Thursday, January 19, 2012

Arakas me Aginares

I was recently delighted to discover a popular Greek vegetarian main dish called arakas me aginares (peas with artichokes). It can be difficult to find a hearty and satisfying vegetarian dish to act as main course. I admit my own bias that my natural assumption was that this was a side dish and I'd have to once again haul out the Foreman grill to make chicken, but according to Wikipedia, this is a dish often made during fasting periods when eating meat is somewhat frowned upon. 

Here is the recipe that I mostly followed. I ended up using 4 green onions instead of 3 because I have so many of them and I am not really sure what to do with them! I also used the dried dill for the same reason. (I can't even remember what recipe I bought the dill for, it was so long ago.) 
And! To chop the two tomatoes, I used the electric chopper that Greg's family got me for Christmas. *love* I had considered just using canned tomatoes, but I am glad that I went with fresh. I also just bought one 1lb package of frozen peas and another 1lb package of frozen artichoke hearts because I wasn't about to let 1/4 lbs of either go to waste. I am really glad I went with only 1lb of peas. 1 3/4 never would have fit in my large sauce pan!

After combining everything into the pan (I was really worried the water would overflow, but it didn't), I cooked it for a good amount of time on medium heat. I didn't keep track of the time because I couldn't find the lid for my pan, so I just cleaned up the kitchen and occasionally poked at the simmering pot on the stove until the artichokes seemed properly cooked through. Then it was just a matter of getting the excess water to boil off. 

Since I didn't have fresh lemons (Greece's favorite ingredient), I just sprinkled lemon juice over everything and let it sit without a cover because I still couldn't find the damn lid even after cleaning the kitchen. 

Delicious on its own, I did eat it with two slices of bread that were not vegan, but that is easily remedied for anyone who wishes to make this a perfectly vegan meal. I've never given much thought to dill beyond dill pickles, so I was a little intrigued, though pleased with the taste of the dish. It was also nice to have artichokes in something that wasn't garlic mayonnaise, though I am by no means saying that is not also quite tasty. 

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