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Yogurt sauces (Greek, of course)

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Summer holidays, the real ones, as well as small trips out of town, cannot do without an in-depth gastronomic study. I grew up like this and luckily I have a person next to me who gets the same pleasure from discovering new flavors and new recipes to try. It goes without saying that, when planning your holidays, you identify with one eye the destination you want to reach and with the other you look at the most identifying dishes…

The Mainland Greece actually has a cuisine that is very close to the Italian one, in the essential use of vegetables as a main course or in the presence of garlic in many preparations (from the beloved tzatziki at the melitzanosalata that accompanied every dinner!). Not to mention the inevitable feta which makes us think of our mozzarella, both used alone or as an accompaniment in vegetable fillings or, again, in savory pies. It therefore seems impossible to me to think that an Italian could say that the food in Greece is bad, certainly not muossaka it's difficult to digest but it's not impossible if I think of the lasagna we ate during August at my grandparents' house when I was little. This year, however, we didn't let ourselves be “tempted”. crush we preferred the tomatoes stuffed with rice or grilled fish, when we could find it, and the indispensable tzatziki and melitzanosalata!

However, we also fueled our need for sky blue which, like last year, was not lacking. The sea turned silver in the hot hours of the afternoon and the sky pink at sunset, always leaving us speechless, and in silence we enjoyed this colorful peace.

However, we spent the last few days ad Athens; no sea but the visits to the Acropolis and the museums thrilled us all the same. Wandering around the city, which among other things I found clean and welcoming, I discovered a small shop selling exclusively Greek food products, run by a boy who, as he told us, used the crisis to start his own business and try to enhance the resources of his nation. There, together with some very soft dried figs and tiny Corinth raisins I found a cookbook dedicated to Greek yogurt. A beautiful edited edition with recipes that are all replicable. And here are the first two, they are perfect vegetable-based sauces spread on bread but excellent to accompany grilled fish or meat.

Now I promise, for me the summer is over here in these pages too, we enter autumn not without a sigh of nostalgia…

Eggplant sauce with yogurt

2 round white aubergines
1 clove of garlic
1 pinch of chilli pepper
50 ml of extra virgin olive oil
100 g of Greek yogurt
juice of half a lemon
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black pepper
parsley

Wash the aubergines and pierce them in several places with the tines of a fork. Turn on the oven grill at 180° C and, once the temperature has been reached, bake the aubergines. Cook them for 1 hour or until they are soft inside.
Once ready, let them cool, remove the skin and mash the pulp on a plate.
Clean the garlic, cut it into small pieces and add it to the aubergine pulp, together with the chilli pepper, oil, yogurt and lemon juice. Transfer everything into the blender glass and make a cream. Taste, add salt and pepper and decorate with chopped parsley before serving.

Red pepper puree and yogurt

2 large red peppers
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
100 g of Greek yogurt
50 ml of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
origano q.b.
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black pepper

Wash the peppers. Turn the grill on to 180°C and, once the temperature has been reached, bake for 30 minutes, turning the peppers often. Remove them from the oven and immediately place them in a paper bag until they have cooled, so it will be easier to remove the peel.
Place the pepper pulp in a blender glass together with all the ingredients. Blend until creamy, taste and season with salt and pepper.

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