above TIMOTHY ROBERTS recipe photography JORGE RIVERA, HELENA MOURSELLAS AND PAWEL SOLTYSINSKI
Treasured Aussie homewares label Bonnie and Neil has whisked us away to Greece with the release of the Peináo collection – made in collaboration with cookbook authors and twin sisters Helena and Vikki Moursellas.
Founded in 2010 by the eponymous Melbourne-based duo Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie, the textiles brand uses traditional hand screenprinting techniques, while also working with specialist artisans, to bring Bonnie’s beautiful paintings to life.
Now inspired by the twins’ new recipe book, Peináo: A Greek Feast for All (peináo translates to ‘I’m hungry’), the colourful collection cements that the independent brand is beloved for good reason, and features all the best parts of said feasting – fresh seafood and vine leaves served up alongside abundant lemony and olivey goodness.
For summers set on sweet tablescapes, pair the lush linens with a table full of mates and a Greek feast courtesy of Helena and Vikki below.
words and recipe HELENA AND VIKKI MOURSELLAS
This centuries-old recipe is one of Greece’s most famous dishes. Yemista means ‘stuffed vegetables’, and this recipe can also be made without the mince for a vegetarian option. We love making yemista in summer when tomatoes are at their ripest. You can also use other vegetables such as potato, zucchini (courgette) and onion.
A feast for 4–6
6 mixed bell peppers (capsicums)
8 large truss tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 brown onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
500g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
2 tablespoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
35g (¼ cup) pine nuts
½ bunch parsley, leaves picked and chopped
salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper
400 g (2 cups) medium-grain rice
1 litre (4 cups) boiling water
50 g (1¾ oz) Greek feta, crumbled
50 g (1¾ oz) mizithra cheese, finely grated
dill fronds, to serve
Slice the tops off the peppers and tomatoes and set aside. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and membrane from the peppers and discard. Scrape the inside of the tomatoes onto a chopping board and chop the flesh. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil, onion and garlic in a frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the mince and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 10 minutes or until the meat is browned. Stir through the oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg, pine nuts, tomato flesh and parsley, and season with salt flakes and cracked black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a large baking dish.
Add the rice to the pan, followed by the boiling water, and stir through. Cook the rice, covered with a lid and stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes, until tender. Stir through the feta and remove from the heat.
Spoon the lamb and rice mixture into the hollowed-out bell peppers and tomatoes, filling them to the top. Place the tops back on the vegetables, then transfer to the prepared dish.
Drizzle the yemista with oil, then bake for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and golden.
Serve the yemista hot with the grated mizithra and a few dill fronds scattered over the top.
Prep is your best friend: If she had family coming over, Yiayia would sometimes make the yemista the day before. We think they taste even better the next day, as the rice has had more time to absorb all the flavours.
Perfectly paired with: Our OG Greek saláta and a glass of Alpha Estate Xinomavro.
The OG Greek saláta
words and recipe HELENA AND VIKKI MOURSELLAS
If we had to live off one salad for the rest of our lives, it would be Greek saláta. No table in Greece is complete without this classic salad and every island has their own interpretation that often includes a few extra ingredients such as caperberry leaves or golden pepperoncini. This is our version – don’t forget to mop up all those beautiful juices with some fresh bread.
A feast for 4
200g (7 oz) cucumber, cut into 1 cm (½ in) chunks
300g (10½ oz) truss tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 yellow bullhorn (banana) pepper, finely sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
100 g (3½ oz) pitted kalamata olives
50 g (1¾ oz) caperberries, drained, plus 1 tablespoon caperberry leaves
75 g (2½ oz) golden Greek pepperoncini, drained (optional)
250 g (9 oz) Greek feta, crumbled oregano leaves, to serve
OREGANO AND LEMON DRESSING
makes 80 ml
(¹⁄₃cup) extra virgin olive oil juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons mashed jammy garlic (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon salt flakes
For the oregano and lemon dressing, place the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Place the cucumber, tomato, pepper, onion, olives, caperberries and golden pepperoncini in a large bowl, then add the dressing and toss to combine.
Transfer the salad to a large serving plate, top with the feta, caperberry leaves and a few oregano leaves, and serve.
Prep is your best friend: The dressing can be made the day before and stored in the fridge.
Makes about 100g (3½oz)
Sweet, jammy garlic is a kitchen staple that should stick around forever. We promise you this recipe will be used so often in your kitchen that it will become a favourite in your household. It’s so simple to make and the jar sits nicely on your kitchen bench for those days when you want to add a quick flavour bomb to dishes. Depending on how much garlic you like to use, the amount here should last 1–2 weeks. We love to make a double batch during the week, so we have a jar ready to go on the weekend.
3 whole garlic bulbs
185 ml (¾ cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus 1½ tablespoons extra
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Using a sharp knife, slice the very top off the garlic bulbs, to expose the cloves. Place the garlic bulbs on a large piece of foil and drizzle with the 1½ tablespoons of olive oil. Wrap the garlic tightly in the foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the garlic is jammy and the kitchen smells heavenly.
Squeeze the garlic bulbs to release their jammy goodness, then use a fork to mash the garlic into a paste. Set aside to cool, then transfer the mashed garlic to a small jar and cover with 185ml (¾ cup) of oil. Seal with a lid and store on your kitchen bench for up to 1 month.