Chef Diane Kochilas of our wonderful cooking vacation on the island of Ikaria in Greece has generously shared a recipe for today’s blog. This featured salad is one that she often teaches during the week-long cooking vacation on Ikaria, the Blue-Zone island of longevity where it is said “people forget to die.” The classes Chef Diane leads focus on the exploration of vegetables, beans, and grains as the primary ingredients for healthy and delicious meals. It is a diet, in other words, that has helped the islanders live to very ripe old ages with very little heart disease or dementia.
Ikarian cuisine is the quintessential Mediterranean diet: delicious, seasonal, fresh, totally unprocessed and largely plant-based. As Diane says, “It is meant to be shared among friends, as the joy of life is just as much a part of how we eat and live on the island as the food itself.”
Adapted from Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life & Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die (Rodale)
Serves 4 – 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cook method: Roast
- 1 1/2 pounds (750 g) sweet potatoes
- Salt (preferably sea salt)
- 1 large red onion or 1 bunch scallions, trimmed
- 2 bunches fresh arugula, trimmed
- 1/2 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 cup crumbled Greek feta or goat’s milk cheese, optional
1. Preheat over to 375°.
2. Peel and wash the sweet potatoes. Cut into a 3/4 inch dice and toss with a few Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a parchment-lined baking pan until slightly charred and tender, about 15 minutes The potatoes should be cooked but “al dente.” Remove and allow to cool slightly.
3. Peel and half the onion and slice thinly. If using scallions, trim and cut into thin rounds.
4. Coarsely chop the arugula.
5. Place the arugula, onions, and sweet potatoes in a bowl and dress with olive oil, vinegar, and salt to taste. Add the crumbled goat cheese or feta and serve.
Interested in cooking with Chef Diane on the island of Ikaria? We offer an amazing 6-night itinerary. Give us a call for more details or to book!
Try Chef Diane’s classic Ikarian Soufico (Eggplant Casserole).
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