Arakás mé Patátes – Braised Fresh Peas and Potatoes

This is one of the vegan dishes described in Greek cuisine as ‘laderá’ – ‘oily food’. They’re not really oily, the oil merely replaces the depth that meat tends to give to food. They are dishes in their own right but can be served as sides, or as part of a buffet.

This recipe calls for grated tomato – this is a common concept in Greek cooking. I guess it is an easy way to pulp a tomato without fancy kitchen gadgets. It gives the tomato a nice texture and works really well.

As the phrase ‘happy ever after’ is to fairy tales, ‘na meínei mé to ládi tou ‘ (‘until the food remains in its own oil’)  is the classic line that ends all recipes for ‘Laderá’.

500 gm freshly podded peas

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 bunch spring onions (including the leaves), chopped

2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2-3 medium sized tomatoes, grated

3 new potatoes, peeled and chopped into 8ths

150ml – 200 ml olive oil

A handful of chopped dill

Salt

Pepper

Heat half the olive in a a low casserole and sautée the onions until it is soft. Don’t allow it to go too brown.

And the carrots and cook for a further minute or so.

Add the grated tomato, the peas,potatoes, half a cup of water and the rest of the oil.

Season, reduce the heat and simmer for about 35 minutes.

Once the potatoes and peas are almost cooked, add the chopped dill and check the seasoning. Simmer uncovered for a further 10-15 minutes, ‘until the food remains in its own oil’.

Serve with bread – for non-vegans slices of salty feta go really well too. .

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