Two recipes to enjoy from the Cyclades

Two recipes to enjoy from the Cyclades

The cuisine of the Cyclades offers something for everyone, with fresh flavors and unique local products making each island a wonderful destination for gastronomic journeys. Some traditional favorites to try on your next visit to the Cycladic islands are karpouzopita, watermelon pie from Milos, and tomato keftedes, tomato fritters from Santorini. Perhaps less well-known than those island favorites, the traditional Naxos beef dish called kalogeros, named after an island mountain peak and usually served with baked potatoes, and patatato, an Amorgos goat and potato stew traditionally served at feasts , including weddings and religious festivals.

Kalogeros from Naxos

For the beef stew:

2 pounds beef, cut into chunks

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh, ripe tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of sugar


For the eggplant:

6 large aubergines

2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

Naxos Graviera or Gruyere

Greek extra virgin olive oil

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan over high heat and brown the meat on all sides in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about an hour and a half.

At this point, the eggplant can be baked or baked. To bake the eggplant, cut each eggplant in half lengthwise and cut the flesh of each half diagonally, left to right, then right to left to make diamond-shaped cuts. Add a pinch of salt, brush with olive oil and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes. To fry the aubergine, cut them into round slices of half a centimeter thick and fry them in a little olive oil for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Keep the oven at 350 degrees once you’ve baked the eggplant or preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and move on.

When the stewed beef is done, put a generous spoonful or two in each sautéed eggplant half after scooping the meat to make a cup for the stew. Fill each half with beef stew and two generous tablespoons of tomato sauce. For the baked aubergine, stack two slices and top with the cooked beef and a generous helping of sauce. Top with slices of cheese or grated Gruyere and place in a baking dish. Drizzle with extra olive oil if desired. Bake in the 350 degree F oven for about 5-7 minutes until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Patatato of Amorgos

Patatato of Amorgos. Photo by Sanket Shah, via Unsplash

2 pounds goat shoulder cut into large chunks with the bone in

2-3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 glass of red wine

2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 2-inch stick of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large deep pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper to taste and sear on all sides in the hot oil. Remove the seared meat from the pan and set aside. Drain excess oil from the pan and fry the onion in the same pan until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Return the meat to the pan and add the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon, allspice, fresh rosemary and potatoes. Add enough water to cover the food. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about two hours, stirring once halfway through the cooking process. Top with chopped fresh parsley, if using. Serve with fresh bread and feta if desired.