Today I went through some of the old posts and I realized that at least every 4th post starts with the words "I haven't been blogging for some time now" or something similar. It becomes annoying!
Anyways, the recipe that I wanna post today is traditional Greek. "Ladero" could be literally translated as "something oily" and it is being cooked all over the country as a main dinner course. Nothing fancy, but very healthy! It contains a generous amount of oil, but it is ALWAYS extra virgin olive oil, which is good for your health when used in moderation, so don't be afraid :)
Even though it is so popular, my mom never cooked it (probably because she grew up in a different country, with different food culture). So, the first time I tried it was actually at the university restaurant back in Thessaloniki. It was a a fixed part of the Wednesday menu, followed by a chocolate mousse! I liked it a lot and after some point started cooking it myself :) Here is one of the multiple versions of this dish. Enjoy!
1kg green beans
2-3 carrots, sliced in circles
2 large onions, diced
3 large, ripe tomatoes, grated
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 cups water
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped
2-3 large bay leaves
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp sugar salt and black pepper to taste
1. First prepare the beans. Wash them well and cut off the tips in case they are hard. If the beans are too long cut them in pieces of 4-5cm long. This could the annoying, but this is the only step that requires time, the rest is just piece of cake!
2. In a large pot heat half of the oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté on a medium heat until soft (not golden).
3. Add the beans, carrots, peppers and grated tomato, mix well and cook for few minutes, just until the beans turn bright green.
4. Add the tomato puree, water, half of the parsley, bay leaves, oregano and sugar, cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft but still crunchy. If necessary add more water to the pot so that the sauce remains liquid.
5. Turn off the heat, add the rest of the parsley and oil, mix well, cover the pot and let it stay for about 15 minutes. Serve along with feta cheese (I prefer with grated Ksyromizithra) and thick slices of fresh bread to dip in the juices.