Kali mera fill mou,
(good morning my friends, Greek)
We are now on the island of Crete (Kreta). It's a beautiful island with tons of history yet we have spent the day lying by the pool, shooting pictures of the sunset and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.
Crete was the birthplace of European civilization, the home of the Minoans who prospered centuries before classical Greece. Crete came under the successive rules of the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Venetians and of course the turks.
The largest of the Greek Islands Crete is the fifth larges island in the Mediterranean. Crete is the most southerly point in Europe, further south than parts of the north African coast. It's hot dry summers last far longer here than they do elsewhere in Greece.
Crete played a crucial role in ancient Greek legends. This was largely due to the belief that Zeus was born and brought up here.
Zeus' son minos was punished by Poseidon who caused Mino's wife to fallen love with a bull and their coupling resulted in the birth of the minotar. Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in a labyrinth.
Recipe of the Day: Spinach Pie, Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie
Original recipe makes 1 - 9x9 inch panChange Servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 sheets phyllo dough
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9x9 inch square baking pan.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, and feta. Stir in spinach mixture. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with olive oil, and repeat process with two more sheets of phyllo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling. Brush with oil, then layer remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot.