UCLA Luskin Conference Center Quarterly Newsletter — May 2020Fresh and easy recipes

A taste of Plateia — at home

The past couple of months have been like nothing we’ve seen before as academic courses were moved online, events were canceled and restaurants closed their dining rooms, among other things. The Luskin Conference’s Center’s restaurant, Plateia, was no exception. With this in mind, we thought we’d bring the Plateia experience to you by empowering you to make a couple of our popular dishes at home.

Once our doors reopen, we look forward to cooking for you again and helping you unwind and reconnect with the people in your life. If you don’t live close enough for this to happen, no worries. Just watch for our recipes in future editions of our newsletter and don your apron with pride.

Lemon Chicken Soup (Argolemono)

This soup, which features chicken, Spanish onion, organic brown eggs, orzo, and lemon, is based on the classic Greek Argolemono soup, though some techniques used in this recipe have been changed to refine the flavors and presentation.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 organic chicken
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Flaky salt
  • Black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons blended oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into small dice
  • 6 cups of reduced chicken stock (see recipe on page 000), or 12 cups reduced-sodium store-bought chicken stock or broth, reduced to 6 cups
  • 1 cup orzo, uncooked
  • 4 large organic brown eggs
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

Roast the chicken

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the chicken by rubbing it with the butter, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken in heat-proof pan and roast for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to cool, but not completely. Hand-shred the chicken while it is warm to the touch.

Make the soup

In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat, add the blended oil and onion. Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the orzo, reduce the heat, and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.

Pour the eggs into the bowl of a stationary mixer and whip until aerated. Add the lemon juice and reduce the speed of the mixer. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the hot chicken broth to temper the egg mixture. Add another cup of hot chicken broth and continue whisking. Remove the tempered egg mixture from the mixer, and then hand whisk it into the soup on the stove over low heat. Let the soup thicken over low heat, 4 to 5 minutes. Be sure not to let it come to a boil, as the eggs will curdle. Season with salt and pepper and add the hand-shredded chicken and chopped parsley. Portion between bowls and serve.

Greek Village Salad

The Greek name for this rustic chunky chop salad is horiatiki. It makes a delicious side for any grilled meat and is a satisfying meal on its own.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette

  • 2 shallots, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup blended oil
  • Flaky salt
  • Black pepper
  • Juice from 3 lemons
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small handful oregano, chopped


  • 8 Persian cucumbers, cut into thick half-moons
  • 3 pints baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 1 radicchio, cut into medium dice
  • ½ head romaine, cut into medium dice
  • 1 small red onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • Flaky salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 can Valbreso feta cheese, cut into 12 medium-size cubes

Make the lemon oregano vinaigrette

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the shallots and garlic with ¼ cup of the blended oil, salt and pepper. Place the shallots and garlic in a heat-proof pan and roast until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. In a high-speed blender, add the roasted shallots and garlic and lemon juice, and pulse to blend. In a separate small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ¾ cup blended oil and olive oil. Slowly drizzle the combined oils into the blender. Season with salt, pepper and chopped oregano.

Assemble and serve

In a large mixing bowl, add the cucumbers, tomatoes, radicchio, romaine, onion and olives. Toss to mix the vegetables and add three-fourths of the vinaigrette, salt, pepper and chopped oregano. To serve, portion the salad between bowls and top with 3 pieces of the feta cheese.

Pro Tip: This vinaigrette is not a permanent emulsion and will separate, so give it a good shake before each use. Taste the salad and adjust the dressing as you wish. (Not all of the vinaigrette will be needed for this recipe.)