If you think Greek food is all hummus and pitta think again! Maria Elia’s fantastic book, Smashing Plates, takes traditional Greek recipes and gives them a serious kick up the ass with big flavours and bold ingredients.
The chapters avoid conventional cookbook layout and instead reflect the social dining aspect that we all love about Greek food, grouping together small plates for mezze and sharing plates to entertain the family. Salads and sides have their own chapter as they sit well with anything, and finally wonderful, fabulous sweet plates to end a heavenly meal.
Maria’s recipes take recognisable Greek influences and charge them up for the ultimate Greek meal with really interesting modern flavours. For a fantastic mezze dish Maria adds extra Mediterranean flare to classic calamari by coating it in a keftede mix using grated courgette for extra flavour and crunch.
For a sharing plate there are loads of options, like two twists on the usually sweet baklava, replacing the honey nuts with a vegetarian spicy bean filling or a rich and tender rabbit variety. And for those who love their slow-cooked meat try the wonderfully different goat dish for indulgent flavour but half the fat of lamb, and the Peachy Panzanella cuts through the richness with vibrant fruity flavours.
We absolutely loved this book for so many reasons, but its fearless use of unexpected ingredients is what really makes it shine, opa!