This morning we made an impromptu brunch after sitting on the balcony drinking tea and playing on our computers. Toasted pita, fresh nectarine, pear, cherry tomatoes, and baby avocado were from yesterday’s outdoor market visit. We dry sautéed sliced, giant, white mushrooms with scallions both also from the market and served it all with toasted pita-style flat breads. We had made hummus, pickled onions, and lemonade earlier in the week. Sophie is a huge fan of both hummus and pickled onions. Our recipes are below. Lemons fall from the trees along the streets so some days Sophie comes home from school with a lemon from Demeter. I love lemon anything so both the lemonade and the hummus have a big dose of fresh lemon.
Yesterday we went back, for the 3rd Saturday in a row, to Old House Restaurant in Melame, Crete, on our way to explore a couple of new to us towns, Kissamos and Falasarnas. It is one of the three completely vegetarian restaurants that I have located in Western Crete. It is open for breakfast and lunch until 5. We love it there. They have a handsome and cool dining room, but nearly everyone opts to dine behind the restaurant by the pool. The two women who run the place are lovely as is the location. Last weekend we took a bus from Chania and had great fun enjoying a late lunch with wine and vegan banana cake as we were not driving. Here are some other pictures of dishes we have enjoyed over the last 3 meals there.
Pictured here is the Greek salad with avocado subbed for the feta, an appetizer of garlic mushrooms, sweet potato fries (served with tzatziki, not vegan nor shown), the tahini salad and the felafel plate. We have enjoyed several other delicious items on their new and expanded menu including garlicky pesto pasta made with walnuts, veggie burger plate with fries (which was 3 patties of homemade veggie burgers, freshly made fries with herbs and salad, but was not served with a bun), banana cake with chocolate ganache (yeah vegan dessert!), and samosas (which is the only dish I have tried there that I wouldn’t order again…tasty, but Just too greasy or my taste.)
A couple of shots of the beautiful poolside setting at Old House.
Some images from our trip to Kissamos and Falasarnos yesterday. We even went in search of an found the site of an ancient ruin. Last picture below. We were unable to explore it though as it is only open for a few hours a day on Tuesday through Friday. The intense sky in the pictures is in part due to the squalls that rolled through yesterday. It was windy and in the 80’s, with a couple of dumping down showers for short periods during the day. The soil must be especially fertile in this area as the landscape was covered with olive and other fruit trees as well as massive expanses of green houses.
If you find your way to the Western end of Crete, I highly recommend making a trip to Old House Restaurant for the food and hospitality and to Falasarnas for the gorgeous craggy beaches and vistas. You will not be disappointed.
Sophie’s Hummus in Crete
About 6 servings
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place chickpeas and tahini in a mini-food processor. Heat garlic in a small skillet over medium heat with olive oil until it just begins to soften. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then add to the processor with the chickpeas and tahini. Process until mostly smooth. Add parsley, paprika and salt and a tablespoon or two of water and process until smooth. Add additional water a tablespoon at time to achieve a spreadable consistency. Serve with cut up fresh vegetables as a snack or spread on pita or other bread as a sandwich filling.
If desired, top with quick pickled onions for an added bite.
Quick Pickled Onions
About a cup
1 small red onion
1/2 to 1 cup cider or malt vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic creme or thick balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
Peel and cut the red onion in half and then thinly slice it longwise, to make little onion smiles. Separate the layers and put the sliced onions in a small, sealable container. Cover the onion slivers with vinegar. Add balsamic creme and sugar, if using and stir or shake container. Allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour, then use as garnish or salad topping or in a sandwich or wrap. Will keep in refrigerator for a couple of weeks.