"Lathera". Cooking with organic Greek olive oil. Arakas Latheros - Greek-style peas cooked in olive oil.
The Mediterranean Diet is considered the healthiest diet in the world.
With its use of organic Greek olive oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, cheese and very little
meat, Greek cuisine certainly falls under this heading.
What could be better than the combination of fresh, seasonal vegetables and Greek
Kalamata olive oil, reputed to be the best, by culinary experts?
Lathera, (From the Greek word “lathi” meaning oil) is a large category of Greek dishes,
mostly vegetables, cooked in olive oil, usually served as a main dish.
|Organic, Greek, Kalamata olive oil|
A vast variety of vegetables can be used for “Lathera” dishes, runner beans, okra, eggplant,
zucchini, artichokes, peas, quite honestly, if you have any type vegetable, olive oil and a
few tomatoes, to hand, you can prepare a “Lathera” dish.
|Fresh, seasonal vegetables.|
Loutraki Street Market
“Lathera” dishes, are, of course, preferably prepared with fresh, seasonal vegetables, but
they can be made with frozen vegetables, as I am doing today, with my “Araka”, peas,
which, by the way, I don’t think I have ever seen fresh in Greece, but, I’m sure they must
The following recipe can be utilized for all vegetables, if frozen, no need to thaw them out.
|Ingredients for "Arakas latheros"|
Araka latheros (Greek-style peas in olive oil and tomato sauce)
For 4-6 people
½ cup Greek olive oil
500 gr Frozen peas
About 1 kilo potatoes (Peeled & cut into cubes)
2 Large onions (Chopped)
2 Cloves garlic (Chopped)
500 gr Tomato juice, or puree. (Skinned, chopped fresh tomatoes can be used)
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
About 100 mls hot water
Bunch of fresh dill, washed & chopped (optional)
|Saute onion & garlic in Greek olive oil|
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan.
Sauté the onion & garlic until translucent, about five minutes.
Add tomato puree, stir and bring to the boil.
Add potatoes and frozen peas bring to the boil; turn down heat to a slow simmer.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Add enough hot water to cover the peas and potatoes, simmer, covered, until potatoes are
soft and sauce has thickened. (1 to 1 ½ hours)
Stir occasionally, especially towards the end of cooking, when the sauce has thickened, and
may have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
| "Arakas latheros"|
fish, or meat, I like it with sausages, or pork / lamb chops.
When served alone, Greeks customarily serve feta cheese with “Lathera” dishes, not only
for its unique taste, but also to add protein to the meal.
Slice up some fresh crusty bread, add a plate of black Kalamata olives and you have a tasty
and nutritious, authentic, Greek meal.
Oh, and not to be forgotten, lashings of great Greek wine!
If you are interested in finding out more about authentic, Greek cooking, tips, and secrets, of how to produce the best Greek dishes, this, in my opinion, is one of the best Greek cookery books.
The Country Cooking of Greece By Diane Kochilas.
More Greek Recipes