Sannel Larson

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mediterranean Cooking - Means Healthy Eating



Greece will always be my "second home" in my heart. Greece was the place I enjoyed cooking more than usual. I guess the lovely surroundings and the gorgeous weather has something to do with it, but the main reason probably is the abundance of fresh local vegetables. The Greeks feel the need to share what nature has provided, and it's so charming to have my next door neighbors bringing me vegetables and fruit from their gardens, like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, watermelons or whatever that's in season.

As a vegetarian, I find the Greek cuisine to be extremely satisfying, since fresh vegetables, olive oil and herbs are the basics in most of the dishes. However, meat can be added to many of the dishes, or they all can be excellent side dishes to those who prefers a piece of meat, chicken or fish to go with their meal.

Eggplants (aubergines) are popular in Greek cooking and very versatile. I believe, I could write a Greek cookbook alone, about this immensely useful and tasteful vegetable.

I'll share with you one of my favorite Greek eggplant dishes.  This dish has all the classic Greek tastes; eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, olive oil and oregano. During the extremely hot season, I usually cooked the meal in the morning, to be eaten cold for lunch or dinner. It's more tasteful that way. However, it can be enjoyed as a hot meal as well.



Greek Stew of Eggplant and Potatoes  ( Melitzanes sti Katsarola)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients:
1 pound of eggplants, peel half the skin away from the eggplants in long strips, so that they look stripy. Cut in egg-sized chunks
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled, cut in large chunks

2 medium red onions, (finely diced)

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 green bell pepper (diced)

2 Carrots (diced)

1 bunch of fresh parsley, (chopped)

2 cups of pulped stewed tomatoes  (or 1 can tinned tomatoes, pureed)

6 tbsp of olive oil

1 1/4 cups of water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of oregano

Crumbled Feta cheese. Can be replaced with Graviera.



Directions:

Heat 6 tbsp of oil in a deep stew pot.

Saute the onions until tender.

Add the, garlic, bell peppers, carrots, eggplants, parsley, potatoes, pulped tomatoes, olive oil, salt , pepper and oregano

Mix until well combined.

Saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add the water.

Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat. Cover.

Let it cook over medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are done and most of the juices are absorbed.

Take the pot off from the heat.

Sprinkle the feta cheese or Graviera cheese on top, and let it melt.

Serve it hot or cold with olives and a slice of feta cheese.  

 Bon Appetite! Or as we say in Greece;  Kali Orixi! 

Sannel



Hippocrates taught us, 
“Nutrition should be your medicine.” 






11 comments:

  1. Hi Sannel... awesome article and I think we all need to try and get more fresh veggies into our diets. I have bookmarked this recipe and will be trying it. Bring a little bit of your holiday into my home.
    Thank you for sharing some of your adventure with us... glad you are back home but sorry you are like us facing another winter soon. The weather service has a frost warming out tonight... In August already... hope you are staying warm back home again... have some friends in Sweden right now and they are loving it...

    Blessings, Hugs and much Love from Canada

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  2. Delightfully written and a provocative recipe. I shall consider all of this delicacy once I am set up again at home. Sharing, I have never been a great fan of many cheeses, why = I dun'no, but I am willing to try feta and others. I look forward to more savory delicacies at Sannel in a Nutshell. M'm, M'm . . . thank you :)

    Mitch

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  3. This sounds so yummy. I am heading to the grocery today and plan on trying this tonight Thank you so much for sharing. Being a Veggie too, this will make for a great dinner.
    Have a great day!
    Love,
    Kimmie

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  4. The dish looks delicious! It's definitely something I want to try. You said something in your post you should follow up on. I think a Greek cookbook would be a great idea. Your many years living there and your training as a chef certainly qualify you. Just food for thought! Ha! Get it, "food for thought!" OK, it's not so funny. :(

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  5. Oh this looks wonderful! I am vegetarian and gluten free and that is always a challenge!

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  6. What an exciting dish, I love eggplant, I buy it often and love to try it with different flavors and veggies. Garlic for sure, I am looking forward to trying this delicious looking dish. Thank you for sharing and I expect to see a Greek cook book forthcoming:-))

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  7. Rolly, Mitch, Kimmie, Rick, Audrey and Vincent. . .I'm so happy that you all like to try your hand on this healthy dish - Bringing an aromatic breeze of Greece into your kitchen. Oh, and don't forget to enjoy it with a glass of wine. Yammas! To Good Health!

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  8. Aubergine...have always loved the color and the taste of eggplant!

    I just started following...don't know why I thought I had been, dear Sannel!

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  9. I tried this is week. It got a 8 out of 10 score, which around here is like the Fourth of July. I thought it tasted great.

    I still have the 1/2 cup of olive oil, didn't know what to do with it. lol

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  10. Dear Maria, I know how hard it is to keep up with everyone and every blog. . . .But I'm glad you are here now. Thank you!
    Hugs,
    Sannel

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  11. Mike, I'm so happy you tried this recipe out and 8 out of 10, is not shabby! Not bad at all! Oh dear, sorry, about the 1/2 cup of olive oil. . . I meant 6 tbsp of olive oil. I hope you're not too mad at me. . . :-(
    Hugs,
    Sannel

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Thank you !