Monday, September 26, 2011

Cantaloupe with Gruyere, Honey, and Thyme

One of my favorite parts of our trip to Greece was the food. I realize that we had a very limited experience since we spent most of our time in Athens, but we were still really impressed.

Honestly, I was a little worried about the fact that we would be eating restaurant food for ten days straight. Usually when I have to eat out at restaurants for several meals in a row, I get sick of it very quickly. American restaurant fare can be so heavy that I just can't take it for more than a couple of days in a row without feeling completely drained physically and mentally. I didn't really feel that way in Greece though. I'm not really sure why. We ate some combination of bread, cheese, olive oil, and meat with almost every meal. Maybe it was that the portions were usually smaller than they are here. Maybe it was that everything was prepared with fresh ingredients. Maybe it was because they didn't rush you and in fact expected you to sit for hours savoring your meal. Regardless of the reason, I never got sick of Greek food, and I even made an attempt to replicate one of my favorite simple meals the minute I got home!

Before I get to that, here are some highlights of our trip, as promised:
Temple of Zeus.
View of the Acropolis from the Temple of Zeus.
Arch of Hadrian
Panathenaic Stadium
View of Athens from the Acropolis.
Sometimes we got lost in the labyrinth of tiny streets so we took some photos while we got our bearings.

We went on a day cruise to a couple of islands. Our favorite was Hydra.

Many sleepy stray cats on Hydra.

We got some beach time on Aegina.

Gorgeous sunset on the ride back.
Warning: Here comes the food porn...

Feta cooked with sliced tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions.
Moussaka - one of my favorites.
Fresh, hot loukoumades - drizzled with honey and topped with cinnamon and chopped nuts.
Fried feta topped with honey and sesame seeds. Tzatziki and pita bread. 
Tomatoes stuffed with rice and meat.
Pies: one filled with cheese, the other tomato sauce and olives.
Grilled sea bass with vegetables.
Salad with sun-dried tomatoes, croutons, and mizithra cheese from Crete.
Pita gyro.
Koulouri - slightly sweet sesame bread. Made a great mid-morning snack and street carts everywhere were selling them.
Boiled greens with olive oil and lemon.
Gruyere with melon, drizzled with honey and thyme.
Ok, back to the recipe I tried to replicate at home. You can probably guess it based on the photo.

Our first CSA box after we got back contained a perfectly ripe cantaloupe revealing bright orange, juicy flesh. I used a melon baller to make some melon balls. Deciding to make it an appetizer, I cubed the gruyere, stacked the cheese and melon and skewered them with toothpicks, and placed them on a plate that I first drizzled with honey. After taking the photo I decided that was not enough honey so I drizzled a bit more over the top before eating. You could also forego the pretentious fanciness and just put all the ingredients in a bowl and dig in with a fork. It's just a wonderful combination of ingredients, you really can't go wrong. 

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like an amazing flavor combination! I'm definitely jealous of all the cheese you got to eat. Love the pictures/food porn!! :-)


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