Kozani

Main

Kozani Spiced Mussels

Ingredients:

3 TB butter
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 TB Kozani Spice
2 lbs mussels
lemon wedges

Melt the butter in a large stock pot and add the garlic and shallot. Cook until the garlic & onion begin to turn gold on the edges then add the white wine, stock and Kozani spice. Bring to a simmer then add the mussels all at once and place on the lid. Let steam for a minute, shake the pan, and steam another minute. Check your mussels to see if they've opened and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes as needed until all the shells have opened. 

Pour into 2 big bowls, making sure to get lots of sauce into the bowl! Serve with big wedges of lemon, French bread, and crisp white wine. 
 

Dessert

Kozani Spice Olive Oil Cake

Makes one 9” cake.

This tender, not-too-sweet cake is perfect for afternoon tea or try a slice for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar *
3 large eggs
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Kozani Spice blend
Zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons slice almonds, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a heavy, 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with baking parchment and grease that too. Coat the greased cake pan with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.

Mix the flours, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Measure the milk, add the Kozani spice, and lemon juice. Stir together and set aside.

Use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and eggs together until they are satiny smooth, thick, and a light butter color, about 2 minutes. With the beaters running, drizzle in the oil, incorporating it completely.

Add the milk mixture and lemon zest to the egg mixture, stir to mix, then fold in the flour mixture, using strong, quick strokes. Don’t over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top with almonds, if using. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is domed and golden. A cake tester should come out close-to-clean when poked into the top center.

Cool for 10–15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate and allow to cool completely before slicing the cake.

* We like the slightly caramel-y flavor of organic cane sugar in this recipe, but any granulated sugar will work just fine.

Top it off!

Generously dust the cake with powdered sugar and strew fresh flowers over it (rose petals, violets, pansies, nasturtium, apple blossoms, geranium petals are all edible). Also nice with a dollop of crème fraîche.

[Sidebar]

Our Kozani Spice blend takes its name from the Northern Greek region where saffron is grown.

The blend is wonderful in savory dishes, but its sunny flavor is also at home in simple desserts, such as this olive oil cake.

Salad, Side

Greek Farro Salad with Kozani Spiced Feta

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a starter.

Here’s our “cold weather” version of the popular Greek salad. By adding farro (an ancient grain) plus oregano-roasted tomatoes you get a hearty & healthy alternative to this iconic salad. The Kozani feta makes it dinner-party worthy!

2½ cups cooked farro (kept warm)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded & chopped
4 scallions sliced
2 radishes, sliced
½ cup minced parsley leaves
¼ cup minced mint leaves
Zest from 1 lemon
Salt & black pepper, to taste
1 batch Curio’s vinaigrette
1 batch roasted grape tomatoes (see below)
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 batch Kozani Spice marinated feta (see below)
Toasted walnuts or pine nuts, to garnish

Put the farro into a large mixing bowl. Add the fresh vegetables, herbs, lemon zest & a half cup of the vinaigrette. Mix well, add salt & pepper to taste. Add the roasted tomatoes & gently stir to distribute them through the salad without breaking them up. Let the salad rest for at least 15 minutes so that the flavors can meld.

Just before you’re ready to serve, dress the chopped romaine very lightly with a little of the lemon vinaigrette & arrange it on a platter. Mound the farro salad on top of the lettuce. Strew the marinated feta chunks over the salad & garnish generously with nuts. (Stash leftover vinaigrette in the fridge, tightly covered, for future salads.)

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Winter tomatoes aren’t summer tomatoes here in New England. But roasting them deepens their flavor & a touch of honey brings out their sweetness. If you make the salad during tomato season, use fresh grape or cherry tomatoes, instead.

1 pint grape tomatoes, washed & dried

2 teaspoons olive oil

Pinch dried Greek oregano

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon honey

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise & pile them in the center of a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle them with the oil & use your hands to toss them gently, coating them (and the pan with oil). Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer. Crush the oregano & sprinkle it over the tomatoes. Sprinkle them with salt, then drizzle the honey over them. Roast for 40–45 minutes, until the tomatoes are almost collapsed & have caramelized edges. Let them cool to room temperature before using. They can be made up to a day ahead.

Kozani Spice Marinated Feta Cheese

7 ounces Greek sheep’s or goat’s milk feta cheese, drained

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Kozani Spice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Put the block of feta into a wide bowl or glass pie plate. Drizzle half the lemon juice over it, then flip the block over & drizzle the other side with the remaining juice. Sprinkle half the Kozani Spice on top of the block, then flip it over & repeat on the other side. Drizzle the oil over the block. Let stand for 20 minutes, then crumble the cheese into bite-sized chunks and let stand for another 20 minutes (or up to overnight, covered & refrigerated).

[sidebar]

Our Kozani Spice blend takes its name from the Northern Greek region where saffron is grown.

The blend is wonderful in savory dishes, but its sunny flavor is also at home in simple desserts.

See accompanying card for the vinaigrette recipe.

Condiment

Herbed Goat Cheese Dressing

Makes a bit more than 1 cup.

Creamy goat cheese and our Herbes de Romance team up in this luscious dressing. The recipe comes just in time for the start of salad season, but we suspect that you’ll want to make it year round.

Try drizzling the dressing over a simple salad of early season head lettuce, baby arugula, some chive flowers, and lots of thinly sliced radishes. Top with crumbled hard-boiled egg.

2 ounces chèvre-style goat cheese
2 tablespoons buttermilk or plain kefir
½ cup mild oil, such as canola or grapeseed
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, grated (½ teaspoon)
1½ tablespoons Herbes de Romance blend
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a bowl or jar and use stick blender to combine them until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Use the dressing right away or store it, tightly covered, in the fridge for a week or more.

Note: You can make another delicious salad dressing by following this recipe and substituting our Kozani Spice blend for the Herbes de Romance.

[Sidebar]

Our Herbes de Romance blend is inspired by the French classic “Herbes de Provence.”

Its fragrant combination of herbs and flowers almost magically transforms the humblest dish into something special, try it on omelets, baked fish, roast chicken, and in potato salad or rice.