, and a breath of acacia from the honey. After the full cooking time, the liquid hadn't reached the glossy, clinging stage described. So it was ladled out, reduced in another pan, and returned to the meat. Perfect. I wasn't quite sure of the purpose of the cress. But I had purchased it, so I just fanned it out on one edge of the serving bowl. Although very tasty, this dish was a bit too consistently sweet for me (and my dinner companions, it would seem). I did not add the additional honey as the above writers did, merely the amount called for. I am a big fan of savory and sweet, and especially meat dishes with elements of sweetness. But somehow this sweetness was a bit too pervasive. Altogether, the flavor combinations are definitely interesting. My dinner companions had seconds, and I will surely enjoy the leftovers, so this single criticism certainly did not ruin the dish for us!

    • Delys77 on March 17, 2012

      Pg. 369 I was a bit dubious as to this recipe because Hoffman compares it to boeuf bourguignon, and I love bourguignon so I was worried it wouldn't live up to expectations. Well no need to worry all, this is a delicious dish. The combination of ingredients yields an extremely nuanced sauce with fabulous flavour. It is vaguely spicy, not in terms of heat but just in terms of flavour. Great comfort food.

  • Leek, potato, and olive pie (Prassopita)

    • wcassity on October 27, 2021

      Delicious. Tasted rich, even though no meat. I used olive tapenade and threw in some feta.

    • Delys77 on March 28, 2012

      Pg. 97 This is a scrumptious little pie. I am a big fan of the combination of leeks and potatoes, and the addition of a bit of chopped kalamatas adds a great depth of salty nuance to this dish. She does have you layer a few sheets of filo in the middle, but I personally found that this didnt' do anything fo the pie, and added unecessary steps. I would go with the suggested variation of layering the bottom and top with 5-6 layers of filo, and leave it at that. I had a piece reheated in the oven and it kept very well overnight. Would definitely make again.

  • Pita bread

    • Delys77 on March 12, 2012

      Pg. 134 There is too much yeast in this bread. The result rises too much and remains quite doughy no matter how you cook it.

  • Greek village salad

    • Delys77 on March 12, 2012

      The capers are a great addition and the dressing is just right. Also he green peppers do work better than red as they add a slight bitter note to balance the sweetness and saltiness of some of the other ingredients.

    • BlytheSpirit on March 16, 2014

      An excellent Greek salad.

    • Zosia on July 02, 2018

      Ingredient proportions produce nicely balanced flavour. The Greek-American rendition that includes lettuce is a family favourite.

  • Manestra

    • Delys77 on October 24, 2012

      Pg. 153 Very simple tomato soup but the addition of a little fresh oregano and the orzo does give it a bit of a greek flair. I added a piece of parmesan rind during the simmer and a splash of balsamic at the end, this might not be classically greek but I felt it upped the flavour a bit. I also pureed the soup a little bit as the tomatoes were still too chunky. I also think that if you simmer a bit of parm rind in the soup you could chop it very very finely and add it back in at the end. Ok overall but nothing stellar. I think it is very flavourful, but as written it is a little one note. Perhaps with fresh tomatoes and more oregano plus my suggested modifications above.

  • Winter leek soup

    • Delys77 on March 21, 2013

      A very simple but interesting soup. Just a few ingredients but the result is a nice lightly savoury soup that has hints of herb and richness from the milk, but nothing overpowering. Not suitable for company but not a bad little soup. Go lighter on the savoury.

  • Spaghetti with zucchini and caper sauce

    • Delys77 on March 22, 2012

      Pg. 251 I was quite curious to try one of these greek pasta dishes as I love pasta but generally stick to the Italian classics. Overall this was pretty good, but not spectacular. As written the recipe yields too little sauce for the amount of pasta. I am a fan of saucy pasta, especially with whole wheat noodles, and this yielded far too little sauce for my taste. I would increase all the sauce ingredients by about 50% if I were to repeat. Flavour wise the dish was not bad though, the sauce has definite greek notes from the capers and the marjoram is a nice compliment. I would make sure to cut us the carrots a bit smaller than her suggestion of doing it roughly, as mine were still a bit too toothsome after 45 minutes. Overall a pretty good dish but nothing to write home about.

