Lyndey & Blair's Taste of Greece

'Food seeking missiles' is how food guru Lyndey Milan described her travels through the Peloponnese with her late son Blair as they explored the cuisine and culture of Greece.

You enjoyed watching them in action on the SBS television series, 'Lydney & Blair's Taste of Greece' and now here's the book, filled with anecdotes and authentic recipes.

“Like all Greek food, Peloponnese cuisine begins with extra virgin olive oil. This is used for cooking, deep frying and dressing finished dishes and it is delicious! Next come lemons, the perfect seasoning  and I have a soft spot for rigani (dried Greek oregano). All produce is local and usually fresh," Lyndey says.

“Of course there are all the Greek classics like tzatziki, eggplant salad and Greek salad but there is much more than this. Saganaki (fried cheese), calamari and octopus and fantastic lamb. They cut their chops very long, including some of the belly and cooked over charcoal (yes, inside all restaurants!) it gives a fantastic flavour.

“Then there is souvlaki and good pork, especially whole roast pig in regions like Messinia and Kalamata, which of course, brings us to the fabulous olives.

“On Kythera there is the world’s best honey which is used in baking and all manner of biscuits and sweets. In both restaurants and private homes, family recipes are handed down through many generations.”

Your favourite recipes from the television series, including the traditional fisherman's soup Kakavia, mezedes old and new, crisp-skinned whole loin of pork and the secret to truly tender octopus are all included. There's Bandit's lamb and goat with eggplant, an array of salads and simple, fast seafood dishes.

Sweet treats include a more-ish cheesecake with muscatels and a clever frozen ouzo frappe as well as traditional favourites rozedes, diples and Greek shortbread.

Lyndey & Blair's Taste of Greece returns again to SBS One today, Sunday, April 1 at 6pm so you have another chance to meet the amazing Fani, the matriarch from O Pseiras Taverna in Nafplio who let Lyndey and Blair cook with her at a moment’s notice and taught Lyndey the very best meat stuffed dolmades.

Then there’s Kate and Lucky, who live on Kythira, though they had a cafe in Glen Innes until 27 years ago. Lucky was the Governor of Kythira for some time, makes his own wine and Kate taught Lyndey how to make lovely Rozedes biscuits.

And it seems that even for a food professional like Lyndey, there’s always something new to learn.  This time it was rolling filo.

“The ladies in Stoupa taught me to blow underneath the pastry – if it lifts up it is thin enough,” Lyndey says. “Then again rolling dolmades with Fani was fantastic.”

Lyndey says Peloponnese is accessible from Athens and on the beaten track, but still relatively unspoilt.

Chat to Lyndey about the book at Avid Reader Bookshop in West End, Monday April 2, from 6pm onwards.

Bottom line: Buy the book and watch the series.
Best tip:  Cook one recipe each week from the book and series and your Greek cooking prowess will wow the family.

What's your favourite Greek food?