The Mediterranean Lifestyle - English



INGREDIENT­S (Serves 6 to 8)

500 g mussels, cleaned and beards removed 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

250 ml white wine

3 medium potatoes (about 500 g), sliced very thinly or with a mandoline

2 white onions, sliced very thinly into half-moon shapes or with a mandoline

250 g cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

300 g Arborio rice

A handful of parsley, finely chopped

300 ml water

2 tablespoon­s of breadcrumb­s

3 to 4 tablespoon­s of Parmesan (optional) Extra virgin olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F.

2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil, and add the garlic. To this, add the mussels and the white wine. Cook for about 5 min, or until the mussels have opened and are a bright orange color.

3. Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish, then add a layer of the potatoes.

4. Add a layer of onions, then a layer of cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle about half of the parsley on top of this.

5. Now for the mussel layer; first, discard any mussels that did not open whilst cooking. Then remove the half shell with no mussel in it.

Arrange the mussels, meat side up/shell side down, in a layer on top of the tomatoes.

6. Sprinkle the rice on top. Try to make sure that each mussel shell is filled with rice.

7. Add another layer of potatoes, and a final layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the parsley on top.

8. Pour the water around the edges of the dish, ensuring that the rice is covered.

9. Sprinkle the breadcrumb­s, and the Parmesan if you are using it, over the dish, and add a final drizzle of olive oil.

10. Bake for about one hour, or until the potatoes are crispy and the rice is cooked.

11. Serve with some extra virgin olive oil (preferably

Puglian!) and enjoy.

This shrimp saganaki baked with feta cheese (garides saganaki) is a traditiona­l Greek appetizer served at every little taverna in Greece. Those who have travelled to Greece know that is hard to pass up this iconic appetizer, typically served straight from the skillet it was cooked in with plenty of crusty bread on the side, to sop up the delicious tomato sauce.


Saganaki refers to the kind of skillet in which this dish is cooked, usually one with two handles for easy carrying. Most people are more familiar with the more common “cheese saganaki” the pan-seared melting cheese prepared in the same kind of skillet and then flamed before it arrives, sizzling, to your table.


The preparatio­n of this one-pan Greek appetizer could not be easier: the shrimp are added to the same skillet in which the savory tomato sauce is cooked, it is then topped with crumbled feta Greek cheese and finished in the oven. The balance of flavors of this dish is truly incredible; if you can use fresh, sweet, ripe summer tomatoes, the flavor will be even better. If fresh tomatoes are not available (or not in season), good quality canned ones are an acceptable substitute for year-'round enjoyment of this dish.


You can serve the Greek shrimp saganaki as an appetizer, or, as part of a spread of mezedes in small portions. A favorite way to serve this dish in Greece, is over oven-cooked orzo pasta, for a very satisfying main course. It would also go well with steamed rice or creamy mashed potatoes. Enjoy it with some crusty bread, and maybe a few shots of ouzo too!


The one ingredient that you should not substitute for in this dish, is the cheese: Greek feta is a must! Traditiona­lly made from sheep's milk, Greek feta has a rich and tangy flavor and a wonderful creamy and crumbly texture. It comes packed in containers with brine and it stays fresh for months in the refrigerat­or.

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