Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Trio of Sauces for Vegetables

It's summer and vegetables everywhere are popping up. Fresh tomatoes, zucchini, beets, green beans, eggplant, peppers. You name it , and they're available. In local grocery stores, farmer's markets, neighborhood produce stands, and CSA farms. The heat is also creeping up, and sometimes I just don't feel very creative. With that in mind, to celebrate fresh summer vegetables and my own laziness, I decided to revisit a cooking project from many years ago.
Greek Cooking Show
If you click on the link below, you will be taken to an episode of the Greek cooking show, Simply Delicious, that my husband produced for Access Sacramento television several years ago. Of course, I'm the Greek cook! This episode features three sauces that Greeks traditionally use for vegetables. As a warning, these episodes & recipes were developed before Congestive Heart Failure. Nowadays, I eliminate the salt. Since all three recipes call for lemon juice, I find it easy to add a bit more lemon to brighten up the flavor. I usually just add a teaspoon at a time, tasting as I go.
Olive Oil, Lemon, Garlic, and Oregano: Fundamental Greek flavors!
The first recipe is for the simplest of sauces, ladolemeno. Just olive oil & lemon juice. This is a staple of Greek households. It's used over any freshly cooked vegetable, especially greens. You can gussy it up with freshly chopped herbs or a bit of garlic, if you like. The second sauce is avgolemeno. This sauce recipe is different from the one used in the famous soup of the same name. It uses a roux to create a sauce that can be easily kept warm for a while and can also be reheated. This sauce is great over stuffed cabbage or grape leaves, salmon/tuna patties, and any of the cruciferous vegetables. This is one of my favorite sauces, and I make it acceptable now by using low sodium/NSA chicken broth and extra lemon. The third sauce is skordhalia, a potent fresh garlic sauce. It's traditionally eaten with beets, fried eggplant or squash, and fried fish. I love the stuff, but I really have to be in the mood for an overpowering garlic experience.

Links to printable recipes for the sauces are listed below:
   Ladolemeno - olive oil & lemon
   Avgolemeno - egg & lemon
   Skordhalia - fresh garlic

This link will take you to the PDF versions of all the TV recipes. You'll find the sauce recipes listed under "Sauces."  All the TV shows can be accessed by visiting the Simply Delicious YouTube Channel. Each episode is about twenty minutes long, so you may want to fast forward or skip over some sections. This link will take you to the three sauces episode.

My Mother & Grandmother:
Two GREAT Cooks!
The Yaprakia show features three generations of Greek cooks -- my mother, me, and my daughter. This video project was a wonderful way of preserving my family's culinary heritage. My grandmother, my mom, and I all were the typical "pinch of this & a couple of spoonfuls of that" type cooks. Doing the TV shows forced me to codify & quantify the family recipes. Now I've got something concrete that my children & grandchildren can refer to. I hope you enjoy the video and the recipes.


OhioMom said...


That video with you and your mom and daughter was wonderful! I watched the entire video :) I have never had stuffed grape leaves, I enjoyed your tutorial so much.

I am going to bookmark ... great post.

shambo said...

Linda, thanks for your kind words. I blubbered while watching that grape leaves episode again. My mom is now 93 years old and suffering from dementia. Cooking is beyond her. I'm so glad that we did that series with my family's recipes before they were lost to us. And I'm so glad to have a video record of my mom doing what she was best at. She was a terrific Greek cook, just like her mother.

OhioMom said...

What a wonderful gift for you and the family to have this video of your Mama. I have cassettes of my Daddy, I blubber everytime I listen to him telling his stories and singing "The Tennessee Waltz".

I miss him every day of my life ...

giz said...

I just love the videos - such a great help for visual people and how special to have this family memory.

shambo said...

Giz, thanks for your comments. Yes,it's a good thing to have family recipes. It provides a connection with the past generations.

Sarah T. said...

Who is that beautiful, talented lady pouring that can of water? And I usually start with half a cup of lemon juice at a time. To taste of course. Ha! Hi Mom!

Lucy said...

What a wonderful idea... I'm still trying to unlock up those recipes that are in the brain... for my kids, since they don't know what a pinch or handful means.... they want measurements...hehee

OhioMom said...


When you have a chance, stop by my blog and pick up your award :)