One of the pleasures of dining in Baltimore is the number of different cuisines we can sample. At Cypriana of Roland Park the culinary traditions of Cyprus are on display, and that little island turns out some fabulous food.
Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School and Al invited Chef Maria Kaimakis to be with to talk about her restaurant.
As one who has dined at Cypriana many times, Al can tell you they serve very delicious food, and very reasonable prices. Two of Chef Maria's soups are unbelievable; her chicken soup and her mushroom soup are both world class.
They slow cook their meats in a wood-burning oven, then finish them on the grill. The grilled pork belly Al had the other night was juicy, succulent, and very well seasoned with one of their patented rubs.
Chef Maria is able to use a lot of locally sourced produce and meats in her kitchen. But perhaps her forte are the greens and spices she grows on the premises.
Fresh Greek basil is a mainstay as are cilantro and assorted parsleys.
One of the most delightful side dishes that they serve is the tabouli, which tastes unbelievably fresh. Here's a recipe inspired by Cypriana.
1/2 cup golden quinoa
1 cup cold water
4 firm Roma tomatoes, very finely chopped
1 medium cucumber, very finely chopped
2 bunches of very fresh flat leaf parsley, washed, dried and very finely chopped
15-20 mint leaves, very finely chopped
4 green onions, trimmed, finely chopped
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup EVOO
1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly to remove the bitter saponin. Pour one cup cold water into a sauce pan, and add the rinsed quinoa. Cook over high heat until it
begins to boil, the cook uncovered until most of the water is absorbed. Turn off
heat and cover the sauce pan, allowing the quinoa to steam until finished. Set aside to cool.
2. Place all the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add salt to taste, then add the lemon juice and olive oil. Toss again, and refrigerate, covered.