Last Sunday, we enjoyed a very substantial lunch at Eleni’s parents, where Greek culinary influences abound! In fact, Sunday lunch with Kyriacos and Marina is really a “hybrid” of good British fare, uplifted by a few Mediterranean touches.
Mixed olives and pitta bread to start, followed by roast leg of lamb, infused with garlic, rosemary and lemon. The lamb was accompanied by a pile of Cyprus potatoes (readily available in the UK!) roasted in white wine and lemon, together with a large dish of vegetables, including broccoli, green beans and carrots. You’ll have gathered by now that lemon is used liberally by Mediterranean folk in their cooking, indeed Eleni adds lemon to pretty much everything, including chips!
Our young boys seem to love the zesty flavours of Mediterranean-inspired food and they certainly ate heartily that day, contributing to the lively chat in between mouthfuls!
Good food demands good wine and on Sunday we had a delicious bottle of Villa Antinori Toscana (Rosso), a blend of the most famous Chianti grape, Sangiovese, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This produces a velvety smooth red wine, with red-fruit flavours and just a hint of dark chocolate. It’s a very reliable wine and, at around £14 a bottle, a bargain when compared to Antinori’s flagship wine, Tignanello, which sells for upwards of £80! (Image: rusticonline.com)
As an alternative, try a French Syrah from the northern Rhone, such as Crozes-Hermitage or Saint-Joseph. Full of dark berry flavour and a good balance between fruit and acidity, these wines are a great partner to grilled meats, particularly lamb, and at around £20 a bottle, represent an affordable introduction to the great wines of the Rhone Valley.
Needless to say, we all slept well that night!
(Main image: mygreekdish.com)