  • Neoclassic vegetarian pastitsio

    • Delys77 on March 26, 2012

      Pg. 255 I am sorry to report that this is the second pasta dish I have made from the Olive and the Caper and it is the second dish that was crying out for more sauce. Hoffman calls for a few cups of bechamel and tomato sauce for 1.5 lbs of pasta, which sounded a lttle scant to me so I probably went with closer to 3 cups tomato and 2.5 cups bechamel and it was still too dry. This yields a solid 6 portions of pasta, and given the fact that it goes into the oven for 55 minutes the 4 to 4.5 cups she calls for would have yielded a dry mess. My 5.5 cups of total sauce was better but still not to my taste. The top noodles actually over browned and were partically desicated due to the fact that there was not enough bechamel to protect them from the long baking. The red sauce was quite tasty, althouth I added pepper, more salt, and a bit more oregano, but I found the orange zest contributed an odd flavour to the overall dish. For me this wasn't a winner.

  • Vegetable stew (Briami)

    • Delys77 on March 05, 2012

      Pg 282 This is a solid vegetarian stew that yields a very comforting and wholesome meal. I added rutabaga as she says you can include other vegetables and provides a comprehensive list. I did have to up the salt by about 1/2 tsp, I added 2 tb of chopped dill at the very end so the flavour of the dill would still be noticeable, and I cut the oil back to 4 tb from the suggested 1/3 cup. The veggies cook down quite a bit so adding a firm vegetable like rutabaga is good as it provides a bit more texture. Good meal!.

  • String beans with shallots, white wine, and fennel seeds (Fasolakia)

    • Delys77 on March 12, 2012

      Pg. 288 This is similar to the simmered green beans recipe in Bittman's How To Cook Everything but I like this one better. The flavour of the shallots and fennel is great and the beans are just right after 45 minutes. The wine also adds a nice touch. You do need to change a few things however. I went with a heaping tsp of fennel which I groud, the I upped the garlic and cut the water back to 1 cup. Lastly I added the juice of a small lemon. Nice Greek side.

  • Moussaka

    • Delys77 on March 12, 2012

      Pg. 313 I liked this recipe quite a bit. The meat sauce is fabulous and really makes this dish. The spiced sauce has just the right amount of tomato to bind everything and the flavour of the seasonings is great. The topping is also very nice, just keep in mind that the besamel recipe makes 2 cups and you need at least 3. You could also up the meat sauce and the eggplant a bit because I only managed two layers instead of the planned 3. Also make sure not to slice the eggplant too thinly. Regardless the recipe still had great flavour.

  • Fish plaki-style with zucchini and sage

    • Delys77 on March 12, 2012

      Pg. 329 This recipe has promise but there are a few issues. The sage is a great accent and the leeks are a great change of pace from onions or shallots. As an accompaniment to the fish the sautéed vegetable were a winner. The fish itself was well cooked if a little bland, which I honestly often find with steamed fish. The challenge came with the sauce. Essentially I had very little pan juices left once I'd removed the fish and vegetables so the sauce thickened very quickly once I added the egg and lemon. I added a little more wine to the sauce to loosen it, but the results were a bit acidic with too much wine and lemon compared to the rest of the ingredients. Perhaps if you added more liquid to the pan with the fish and then up the egg yolks a bit. I also think a bit of sage in he sauce at the nd would be nice.

