Our final offering for Week 2 – “Starting your day the Greek way” is Antigoni’s Katsamaka – a dish my grandmother made for my mother and a dish my mother made for me! Polenta with fried onions and petimezi – such an unusual combination but it’s warm, comforting, sweet and soulful.
This is a dish my mother and her siblings enjoyed for breakfast. The polenta was made from corn they grew on their fields, that they harvested and milled. The onions grew in their “kypo” by the Pineo River – they braided them and hung them to dry for use year-round. They made the petimezi from the parastafila; the grapes that were not harvested during the main autumn harvest because they weren’t ripe at that time. The parastafila were left on the vines and when they eventually ripened, they were picked and crushed. The resultant juice (grape-must) was strained and then boiled with ash. The grape-must reduced and thickened and was ladled out of the cauldron leaving the ash behind. The thickened grape-must is petimezi.
Soooo much EFFORT AND INTENTION for a small bowl of humble food.
- 4 cup 4 cups water
- 2 cups polenta
- 1 1 brown onion, diced
- ¼-⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Petimezi – grape mollases
Preparing the katsamaka
Add the water and 1 teaspoon salt to a saucepan, and bring to the boil
Add the polenta and stir continuously until it thickens
Take off heat
Simultaneously add the diced brown onions, half a teaspoon salt and the EVOO to another pan
Fry the onions on high, until deep golden brown in colour
Pour the onions and EVOO over the polenta
Serving the katsamaka
Spoon the katsamaka into a bowl and generously drizzle with petimezi