Hydra is a rather unique heritage-listed Greek island with a population of less than 2000. It sits in the Aegean Sea, a 20-minute ferry ride south of the Peloponnese mainland.

Otherwise, it's a two-hour fast catamaran ride from the main Athens port of Piraeus. It's an island whose only vehicles (and there might be just two or three) are rubbish trucks.

You either walk, ride a donkey, or take a water taxi (like the one in my photo) to get around. The food will seem familiar to anyone who's been on a Greek Island: lots of vegetables, plenty of olive oil, feta, grilled meats and fish.

A donkey or a water taxi are the preferred modes of transport for this tiny island. Photo / Peter Gordon
A donkey or a water taxi are the preferred modes of transport for this tiny island. Photo / Peter Gordon

One of my favourite things to eat in summer are the small red mullet called barbouni which are scaled and gutted, then dusted with flour and deep-fried whole. Serve me a plate of those with a Greek salad of feta, tomato, cucumber and dried oregano, and some grilled pita bread, and I'm very happy.

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I've also cooked these herbed feta-stuffed red capsicums with tomato and cucumber salad for a lunch on the island. The best capsicums on Hydra are long and thin – but use what you have at hand – so long as they're red.

• Peter Gordon is a New Zealand chef, food writer and pioneer of fusion food.

Herbed feta-stuffed red capsicum, tomato and cucumber salad

AS A STARTER SALAD FOR FOUR

Peter Gordon has cooked these capsicums with tomato and cucumber salad for a lunch on the island. Photo / Supplied
Peter Gordon has cooked these capsicums with tomato and cucumber salad for a lunch on the island. Photo / Supplied

These are best made at least a few hours in advance – or made the day before and served at room temperature

4 long red capsicums
250g feta – use a proper ewe's milk feta, not one made from cow's milk
2 tbsp roughly chopped mixed herbs – oregano, thyme, basil, dill
1 clove peeled garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp runny honey
100ml EV olive oil
2-3 large tomatoes, skinned and deseeded, cut into large chunks
½ long cucumber, peeled and sliced into 5mm rings
8 mint leaves, torn
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Oven 180*C fan.

Because you're stuffing the capsicums, you need to open them up. Cut a slit about ¾ the length from the stalk (keep it attached) to the tail. Then cut a perpendicular slit across the top – so you've basically cut a large capital T in it.

Gently prise the capsicum open and remove the seeds and fibres. If they're crisp they can sometimes snap – but do your best.

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Crumble the feta in a bowl and mix with the herbs, garlic, honey and 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Divide into four and squeeze each portion into something resembling the shape of the capsicum, then tuck the cheese in.

Sit close together in a roasting dish, drizzle with half the remaining oil and sprinkle with flaky salt.

Bake until the capsicums are soft and collapsing, and the filling has turned golden. Leave to cool, as they're best served at room temperature.

For the salad, toss the tomatoes, cucumber, mint leaves, remaining olive oil and lemon juice with a small amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve the capsicums drizzled with the roasting juices and salad on the side.