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I haven’t bought meat or fish more than a handful of times in more than a decade. Octopus is my exception. I love grilled octopus, especially Greek style. Baby octos served as a meze, a Greek appetizer, is one of my favorite things to eat in summertime.
A Greek-inspired venison stew slowly simmered with all sorts of wild greens, from dandelions to lamb’s quarters to wild fennel, amaranth, orache — really whatever you can find. Of course this is also great with turnip or mustard greens, kale or collards, too.
If these look kinda-sorta like venison tacos, it’s because lots of cultures love to grill meats, stick them on a flatbread and add vegetables and some kind of awesome sauce. That’s exactly what this is, done Greek style.
Fresh cured anchovies sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn’t. This is more like a ceviche than the red, salty anchovies you get in a can. Called boquerones in Spain and gavros in Greece, these are fantastic on crackers or by themselves.
I don’t eat a lot of sweet things, but I do have a soft spot for cookies. These I call “Bacchus Biscuits,” and they’re my take on a Greek fennel seed cookie. It’s like a shortbread cookie, not too sweet, with toasted fennel seeds in it. They last a while and are great as a quick snack.
It’s not often I remake a five-year-old recipe and change nothing. This Greek meatball recipe — venison (or lamb), bulgur wheat, oregano and a Greek tomato sauce — is one such dish. Nice to know some dishes hold up well over time.
As we close out summer, I refuse to give up the grill just yet. And while I did not actually catch these little octopi, I just had to share with you one of my favorite appetizers of all time: Grilled baby octopus, a Greek classic.
My fig tree is exploding with fruit right now, so I decided to revise my recipe for an old favorite: Fig jam, spiked with ouzo, lemon and bay. I don’t eat too much jam and jelly, but this one is absolutely worth your effort.