If quarantine has proven anything is my love for food. The last few weeks have been pretty much a repetition of emptying the fridge and expanding my waist. I dread the day I'll wear anything other than sweatpants, but I'm not here to rant.
As someone who loves dining in restaurants and trying every possible combination making my taste buds happy, one of the things I miss most about travelling is eating and experiencing new flavours and local delicacies. I know I'm not alone in this. So let me take you on a - culinary - journey. Next stop, Greece.
There is a common peas recipe, healthy, easy and ideal for everyone, vegans included. We are not making that recipe. Instead, we'll do my very own personal twist with smoked bacon and feta cheese. Vegetarians and vegans can easily avoid these, ending up with the traditional version, still full of flavour.
Smoky peas stew with feta and bacon
1 kg of frozen or fresh peas, peeled
2 carrots into cubes
4 thick slices of bacon 1cm thick, into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
500gr. fresh, peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 spoon tomato puree
1/2 cup of white wine
60ml extra virgin olive oil
3-4 drops of Tabasco or 1 chopped chilli pepper
200gr. feta cheese, cut in cubes
A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
salt, freshly ground pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the bacon and sauté for 4-5 minutes until it turns brown and smells good. Take out the bacon with a slotted spoon and keep it in a bowl.
Put the onions (dry and fresh) in the fragrant olive oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots and peas and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes.
Return the bacon to the pot and add the wine. Once the alcohol has evaporated, add the chopped tomatoes, the tomato puree, Tabasco or pepper and a cup of vegetable stock. Season with pepper, cover the pot and let it simmer for about 45 minutes until the peas are cooked.
Uncover the pot, add the feta and let it boil for another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until the feta melts and a nice, creamy sauce is created.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the chopped parsley and serve. Season with salt according to taste as feta (and bacon) can be a bit salty anyway. Bon appetit!
Tip 1: If you want to go for the traditional all vegetable recipe, have the feta on the side (with a splash of olive oil and oregano on it), along with olives and bread.
Tip 2: You can replace bacon with chicken thighs but doing so will also mean having the feta on the side.
Try it out and share your results! But don't stop there. How amazing it would be for all of us to have a shared journey around the world through cooking and food? I kept the recipe nice and simple so that anyone can try it, and I would recommend we don't make it too hard. I'm looking forward to seeing your recipes too!