Monday, 3 February 2014

Broccoli and potato hotpot (Μπρόκολο και πατάτες με σάλτσα)

Broccoli is a sweet winter vegetable which can be used in a variety of ways; it can be fried, baked, steamed or boiled. We have been eating HEAPS of broccoli this season, and we never get bored of it. I cook it with varying flavours - it goes very well in Asian cuisine, especially stir fries. Here is a really easy broccoli recipe to prepare and cook. It gives broccoli a Greek flavour and warms you up in the cold weather (we've been having lots of that lately).

You need:
a medium-large head of broccoli (about 600g), cut into florets - you can also use sprouting broccoli  
10-12 small potatoes, peeled (if they are of various sizes, cut them in half to make them even-sized) 
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 large fresh tomato, grated 
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2 wineglass of olive oil
salt and pepper (and oregano, optional)
Heat the oil in a wide deep pot, and cook the onion and garlic till translucent without burning. Add the broccoli, carrots and potatoes, and stir well to coat all the vegetables in oil. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat, stirring just enough to stop them sticking to the bottom of the pot. Then add the tomatos and seasonings, with a cup of water (about 250ml). The water should not completely cover the vegetables. Turn the heat down, cover the pot with a lid, and let the vegetables cook till tender (about 30 minutes). Check the pot from time to time to ensure that there are enough liquids, and stir lightly so that the vegetables at the bottom of the pot rise to the top. Take care not to break the potatoes. Serve warm.

This meal tastes even better the next day. It can be re-heated without a fuss. Although it is a vegan dish, it is easily adapted to a vegetarian one. The leftovers can be placed in an ovenproof dish and grilled slightly to give a crispy edge to the vegetables, and/or some cheese can be placed on top. A crusty loaf of bread is vital to mop up the juices in the pot, which are too precious to discard. 

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