cover image The Glorious Foods of Greece: Traditional Recipes from the Islands, Cities, and Villages

The Glorious Foods of Greece: Traditional Recipes from the Islands, Cities, and Villages

Diane Kochilas. William Morrow Cookbooks, $40 (512pp) ISBN 978-0-688-15457-8

With this massive and masterful collection, Kochilas (an American with Greek roots who works in Athens as a food reporter for a Greek newspaper) brings Greek cooking front and center in American kitchens. Region by region (the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades, etc.), she provides over 400 appealing Mediterranean recipes. Fine seafood dishes such as the Fried Mussels of northern Greece and Spiny Lobster Cooked with Spring Onions and Herbs from Lesvos abound, as do interesting meat preparations, including the many lamb and goat dishes of Roumeli and Quinces Stuffed with Ground Lamb from the north, as well as poultry standouts like One-Pot Chicken with Broth-Simmered Noodles and Ground Walnuts (upholding the tradition of cooking noodles in broth because water was scarce). Many dishes use common ingredients in surprising ways, like an earthy Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions from Kassos and Chard-Stuffed Turkey from Nazos. Kochilas doesn't skimp on savory pies (Fresh Cheese Pie with Fennel from Kalavyrta, Pumpkin and Carrot Pie from Cephalonia), bread (Raisin-Stuffed Lazarus Bread from Lesvos), or desserts (Pancakes with Yogurt and Currants), and she presents numerous appetizing vegetable dishes. The text sections are of uniformly high quality, with indispensable pages on regional cheeses. Kochilas writes lovingly and insightfully about her adopted country, profiling the many Greeks (mostly women) who generously shared recipes with her, and displays a deep grasp of history. (Apr.) Forecast: Kochilas's eight years of research show in the book's thoroughness. A landmark for Greek cooking in the U.S., it's a likely candidate for cookbook awards and can be confidently billed as the definitive source.