Alaska Greek Festival this Weekend!
By: Shannon Kuhn | 20 August, 2015 | 2157 Views
Come enjoy the tastes, smells, sights and sounds of Greece!
Admission and Parking are FREE!
2015 Festival Hours
Friday, August 21st, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday, August 22nd, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, August 23rd, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church
2800 O’Malley Road in Anchorage
All 3 days (Fri-Sun):
12:30: Four Greek Appetizers (roasted Kalamata olives, bouyiourdi/spicy baked feta, hummus, melitzanosalata/eggplant dip)
3:00: Four Greek Salads (maroulia/lettuce salad, horiatiki/village salad, fasolia/white bean salad, angouri/cucumber salad)
5:30: How to Work with Filo (kolokythopita/pita with butternut & cheese filling)
Laurie Constantino’s Eggplant Spread (Melitzanosalata)
Recipe from Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska by Laurie Helen Constantino (Rev.Ed, 2011)
The smoky flavor of eggplant grilled over an open fire makes the best Melitzanosalata. However, when grilling isn’t possible, browning eggplant wedges in the oven is the best way to concentrate eggplant’s flavor. The amounts of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and garlic depend entirely on the eggplant’s size and the compromises reached between the cook and the eaters: my husband prefers more lemon juice than I, and I prefer more garlic than most people. No matter how much lemon juice or garlic is used, Melitzanosalata is always gobbled up. Serve with rustic bread slices, olives and roasted red peppers for an appealing appetizer.
- 1 large globe eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplants (about 1 pound)
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 olive oil
- 1/2 – 1 tsp. salt
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic
Grill eggplant whole, with its skin, until it has softened and is slightly charred on all sides. Peel eggplant, cut into large chunks, and place in colander to let excess juices drain off. After eggplant has cooled, use your hands to squeeze out any remaining liquid.
If grilling eggplant isn’t possible, preheat oven to 400°F. Don’t peel eggplant, and slice it lengthwise into six or eight wedges. Brush cut sides of eggplant with olive oil, lightly salt them and place wedges on oiled baking sheet. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, turning wedges over halfway through cooking time. Eggplant is done when it’s softened and browned on both sides. Let eggplant cool slightly and peel.
Place eggplant flesh on a cutting board and finely chop. Puree garlic by mashing it into salt, in a mortar and pestle, or with a microplane grater. Mix all ingredients, taste and add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, or salt, as needed. To serve, spread the Melitzanosalata on a plate.
Shannon Kuhn, Co-Founder
Born on the coast of South Korea and raised in Anchorage, Shannon is a lifelong Alaskan with a kimchi twist. She lives to eat adventurously, meet new people, and learn about different cultures and places. She is passionate about reconnecting with her food heritage, as well as the soil it was grown in. Shannon is the Philanthropy & Communications Director for Great Land Trust and writes a column for the Alaska Dispatch News around food and culture.