Posts Tagged ‘fasolia’

Greek Cookery Class – first session of the Jan course 2012

January 9, 2012

New year and new classes!! After running cookery classes teaching Greek food for almost three years, what started as a simple cooking class, evolved into me hosting and cooking for supperclubs and private dinners and birthday parties, teaching at other cookery schools like Divertimenti and Leith’s and finally starting my own little Greek Cookery Class Course.


On the first class of 2012 we made Gigantes, fasolia – butter beans – from Florina! For the first time we had more boys than girls in the class, it’s pure coincidence I am sure! The cliché that boys prefer to eat rather than cook and that girls want to learn cooking might not be true after all!

Comparing the butter beans you get in most big supermarkets in London/UK with the real deal, Gigantes or giant beans from Greece, the price is the first thing that hits you, they’re more expensive, but they’re worth the price as they taste much better and also look much better.

Gigantes - Butter Beans

Gigantes - Butter Beans

One place to buy the Greek butter beans that we call gigantes is in Bayswater, there’s a small little shop on Moscow Road called Athenian Grocery! So if you plan to cook this dish it’s worth using Greek beans, instead of normal butter beans. And since we’re talking about Florina, we also baked piperies Florinis, red long sweet peppers for one of our salads.

Nothing goes better with beans than some home-baked bread, but being busy with cooking all the dishes for the class, there was no time for the students to get into bread making as well. So I prepared that in advance, and baked bread using white spelt flour, wholemeal spelt flour, sea salt and of course Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Home baked spelt bread

Home baked spelt bread

During a long cooking session we’re all being teased and tempted by all the smells from the food slowly simmering away. So at some point we had a 5 minute break and a tasting with some bread and Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Greece but also some pieces of the vegan banana bread cake I had made the day before.

Banana bread cake - vegan

Banana bread cake - vegan

There was no plan to make this class vegan, but realising we’re so soon after Christmas and New Year’s when most people have been stuffing themselves with all sorts of goodies, meats, cheeses and chocolates, I thought it’d be a good idea to introduce an all vegan meal, where the olive oil plays a very important role.

I prefer the olive oil (extra virgin always) to any margarines or spreads containing some small amount of olive oil, not only is the pure olive oil healthier it also tastes so much better. In my opinion, most spreads (not including the real 100% butter) leave an aftertaste which is not very pleasant.

Aside from the beans, the class also made pereski, this is a pontic dish that my mother and her mother always made as a starter or light snack for meals including soups or beans. Pereski is usually made with a dough that you then use to make little pies that you stuff with a mix of potato, onions and herbs, before you deep fry them in olive oil! But we used phyllo pastry for the pereski and we baked them in the oven instead of frying them in loads of olive oil.

Preparing the filling for pereski - onions, boiled and mashed potato and spices.

Preparing the filling for pereski - onions, boiled and mashed potato and spices.

As I told the class, this is hardly an item you’ll find on the menu in a restaurant. Usually, only a grandmother – the Greek giagia – will be making those and offering to her guests and mainly family. Having said that there is a small little restaurant in Thessaloniki, serving Pontic and Cretan dishes!! So they might still have it on their menu.



Finally, we made a simple salad of winter vegetables, Politiki Salata, it’s a salad whose name refers to the big city Poli, Constantinople or Istanbul as it’s now called. The salad from the Town, Poli, consists of cabbage, carrots and celery and a dressing of olive oil and vinegar.

Chopping, slicing and grating the ingredients for the Politiki Salad

Chopping, slicing and grating the ingredients for the Politiki Salad

And here it is ready, garnished with some piperies florinis:

Politiki salata

Politiki salata

Next week we’re doing Kleftiko!

A thank you goes out to Kenwood, whose blender was used to grind the nuts used in the banana bread cake.

If you are interested in booking yourself in for a course or joining a supperclub, contact me to be put on the mailing list for future events.

Or read more details on the classes for January and how to join here:


Greek Cookery Class – three sessions in January for Gigantes beans, Kleftiko and Mousaka

January 5, 2012

Craving good authentic Greek food in London and want to learn how to make it? Join Greek Cookery Class for hands-on cooking classes and a generous meal to follow after each session! Details and bookings via greekcookeryclass(AT) or read below for more info!

Greek Cookery Class has created a three-week course in January 2012 with three full days of cooking and eating: 

In these 3 sessions on 3 Sundays in a row you’ll learn how to cook three of the most popular dishes in Greek cuisine. Each session will last between 4-5 hours, and be held between 1-6pm. We’ll cook together and then have a dinner with the food we’ve made before each participant gets to take a portion home. The course will run on these Sundays: 8, 15 and 22 of January 2012.

Gigantes, baked butter beans

Each class will feature a main dish: gigantes (the baked giant butter beans) which almost is the national dish of Greece, Kleftiko the famous slow roasted lamb and for the finale we’ll do mousaka. The classes are hands-on and you’ll get to learn the skills for the classic Greek dishes that so many of you love and what ingredients to use to make each dish a success. Apart from the mains we’ll also be doing Greek sides/meze and salads to pair with every main to create a meal. 

Kleftiko - roast lamb

The cost for the full course is £195 per person for all three January sessions. All ingredients, 5hr tuition, tastings and meal are included plus a doggy bag to bring some food home after every class. To book contact me via email to arrange payment for your space/s. The 3 week course can be given as a present and more courses will follow with other dishes later in 2012 to expand your Greek chef’s repertoire.

If you wish to attend to two out of the three sessions or only one, the price will be £80/class, remember each class lasts for about 5 hours as the three above main dishes take longer time to cook/prepare!!

The course is held close to Liverpool Street/Old Street stations. Please advise on booking whether there are any food allergies.

Pre-payment only.

The course is informal, good fun and you get to meet people who share the love of food and cooking/eating together. To sign up, email me back with your name and anyone else you’d like to sign up, friend/colleague/partner on email:


First come first served, so please book early to avoid disappointment!! I also offer personalised gift vouchers if you want to give the class/course as a present to your loved ones.

For pictures and info and to get a feel of what we’re up to visit us to see our previous 50++ classes and Greek Supper Clubs on: and check under photos.

Looking forward to cooking together some of the best Greek food in London.

Frying crispy courgette slices - Kolokythakia

Press and testimonials:

Your chef Elisavet, devoted to Greek food, has received much acclaim for her traditional home-cooking style. Elisavet’s food has been served at Riverside Studios in London for a Greek festival and she has been featured in Red Magazine (June 2010), Foodepedia and ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish where Michelin starred chef John Burton Race said her lagana bread is “absolutely first class” and the prawn dish she cooked live on ITV was “cooked to perfection!” Also Eating East has given her food and supper club 4**** stars out of 5 in their review:

Elle Decoration magazine (September 2011) recommends Greek Cookery Classes as the authentic Greek cuisine experience and Business Traveller US magazine lists both her Greek Supper Club and Greek Cookery Class among London’s top alternative dining places. Elisavet is also the first cook to teach Greek Cooking lessons at Divertimenti Cookery and Leith’s Cookery School in London and recently her piece on Greek food in Greece was published in The Guardian.

Private events can be arranged as well, for your work, family and/or friends. Get in touch for separate dates and prices for bringing the Greek Supperclub or cooking class experience to your home or bringing your party to us, or hiring the chef for your private dinner party. Catering is another service offered for your special occasions or office meetings and gatherings.

A thank you to Total Greek Yoghurt and Kenwood for sponsoring with their products.