Author(s): Belinda Harley
On the sleepy and beautiful Ionian island of Paxos, the local people still follow the old ways. They cook from ancient recipes: simple dishes, handed down the generations until they are instinctive - in which good ingredients are allowed to speak for themselves. The food on this little island is special, because by happy accident of history and geography, Paxos is the place where Greek and Italian cuisines meet. Here, you have the simplicity and robust flavours of traditional Greek food, lifted with Italian style and panache. // The result is the quintessence of Mediterranean cooking - dishes that are simple to prepare, with fresh, healthy ingredients in imaginative combinations. Learn how to make real tzatziki; roast lamb on a spit and prepare octopus; cook one of Belinda's warm pies on a cold winter night, or concoct fresh watermelon daiquiris for friends on a warm summer evening. Many times, you fall in love with something you have tasted on holiday, only to be disappointed when trying to recreate it at home. Roast Lamb in the Olive Groves not only brings a treasure-trove of tastes home safely, it shows how these dishes can be made dazzling and inspiring for modern cooks to serve at home. In sparkling, original recipes that are true to the spirit of Paxiot cooking, it shows how the ancient can be very modern indeed.
A former personal secretary to HRH Prince Charles, Belinda Harley began her career in publishing working with such writers as Quentin Crewe, Hugh Johnson and Terence and Caroline Conran. She has published two highly acclaimed cookbooks on Harry's Bar and Annabels, and diary cookbooks for Daylesford Organic. Whilst working both as a literary editor and food writer, she has spent over twenty years researching the food and recipes of the island of Paxos, and reinterpreting them for a modern generation. Recently, her short memoir of life on Paxos, the tale of the dog she rescued from the island, was selected as one of Hatchards' Books of the Year. Close to Belinda's heart is the Mediterranean island of Paxos, where she escapes to each year to enjoy the delicious food and slower pace of life.