  • Beef with olives and 100 cloves of garlic (Skordostoumbi)

    • Delys77 on January 19, 2015

      Pg. 367 This was very very good. I went with about 70 cloves of garlic as I ran out and about 40 olives (same reason) and I think the garlic was fine as is, but you do need the full amount of olives. I also used short ribs but I think I will try it with brisket. Cooked for the full two hours at about 380 in m oven since 425 seemed a bit high. At the end I removed the beef and mashed the garlic in the sauce. I reduced it a bit but I found there was too much liquid so I did thicken it a bit with a touch of cornstarch. The sauce is the winner here with it's rich umami and garlicky goodness. Also went with 1 bottle of wine and 1 cup of beef stock. Also worth notice is that other than slicing the beef there is pretty much no work to do this if you use pre pitted olives and peeled garlic. Delicious.

  • Chicken baked in yogurt with red onion and grape leaves

    • Delys77 on March 06, 2012

      Pg 412 The dish takes about 1h20 minutes to prep and cook and comes together with a minimum of fuss and dishes. The result is a lovely chicken with a thick but a bit sparse sauce that has great flavour. The grape leaves add a nice umami note but you should cut them quite small as the they don't cook down all that much. I used one chicken but the full amt for the sauce and this was just right. I cooked covered for about 45 and then uncovered for 15 instead of the 40 20 split she suggests.

    • Zosia on July 02, 2018

      I used the yogurt mixture with onion as a marinade for boneless chicken breasts and thighs which were grilled after several hours of marinating. They were moist and really delicious. I'm looking forward to trying the baked version in cooler weather.

  • Stuffed chicken neo-plaka-style

    • amoule on March 30, 2015

      pg. 418

  • Rice and noodle pilaf with artichokes, pine nuts, and saffron

    • Zosia on February 03, 2016

      An excellent side dish that offers more varied flavours and textures than most pilafs. I used only 2 tbsp oil, frozen artichoke hearts and vegetable broth, and I dry toasted the pine nuts and added them at the end to retain their crunch.

  • Black-eyed pea salad with tomatoes and shallots

    • Zosia on July 02, 2018

      Another excellent salad from this book with complementary sweet and tangy flavours and freshness from the herbs. Great summer bbq fare.

  • Eggplant salad country-style

    • kateiscoooking on September 29, 2020

      I liked this better than my hubby did. It's really a nice, light, refreshing salad.

  • Rice and lentil pilaf

    • Hana.Sundet on June 22, 2022

      Cyprus-Style, pp237-238. Pleasant and filling as an incidentally-vegetarian main! I added a few sprinkles of green cilantro seeds from my garden, which added a zesty boost of fresh flavor. Spouse broke out the yogurt and lavash to make the pilaf into some impromptu wraps, which the whole family enjoyed!

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  • ISBN 10 0761134689
  • ISBN 13 9780761134688
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Jul 23 2004
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Workman Publishing Co.

Publishers Text

This is the year It's Greek to me becomes the happy answer to what's for dinner. My Big Fat Greek Wedding,the epic Troy, the 2004 Summer Olympics returning to Athens--and now, yet another reason to embrace all things Greek: The Olive and the Caper, Susanna Hoffman's 500-plus page serendipity of recipes and adventure.


In Corfu, Ms. Hoffman and a taverna owner cook shrimp fresh from the trap--and for us she offers the boldly-flavored Shrimp with Fennel, Green Olives, Red Onion, and White Wine. She gathers wild greens and herbs with neighbors, inspiring Big Beans with Thyme and Parsley, and Field Greens and Ouzo Pie. She learns the secret to chewy country bread from the baker on Santorini, and translates it for American kitchens.


Including 250 recipes developed in collaboration with Victoria Wise (her co-author on The Well-Filled Tortilla Cookbook, with over 258,000 copies in print), The Olive and the Caper celebrates all things Greek: Chicken Neo-Avgolemono, Fall-off-the-bone Lamb shanks seasoned with garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and coriander. Siren-like sweets, from world-renowned Baklava to uniquely Greek preserves: Rose Petal, Cherry and Grappa, Apricot and Metaxa.


In addition, it opens with a sixteen-page full-color section, and has dozens of lively essays throughout the book--about the origins of Greek food, about village life, history, language, customs--making this a lively adventure in reading as well as cooking.



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