I've got big news... I'm going to Greece!!! 🇬🇷 Eeeek. 😁 This is a trip that's been on my bucket list, for a long time. I logged in quite a few hours on my computer last month, planning the trip and I can hardly wait to see this amazing place for myself. There's just so much that I want to see, eat and experience while I'm there. I've booked so much for us to do - I'm not sure there will be any time for us to sleep in the beautiful hotel that I researched so thoroughly. 😅
One of the adventures that I planned for our Greece trip - a cooking class in Santorini. We're also taking a fishing charter in the Agean Sea. 🎣. How cool is that? We're taking a tour of the Acropolis in Athens and planning some epic hikes while we're there. Of course, I looked into the restaurant scene in the towns that we'll be visiting too. Bring me all the fresh Greek seafood... and the baklava. 🤪
There are only a handful of foods that I really don't enjoy eating. At the top of that list is feta and capers. I love olives and I like salty food - but I don't like capers. 🫒 🤷🏻♀️ I also really love cheese. Hard cheeses, soft cheese, stinky cheese, melted cheese - pretty much every single kind of cheese ... except feta. 🧀
Can you guess what foods I saw on every single Greek menu that I looked at? Feta and capers? 😬 The thing is, I want to taste ALL the flavors of Greece during my short visit - including the feta and capers. I'm doing my best to keep an open mind and hoping that authentic feta and Greek capers tastes completely different from the ones that I've tasted here. 😂
I also saw a lot of fresh vegetables - especially eggplant - on the Greek restaurant menus. And since my eggplant bush is producing more eggplant than ever, I decided to create a simple Greek pasta dish to get us ready for our trip. The instructions for this recipe are very basic - it really IS just that easy.
Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Pasta
1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
½ cup chopped fresh basil
8 ounces whole-wheat penne
¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese
Dice vegetables. Toss together with 3 T oil, oregano, garlic, pepper, crushed red pepper, basil and salt in a large bowl.
Cook pasta to al dente and add to tomato mixture.
Sprinkle with cheese.
OK, what advice do my fellow travelers have for a first time visitor to Greece? Where do I need to go? What are the things that I absolutely need to see and do and eat? I want to experience all the things while I'm there so send me all your suggestions and tips.
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