This March 15 is Clean Monday. Also known as Green Monday here in Cyprus, this local public holiday marks the end of the carnival festivities and the beginning of the 40-day lent fasting period in the Christian and Orthodox calendars.
Given its name due to the physical and spiritual cleansing of the body that the day originally represented, today Green Monday in Cyprus has evolved into a popular excuse to get outdoors and enjoy spending time in nature. Kite flying has become one of the main activities of the day, together with eating clean, green foods free of any meat, dairy or eggs.
Traditional foods that are consumed on Green Monday in Cyprus include unleavened sesame bread called lagana, eaten with tahini, hummus, taramas, olives and fresh seasonal vegetables such as beetroots, cucumbers, peppers and artichokes. Octopus, squid and shellfish are also popular on this day, and to finish off on a sweet note, many people enjoy halvas or semolina pudding for dessert.
So, after months of lockdowns, restrictions, quarantines and limited movement, this Green Monday offers the perfect opportunity to make yourself a homemade picnic basket, pack a blanket, grab your kite and head out into the fields with your family.
At Prinos Farm&Deli, we know you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, so we’ve come up with a shopping list of Prinos products to create our selection of super easy Green Monday recipes. These recipes can all be prepared a day in advance and will surely be enjoyed by the whole family.
PRINOS GREEN MONDAY RECIPES
- Chickpeas Patties:
- Strain the liquid from the jar of chickpeas (keep some of this liquid to one side to add at the end to make the dough softer).
- In a blender, mix the chickpeas with 3 fresh spring onions, 1/3 of a bunch of parsley, a pinch of dry mint, 1 clove of garlic, a teaspoon of dill, salt, pepper, ground cumin and olive oil.
- Shape the mixture into small patties, then fry them, or cook them in the oven for 15 min at 180 degrees.
- On the day, serve up your Green Monday patties in pitta bread with leafy greens, coriander, tahini, pickled cucumbers and spring onion slices.
- Potato Salad
- Boiled some baby potatoes in salted water for around 25 minutes, drain the water and leave to cool before adding to a bowl.
- Add some colourful peppers (not green) chopped into small cubes, as well as a handful of capers.
- Make a sauce with one teaspoon of plain mustard, juice from a lemon and olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Ouzo Saffron Pilaf
- Finely chop a large onion, fennel bulb and clove of garlic and sauté in 4-5 tbs of good quality olive oil.
- Add the frozen mussels and cook for a few minutes before adding cherry tomatoes, a pinch of saffron and a generous splash of ouzo (this is a good time to add the red chili pepper if you like things nice and spicy).
- Cook for a few minutes to let the ouzo evaporate, then add 700 ml of water and bring to the boil.
- Once the broth is boiling add the rice, salt and pepper to taste, then lower the temperature and let simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on until the rice has softened.
- Octopus Stifado
- Defrost the octopus fully before you begin.
- Place the octopus in a large pan, cover with water and boil for around 30 minutes.
- Drain the water (keeping around 3 cups for later), before returning the octopus to the pot and adding onions, olive oil, red wine, vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, grated tomato, tomato paste and a sprinkle sugar.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, before adding two cups of the reserved water from the beginning (keep the third cup and add if the mixture becomes too dry). Simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
Find your nearest Prinos shop in Nicosia and Larnaca.
Don’t forget that you can always put your order online at shop.prinos.eu.