Wednesday, June 3, 2015

HERBAL HEALING: DAPHNIS + CHLOE


The healing powers of herbs do not need mentioning here with my constant incorporation of them from beauty bites features to farmacy posts. I grow my own herbs when the weather allows it + have taken on #conversationswithplants à la Nitsa Citrine. I soil my fingers + clear my heart. There is such a feminine energy to herbal healing + gardening for me. I first took it up through my grandmother, allowing gardening to become my introduction to tapping into the silence of the soul. Connecting with mama earth was my first understanding of meditation + is still the quickest way for me to drop into Source. 

Stumbling upon, smelling, + using the herbs of Daphnis + Chloe took me on a Proustian trip back to those childhood days in Istanbul, Turkey . . . nose buried in drapes of honeysuckle + a mouthful of vine-ripe grapes.

Their line is close to home in Greece where they work with and support farmers + foragers who run small and seasonal operations. The mint, which they hand-pick from magical hidden corners of Greece, is an experience in itself with the immediate aroma released in its crushing. Even a sprinkle provides a potent little afternoon tea. The oregano leaves are almost too incredibly dainty + beautiful to use, but they were the perfect fragrant companion to a recent dinner of grass-fed lamb . . . These herbs are a constant reminder for the slow savouring + respect required not only of food on the table but of day-to-day life . . .


This week, I have partnered up with Evangelia of Daphnis + Chloe  to bring you a feast for a hearty appetite for our meals + the lives we share them with . . . The first is featuring my favourite comfort food of my roots, fresh seafood:



FRESH CODFISH WITH SAFFRON + OTHER SPICES
Fresh fish and spices have a prominent role in the cooking of Thessaloniki, where this dish comes from. Having been a cultural crossroad for centuries, this is a city of good eaters where household recipes are never disappointing. I discovered the original version of this dish thanks to Gastronomos, which is my favorite publication on greek cooking. Our version has a series of minor changes.

SERVINGS | 4-6
1 kg sustainably-sourced, fresh codfish fillets | I prefer to buy an entire fish and cut the fillets at home
1 large spoon apple cider vinegar
1 large spoon high quality olive oil
4 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
Some fresh organic parsley, thinly chopped
1 garlic clove, mashed
1 small spoon curcuma
200ml dry white wine
½ spoon chili flakes
3-4 thyme flowers
10 saffron stigmas
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper




Put the vinegar and 1 small spoon salt in a large bowl. Marinate the fillets in this liquid for 1 hour. Rinse the fillets with water and dry with a clean towel.

Use a large, low pan to heat the oil in medium fire. Add half of the tomatoes, half parsley, the garlic and the curcuma. Five minutes later add the fish fillets and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining tomatoes, parsley, the saffron, salt, pepper and the wine. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes.

Use a strain spatula to serve the fish and tomatoes in a plate. Let the sauce cook for another few minutes, till in thickens. Pour the sauce on top of the fish and serve. Enjoy warm!