Pete’s Food Corner: A taste of Greece

Pete Moody grew up in Delph and also lived in Diggle and Uppermill before going up to Lancaster to study English in 1996.

Peter MoodyHe taught himself to cook from the backs of cereal boxes, Chinese whispers and Youtube, deciding the long hours, crippling financial difficulty and a snooker-player complexion were preferable to a teaching career. He is currently starting up a business in Shrewsbury.

IF I have learned one thing in the last two thousand years, when organised crime and tax avoidance haven’t hindered my imports, it’s how to eat for nearly, but not quite, a fiver.

Greece has given us all its flavours via package holidays in the 1980s and 90s and we’ve stuffed them at the backs of our minds and our fridges and cupboards in favour of the savouries of Italy and Spain.

I know it’s not that different and I would have argued the latter were the forerunners of Mediterranean cuisine if I hadn’t spent five minutes research on it.

Archastraeus, a Greek, wrote the first cookbook. It basically states food should be simple, not unnecessarily masked by herbs and, chiefly, affordable.

Take the lowly aubergine – I’m guessing you rarely do, and don’t want to… but do.

Split lengthways, score on two diagonals, oil and roast for twenty minutes. You can scoop out the flesh and mix with cheese and diced onion, then return to the shell, top with a cheese sauce and grill, for a quick and historic taco.

I’ve diced it into one inch cubes and skewered it with halloumi and under ripe cooking tomatoes and barbecued these kebabs to go with tzatziki.

Halved and hot smoked over a few ripped teabags, on your microwave trivet, in your partner’s studentwokit makes an amazing base for an olive oil baba ganoush once mashed.

Look into it. The moussaka far outstrips the lasagne for oozing, melting flavour. A lamb stifado thumbs its conk at young boy Bourguignon.

Less spending, more roasting, longer cooking, and a dollop of yoghurt and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.

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