Katerina’s Pea & Tomato Stew (Arakas Laderos Kokkinistos)

Ladera, literally meaning foods that have plenty of olive oil are perhaps the most loved dishes of Greek cuisine. These are vegetables (always in season), that are slowly cooked with olive oil and either lemon or tomatoes. Plenty of herbs are added towards the end of the cooking. These dishes take time and care, but the result is mellow, comforting flavours that have come together over low heat. Remember our pea & lemon stew?

Olive oil is the star in these dishes, and we love using our Ergani for such recipes. It is a classic olive oil made from ripe olives, produced on a small organic family farm in the Messinia region of the Peloponnese. It has a full, traditionally rich flavour and is fantastic for this week’s recipe.

We’re making a pea and tomato stew, with the first fresh peas of the season! You can use frozen as well, but if you can find fresh it will be amazing! This is my mother’s recipe which we grew up eating in the summers. In the classic recipe, some add potatoes or carrots, so feel free to do so! My mother also adds cinnamon in all tomato-based dishes, so of course, I had to.

This dish is great on its own as a main dish, but also an ideal accompaniment to roast chicken. It is also perfect for lunch the next day, and some even prefer eating it at room temperature or cold!

Serves 2 with plenty of leftovers

½ cup olive oil
1 large onion
500g fresh peas
1 bottle tomato passata or 4 tomatoes, blended
1 tsp tomato puree
salt, pepper
a few pinches of cinnamon
small bunch of dill, finely chopped

Finely chop the onion.

In a heavy-bottomed pot add your olive oil and onion. Over medium heat gently cook the onion until translucent but not caramelised, around 5-10 minutes. Add the peas and stir.

In a bowl add two cups of hot water and the tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste is dissolved. Add it to your pot.

Add the tomatoes (or passata). Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the cinnamon and stir everything together.

Cover, turn up the heat and bring the peas-tomatoes to a boil. Turn down the heat, and let it slowly cook until the peas are soft, around 30-45 minutes minutes. Add more water if needed.

When the peas are tender, add the dill and let it simmer for a few more minutes.

Serve with plenty of feta cheese and crusty bread.

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