I have an interesting relationship with breakfast. As a kid, I always tried to avoid it, mainly because it involved milk. You can imagine my surprise when I found out later in life that I was lactose-intolerant...well, that certainly explained it! As we got older, my parents stopped forcing me and my sister to drink milk and we got to drink tea instead. We always had Greek mountain tea, rather than coffee, which is why I'm always transported to my childhood whenever I open my box of Sparoza's Aurora Loose Leaf Tea.
Greek Breakfasts, though, also call to mind summer vacations on Greek islands. The expression "bed & breakfast" takes on a whole new meaning in Greece, where so many freshly-baked treats and fresh fruits grace the table...and of course, there's always thick Greek yogurt with honey, so I just have to share our Tragano Greek Organics organic Cretan honey.
I can't ship those fresh Greek fruits but I've put in a jar of Elli & Manos' Fig & Walnut Gourmet Spread, for figs always remind us of Greece! This is a special spread, made with dried figs (if you've been in Greece I am sure you tasted and love those) and a touch of balsamic vinegar. It's pairs perfectly with so many foods, cheese, bread, charcuterie etc. I love topping a sheet of puff pastry, add some goat cheese on top and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the puff pastry is cooked. It makes a special breakfast or brunch treat that you can share with your loved ones.
I may have hated milk and yogurt as a child, but I of course loved all the homemade jams and preserves my mother and grandmother would give us at breakfast and no Greek breakfast would be complete without one. As a nod to my husband, I'm proposing a jar of the Tangerine Marmalade from his home island of Chios - you'll love the tangy flavor, a refreshing change from orange marmalade or your usual strawberry or raspberry. Its especially bold aroma and flavor are more pronounced than the typical clementine tangerines we know in the States and will certainly wake up your usual oatmeal, yogurt or morning toast....even your PB&J!
I hope you love our Greek island breakfast ideas as much as I enjoyed putting them together! I also want to include my own family's favorite breakfast recipe, my homemade crepes. The inspiration came from my grandmother, who used to make blini, because she was born and raised in what is now the area between Russia & Georgia. She would only make them for really special occasions and she'd always serve them with a spoon sweet, usually her homemade sour cherry, or sometimes her peach marmalade.
When I went to live in Belgium, crepes were so common and I remembered my grandmother, so they became our favorite Sunday morning breakfast. Once we came to the States, we discovered brunch, and I just loved the mix of sweet and savory, the extra time around the table with friends and family instead of that rushed weekday breakfast at the kitchen counter. Crepes became a brunch staple and my kids have learned to make them for themselves, so you know the recipe is easy! Enjoy them with a cup of tea and one of our delicious Greek toppings!
MARIA’S FAMILY CREPES
From my family to yours, enjoy our favorite Sunday morning breakfast. A fun recipe to make on your own or with kids!
1 cup milk
2/3 cup flour
a pinch of salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
Butter for the pan
Mix well in a bowl all of the ingredients, except the butter, creating a smooth, thin batter. Put the batter in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes to rest.
When you’re ready to eat, warm a small amount of butter in a medium pan over medium heat. When the butter foams, pour about half of a soup ladle of batter into the pan, making sure it distributes evenly across the bottom. Cook for 1-2 minutes max and, with the help of a spatula, turn and cook for another minute. Place onto a plate and repeat with the rest of the batter for a nice stack of crepes.
You’ll need to experiment with the temperature of your burner for best results, as the cooking time can vary from stove to stove. You don’t want your crepes to be overcooked or burnt and since they are thin, they can easily burn. Over the years, I found it best to keep my stove-top temperature at medium or medium-low and be patient rather than risking burning them...and having a grumpy family!
Crepes are delicious with sweet and savory fillings. For breakfast, we love them with all of Citrus’ spoon sweets and marmalades just because they truly are a refreshing burst of flavor that reminds us of our summers on the island of Chios. Enjoy!
Enjoy the delicious taste of PDO Kimi figs from the island of Evia and bring the flavors of a Greek summer to your table. Hand-crafted by Kumilio using traditional techniques with no additives, preservatives, artificial coloring or flavors.