Kirios and I decided to lay pretty low this weekend. While planning ahead what we’d want to eat, I found a “falafel mix” box in my pantry that I had purchased some time back. I figured it was worth trying since I had it, especially since it had a no-fry cooking option. So I asked Kirios if he’d like to have it with hummus or tahini, or even tzatziki, and what a surprise, my Greek boyfriend wanted Greek food. So we decided to make tzatziki, mostly based on his mother’s recipe, but we did check our Michael Psilakis cookbook for inspiration as well.
We did make a super necessary trip to Costco over the weekend, and in addition to the things I desperately needed on my list (cheerios, toilet paper, and a lifetime supply of lemon juice which Kirios drinks by the gallon, etc.) I picked up a 2 lb bag of brussel sprouts and 2 lbs of pre-cut butternut squash. I know, I feel silly spending the extra money on pre-cut squash, but it’s really such a pain to cut and peel it, that the Costco price didn’t seem so bad.
So come Sunday, when we started to plan our day, we decided to make butternut squash soup for a light lunch, and then cook up a Greek inspired feast for dinner. The soup was easy – we threw in just about every spice we liked the smell of with the squash, a couple of carrots I had leftover in the fridge, some orange juice, and because Kirios never cooks anything without it – a bit of lemon juice. After we blended everything, we decided it was a bit bitter (ahem, lemon juice much!?!) so we added a splash of maple syrup which rounded things out pretty well.
After lunch, Kirios went to the supermarket to pick up some non-fat Greek yogurt and a couple other groceries while I roasted up the brussel sprouts. In my attempt to recreate the extremely tasty brussels afelia served at Zaytinya (yes, I’ve blogged about them twice now), I cut the brussel sprouts in half and covered them with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and coriander before putting them in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
After the brussel sprouts, I got to work on the falafel, which was pretty simple… Add water, let sit, form patties, stick in the oven. Kirios took charge of the tzatziki, placing 10 cloves of garlic in the food processor with dill and lemon juice. We cut out the seeds/innards of an English cucumber and then the grated and drained what was left of it. He combined the cucumber and the garlic juice with the yogurt to make our finished product.
We enjoyed our dinner with a glass of red Lebanese wine, a cucumber-tomato salad, and pita bread. (Though sadly we decided there just weren’t enough hours in the day, or space in my tiny kitchen to make homemade pita along with everything else.) The brussel sprouts, to which I added some pomegranate seeds since Zaytinya’s uses barberries, came out exceptionally well. I probably could have eaten the whole 2 lbs myself if there wasn’t so much other food to try. And while the tzatziki didn’t complement the sprouts quite as well as Zaytinya’s garlic yogurt sauce, it was a very good substitute, and a flavorful dish on its own. The falafel patties were decent considering they came from a box and we didn’t fry them – a bit salty though. And the tzatziki helped their texture a great deal.
Kirios and I were very pleased with ourselves and our food. And I anticipate enjoying our leftovers throughout the week. But since we had spent the whole day at home cooking, Kirios treated me to dessert at Dolcezzo Gelato to take advantage of the warm weather before starting another week at work. We shared a large cup with lemon, blood orange, and nocciolladel piemonte (hazelnut).
…Is it Friday yet?!?!
Side note – wouldn’t it be great to see pictures of all of the food we cooked along with this post? Of course we took photos, and they’re all on Kirios’ spiffy dSLR… amongst other photos he has yet to sort through going back until September. Help me motivate him to go through them faster so I can show you what I’m talking about in my posts!