Vefa's Kitchen by Vefa Alexiadou

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    This book was later reissued as Greece: The Cookbook in 2017.

  • Ladyberd on May 26, 2010

    simply the best resource for authentic greek food

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Baked giant beans

    • choucroute on July 04, 2018

      Plus onion, garlic, optional sausage

  • Mussel fritters

    • Kaycee on January 23, 2011

      taramosalata p.157 makes 2 cups crispy bread or crackers

    • Kaycee on January 23, 2011

      Also in Party Food p.31

  • Zucchini (courgette) fritters

    • Lsblackburn1 on August 11, 2020

      These were a bit pancake-esque and were very tasty. I used mint, which totally came through and added a lot of flavor. The batter was pretty wet, but I managed to coat it in flour and get them cooked easily.

  • Artichoke soup

    • mcvl on April 20, 2020

      My Instacart shopper brought me some chicken meatballs, so first I made this with them as a kind of Italian wedding soup, then after they were all gone I processed the broth and veggies as in the original recipe and served the puree with yogurt and dill. Nice enough to repeat.

  • Sauteed fennel with garlic

    • Petrakisses on October 22, 2020

      Another flavourful dish that requires little effort, and perfect for those enjoying the paleo way of eating. Kali Orexi!

  • Potatoes roasted with lemon or tomato

    • a2cook on June 10, 2016

      This is just okay (3.5/5). The long marinating time didn't add much to the flavor. Could use more lemon and oregano. Much prefer Aglaia Kremezi's roasted potatoes (

  • Black-eye pea (black-eye bean) and green pea stew

    • Jaybak on July 09, 2015

      Black eye beans only needed a few hours soaking and about 30 minutes cooking before becoming tender.Used some tinned tomatoes and tomato paste instead of fresh also had some stock to use up so used that instead of water. Tasty dish from simple ingredients.

  • Saffron pilaf

    • sosayi on October 02, 2018

      Easy and good, it's exactly what it says. I did convert to cook in a rice cooker (first cooking rice and butter as directed) and then filling the cooker with rice up to the appropriate spot and that worked great.

  • Pasta with meat sauce

    • mcvl on February 03, 2015

      V. good, should come out a little soupier than an Italian pasta. The indexer has lister only Parmesan cheese -- the recipe called for "mizithra, kefalotiri, or Parmesan." Tsk tsk.

    • Deborah on February 03, 2015

      Thanks, MCVL -- I fixed that cheese ingredient error and added a substitution comment. Deborah

  • Mackerel baked with eggplants (aubergines) from Pontus

    • Three_Quarters on July 20, 2013

      I used fresh eggplant, parsley and basil from the garden, plus canned tomatoes. I also substituted tuna for the mackerel, because it's what I had — I would reduce the baking time by about 10-15 minutes if using tuna steaks. It was so simple and delicious, like most of the recipes from this book.

  • Chicken with scallions (spring onions) and fennel

    • Petrakisses on October 22, 2020

      Another flavourful dish that requires little effort, and perfect for those enjoying the paleo way of eating. Kali Orexi!

  • Charcoal-grilled chicken

    • twoyolks on July 10, 2016

      I didn't like the flavor the marinade imparted. It was too heavy on the brandy flavor. I don't have a rotisserie so I grilled it over indirect heat which cooked the chicken well.

  • Meatballs with yogurt from Thrace

    • greedyrosie on October 23, 2020

      I don't know if it was just me (I usually do not mess up) but this was bad in taste, look, and texture for me. I can't remember a time when a meal was so unappetizing.

  • Meat-stuffed grape (vine) leaves

    • schambers on August 28, 2010

      Goat is an excellent choice for the meat. The lemon sauce really makes it.

  • Lamb with aromatic greens

    • amoule on April 03, 2015


  • Roast lamb with potatoes

    • Petrakisses on October 23, 2020

      Another dish that requires little effort, and perfect for those enjoying the paleo way of eating. Though I note some garlic would've been a lovely addition. Kali Orexi!

  • Stuffed lamb roll in grape (vine) leaves

    • shonaghd on April 15, 2013

      Although it takes time and an extra pair of hands helps to roll the lamb, this recipe is delicious. I have substituted swiss chard for the vine leaves on occasion when vine leaves were not available. Highly recommended.

  • Cornmeal pie from Epirus

    • a2cook on October 23, 2016

      Wow, this is good! And, it tastes even better the next day, so try to resist eating it all or double the recipe to have enough for leftovers. I tweaked the recipe slightly by adding 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt to the batter to counteract the natural sweetness of cornmeal. The recipe calls for a 16 inch round pan, which I don't have, so I used a 10 x 13 Le Creuset roasting pan. This resulted in a slightly thin pie (a little over an inch), so I'll use a smaller pan next time for a thicker pie. Start checking for doneness at the 40 - 45 minute mark.

  • Mount Pelion bell pepper and onion pie (Piperopita piliou)

    • Ladyberd on December 19, 2011

      This is one of my favorites. It's great for a crowd - I make it ahead an then heat it in the oven to crisp the phyllo.

  • Chicken pie of the Vlachs

    • totoro on August 26, 2015

      Excellent. This was very straightfoward and inexpensive to make. Creamy but not too-wet filling with a lovely subtle flavour from the allspice. I made a half recipe using two skin-on breasts (pulling them from the onion and leek pan early and tearing up the skin with the meat) which worked surprisingly well.

  • Pita bread for souvlaki

    • sosayi on May 02, 2018

      These cooked up just fine on the grill and the recipe was easy (and quick) to prep, especially on a weeknight. They were slightly tough in my opinion, but that could be due to my having to re-knead them after an initial rise due to an overly enthusiastic husband and preschooler doing the initial prep.

  • Christmas honey-dipped cookies (biscuits)

    • unebonneannee on December 31, 2019

      If you are looking to make these melomakarona gluten free, I made this recipe using Cup4Cup in a 1:1 substitution for the all purpose flour, and they turned out *great*. My Greek husband couldn’t tell the difference!

  • Lenten tahini cake

    • laurenlangston on February 24, 2017

      Baked for 50 minutes at 350F convection in 10"x2" pan. Measured by weight when possible. For brandy I used Armagnac, and instead of sultanas I used cut-up dried apricots. Very thick batter. Nice texture, if a little crumbly. I'm not sure if brandy is the answer -- it feels like it pulls out the bitter too much. Maybe a honey liqueur instead?

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Me Daily

    Selected as 2009's Best Horizon-Expander cookbook.

    Full review
  • NPR

    Selected as one of Susie's 10 Best Summer Cookbooks Of 2009

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    This encyclopedic volume by Greece’s leading culinary authority would make a striking addition to any cookbook collection.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0714849294
  • ISBN 13 9780714849294
  • Published Apr 01 2009
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom, United States
  • Publisher Phaidon Press Ltd
  • Imprint Phaidon Press Ltd

Publishers Text

For the past 30 years, no kitchen in Greece was considered complete without a cookbook by the country's most loved and respected home cook: Vefa Alexiadou. Considered by Greeks everywhere as the "Grand-Dame" of Greek cuisine, Vefa's thirteen best-selling cookbooks unveil the secrets of her country's rich culinary history and have sold more than five million copies in over thirty-five countries. Never before have all her recipes been compiled into a definitive collection of Greek cuisine - until now.

Vefa's Kitchen features over 650 easy-to-follow recipes by the leading culinary authority in Greece. It presents a wide assortment of delicious dishes, from simple stunning salads and mezedes in summer, to slowly simmered meat dishes and crisp filo pastries in winter. Showcasing taverna favorites such as moussaka, tzatziki and hummus, the book also reveals an extraordinary variety of local desserts and pastries, home-baked breads, and the fish and vegetable dishes of the coastal areas, simply fragranced with lemon and herbs.

Maintaining the traditions of authentic Greek cooking, Vefa's Kitchen successfully adapts centuries-old recipes to modern methods and accompanies them with step-by-step explanations. Divided into 20 chapters, the cookbook is a feat of design as well as content. Covering every aspect of Greek cuisine, chapters include everything from mezedes and soups, to legumes and rice, and of course, the protein stables of Greece fish, shellfish and lamb, as well as cakes and pastries. Vefa's Kitchen also features a generous selection of over 300 healthy vegetarian dishes.

Enticing readers with both the beauty of Greece and its food, Vefa's Kitchen is illustrated by 230 gorgeous full-color photographs which easily conjure the aromas and flavors created by Vefa's recipes. She also includes information on the history of Greek cuisine, the differences between regional cooking styles, descriptions of common ingredients, and an explanation of the many dishes associated with the Greek religious calendar. Closer to home, the book also contains a chapter with menus and original recipes from some of the America's most celebrated Greek chefs such as Michael Psilakis (Anthos), Michael Symon (Iron Chef America) and Jim Botsacos (Molyvos).

With roots reaching back to the dawn of Western civilization, the strong appeal of traditional Greek food still persists and was voted 'Cuisine of the Year' by Bon Appétit magazine last year. As Vefa points out, "The survival of the ageless characteristics of the cuisine - simple, wholesome ingredients combined and prepared to enhance flavor and aroma - is impressive." With dishes that even Homer would recognize, Vefa's Kitchen gives home chefs the opportunity to experience the ancient gastronomic traditions and time-tested classics of the original Mediterranean cuisine in their own home.

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