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A Take on Cypriana's Tabouli


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.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.