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Autumn

Appetizers & Salads  –  Soups    Main Dishes ( Meat )  Pasta  Rice  Vegetarian Dishes   Fish-Seafood

  Poultry Game   Sweets Desserts)  Cheeses   Herbs And Spices

As the end of August approaches and as the sun begins to lose its dazzling brilliance, the first sign of the impending autumn is the sudden, eerie stillness in the olive groves (and even in our small garden) as the birds stop singing.

After the season of excess comes the season of mellowness. The cooking move from the garden and returns to the kitchen as the days get shorter and barbecues are packed away until the spring.

The excitement isn't over, however, for September is the month of the tuna run. More and more of the glistening silver fish are unloaded on island quays.

Tuna seems to be at its best — and cheapest — at this time, and soon every household is enjoying baked tuna with potatoes, tomatoes and garlic.

The first green olives are harvested in early autumn, and are quickly cracked and cured, for Greeks love the refreshing taste of green olives.

September is the month for spetzofai — the Pelion speciality made up of mounds of elongated green peppers and garlic sausages. Peppers also feature in briami, a delicious bake that also includes courgettes (zucchini), potatoes, garlic and tomatoes.

At the end of September, the first supplies of gigantes — the giant dried beans that are widely used in winter dishes — arrive in the stores, a cause for rejoicing. The evenings are becoming chilly now, and the soup pan is again in evidence.

Chicken soup is a favorite at this time of year, with lentil soup on Fridays. Life has definitely moved indoors, and the kitchen adapts itself to the change.In late October, olive-picking starts in earnest, and the hillsides ring with the chatter and laughter of the pickers.

Whole families come together under their olive trees, gathering the harvest that will produce the fresh and slightly peppery new season's oil. At about the same time, after the first rains, wild greenery is picked from the hillsides.

Greeks love all kinds of horta (translated as "greens" ) and serve the wild leaves in all sorts of ways. They are particularly popular when lightly boiled and dressed with fruity green olive oil and lemon juice. Cultivated greens are sold in the shops and street markets, and are treated in precisely the same way.

They form an important part of the autumn and winter diet in Greece.

There is a distinct chill in the air now, and the first stews start to be made. Combinations such as meat and  beans, simmered slowly until meltingly tender, bring welcome warmth to the darker evenings.

Baked Tuna (Tonos Plaki)

Baked Tuna

(Tonos Plaki)

Briam (Baked mixed Vegetables)

Briam

(Baked mixed Vegetables)

Lentil soup(fakes)

Lentil soup ( fakes)

Iliada Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 101.4-Ounce

Sausage And Pepper Stew

Sausage And Pepper Stew