A recipe with a touch of heart and heritage, curated by Litsa Kwantes, mother of our team member Tina, whose journey started from a tiny village in Greece. Litsa's warm welcome in her beautiful home felt like paying a visit to our own mother. Through her culinary journey, we explore a conscious approach to cooking that not only celebrates flavour but also embraces the tradition of bringing the family together around the dining table to savour the moments that truly matter.
Can you briefly tell us about your background and where you grew up?
I was born and raised in a tiny village in Greece, called Milea, and moved to Athens when I was 18 years old. I studied and worked there for ten years.
Does your background influence your dishes and cooking style?
Partially, but my cooking style has also been influenced by my extensive travels which has allowed me to incorporate different flavours and techniques into my cooking.
What is your favourite dish?
Artichokes (freshly bought). The recipe is from my uncle, who taught me how to clean them.
How valuable is food and its preparation to you? Is it an important element in your daily life?
Yes, it doesn't take much effort, and it's also relaxing. Since both my son and daughter have moved out it has been a good reason to gather my family together.
What are other important interests or moments in your life that you cherish?
Exploring the world of modern art, reading a good book, and watching movies in the cinema.
Fresh Artichokes by Litsa Kwantes
- 4 fresh artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Clean the artichokes: Trim the stem of each artichoke, leaving about 1 inch attached. Remove any small outer leaves at the base. Cut off the top 1/4 of each artichoke to remove the thorny tips. Use kitchen scissors to trim the remaining outer leaves' tips. Rub the cut surfaces with half of the lemon to prevent browning.
Prepare the artichoke hearts: Place the artichokes stem-side down on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice off the outer layers until you reach the pale inner leaves. Scoop out the fuzzy choke with a spoon, leaving only the heart. Rub the hearts with some lemon to prevent discoloration.
Cook the artichoke hearts: Once the water starts to boil, add the artichoke hearts to the pan in a single layer. Place the lemon slices on top of the artichokes. Cook the artichokes until they are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Serve: Once cooked, remove the artichoke hearts from the pan and transfer them to a serving platter. Drizzle the olive oil over the artichokes. Garnish with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Bon appétit — Καλή όρεξη