Recipes of Cretan cuisine with olive oil

Here are some of the owner’s favorite Cretan cuisine recipes with olive oil:


img239Ingredients: 4 barley rusks (preferably the round ones), 4 ripe tomatoes, ¼ kilo fresh mizithra or alternatively feta cheese, one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for each rusk, salt and oregano if you wish.

Preparation:  Slightly sprinkle the rusks with water. Pour a tablespoon extra virigin olive oil on each daco or more if you like. Grate the tomatoes and spread them over each daco. Add salt, oregano and fresh mizithra or feta and the dacos is ready.

Kalitsounia with fennel and wild local greens

img240Ingredients: 2kg wild greens and fennel, ¼ water glass extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, mint, I onion finely chopped. Serves about 20-30 pieces.

Preparation: Remove the roots from the greens, wash them well and cut them into small pieces. Sauté them in an empty casserole for 5 minutes, squeeze them with your hands and put them in a bowl. Add the onion, salt, pepper, mint and the olive oil and mix them together. Using a rolling-pin roll out a pastry sheet, the size of a soup plate. Fill each pastry sheet with a tablespoon of the mixture, fold and close it well and then bake them over 30 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees C after having basted them with a beaten egg and sprinkled them with sesame.

Mushrooms casserole with chestnuts

img241Serves 4. Ingredients: 1 ½ kg mushrooms, ½ kg onions, cut in thick slices, ½ water glass extra virgin olive oil, 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes, finely chopped, 750 gr. Chestnuts, salt and pepper.

Preparation:  Clean the mushrooms and wash them well. Put the olive oil in a frying pan and when it starts to sizzle, add the mushrooms, leave them for 2-3 minutes and then add the onions, salt and pepper. Five minutes later, add the tomatoes and cook the food at normal heat for 20-25 minutes. In the mean while, carve the chestnuts and either boil them or bake them in the oven for 20 minutes. Peel them and add them in the casserole 10 minutes before the food is ready.

Cuttlefishes with fennel and green olives

img242 Ingredients: 1 ½ kg cuttlefishes, cleaned, 2 bunches of fennel, cut in thick pieces, 3 big onions, cut in big pieces, 1 water glass red wine, 2-3 garlic cloves, 500 gr. green olives, crushed, 1 water glass extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Preparation:  Remove the stone from the olives and put them in a bowl filled with water in order for their extra salt to be removed. Wash the cuttlefishes well and cut them in stripes (approximately 2 cm). Put the olive oil in a saucepan and when it starts to sizzle add the onions, cuttlefishes and garlic. Brown them, stirring from time to time. Then add the wine and, after three minutes also add 3 glasses of water, cover the saucepan and let the food cook at medium heat. While the cuttlefishes are being cooked, put the fennel in another casserole, boil it for a while, strain it and add it to the cuttlefishes, together with the olives which you have also strained. Add salt and some pepper and let the food cook until the cuttlefishes become tender and their water evaporates.

Lamb with stamnagathi or chicory and egg-lemon sauce

img243 Ingredients: 1.200 gr lamb, 1 ½ kg stamnagathi or chicory, 1 water glass extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 eggs, ½ water glass fresh lemon juice,  salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Preparation: Clean and wash the greens well. Boil them for 15 minutes in sizzling water and then strain them. Wash and cut the meat into pieces. Season with salt and pepper and brown it on both sides for 5-7 minutes. Then add slowly 1 to 1 ½ glass of water until it is cooked 1 to 1 ½ hour. Ten minutes before the food is done, add a glass of water and the greens. Then turn the heat off, prepare the egg-lemon sauce and add it to the food, stirring continuously.

Mizithropita, sweet cheese pies

img244Ingredients: 1 kg flour, ½ glass of extra virgin olive oil, 1 kg sour mizithra cheese, salt, cinnamon, thyme honey.

Preparation:  Mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead the dough until it is very soft. Let it rise. After it has risen, dip your hands in water and take a small piece of dough (the size of an apricot), make it round, open it slightly in the middle, fill it with a tablespoon of mizithra cheese and close it again. With wet hands place it on a non-stick frying pan with some olive oil and start pressing it with your hand from the center to the edges of the pan. Fry it until it browns on both sides. Serve with cinnamon and honey. 

For more

For more recipes, I recommend Nikos Psillakis’s book on Cretan cuisine.