The Ikaria Way: 100 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Inspired by My Homeland, the Greek Island of Longevity

St. Martin’s Griffin. Mar. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9781250880000. $37. COOKING
Kochilas (PBS’s My Greek Table; Mediterrean Grilling) returns with vegetarian recipes that highlight the cuisine of the Greek island of Ikaria, known as one of the world’s “Blue Zones,” where residents are believed to live longer, healthier lives. The book captures Kochilas’s love for the island and her reverence for family traditions, such as planting and harvesting her own vegetables. Her recipes are uncomplicated and often give a Greek twist to a classic (like adding tahini to spaghetti). She provides a list of items to have in a well-stocked Greek pantry and includes elaborate sections extolling the health benefits of olive oil, mushrooms, and fermented foods. Like a good Greek meal, the book includes meze, salads, soups, and beans, as well as grains and pasta. As the Greek Orthodox tradition requires eliminating most animal products for about half the year, adapting to vegetarianism is simple. Some recipes include dairy and eggs but can be modified for vegan diets. Don’t look for desserts here, though, as fresh fruit is the after-dinner treat of choice.
VERDICT In Kochilas’s adept hands, plant-based dining appears satisfying and accessible; a great choice for readers interested in the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.
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