Thursday, August 21, 2014

Anginares a la Polita (Artichoke Stew "of the city")


Tony and I are still in Limnos, enjoying the endless sunshine and warm weather. Soon we'll be back in Melbourne, braving the rest of the cold winter months that are still to come.

As always, we have been having an amazing time, swimming in pristine waters, taking motor scooter rides to small villages, walking the narrow cobble streets, having long talks and lots of laughs with the family, and of course eating like we never do in Australia.

I've taken way too many photos and still feel as though I haven't captured everything we see and do while in Limnos. My weekend in Lesvos a few days ago almost killed my camera it was such a picturesque place – might have to make that one a three-part series post!

Speaking of series, the 'Limnos then and now' series is almost complete. I have one more photo to take and then I'm done. I've also been working on an 'Only in Limnos' series of images which has been a lot of fun. All coming to the blog soon!

And of course I still have a few more recipes to post, and not to mention the taverna reviews I've been writing up but haven't had a chance to post yet! I have six reviews to share with you – five from Limnos and one from Lesvos.

But on to another recipe: This is a simple Greek vegetarian dish made with artichokes, carrots and potatoes stewed in a lemon and dill sauce. Koula and I make this dish every year in Limnos as it really is one of my favourites. The name a la Polita, meaning 'of the city', refers to the Greek people that lived in the city of Constantinople (now known as Istanbul), and the dish that originated from the area.

Fresh artichokes are not the easiest of vegetables to prepare as they are surrounded by layers of tough leaves and a fibrous centre that all need to be removed. As artichokes are used in many Greek dishes, frozen pre-trimmed artichokes are available at supermarkets everywhere in Greece. I haven't seen frozen artichokes in Australia – only bottled pickled artichokes which are not suitable for this recipe. So unless you can find pre-trimmed frozen artichokes, you will need to prepare your artichokes before using. Click here for some helpful tips.


The traditional recipe for Anginares a la Polita calls for standard (large) onions, but for this recipe Koula and I used small 'cocktail' onions. While there might be a little more preparation involved in the time it takes to peel large amounts of these little babies, I think they taste much nicer than their bigger brothers and add a delicate sweetness to this dish.

The quantity of dill may sound excessive (1 full cup of chopped dill) but cooked down in the stew it adds a fresh, summery flavour that works brilliantly with the tang of the artichokes and lemon.

In the photo at the end of this post, you might notice we kept the potatoes separate from the stew (they were baked in the oven and served as a side dish – this was only because some people at our table can't eat potatoes). The recipe below includes the potatoes in the stew.

We also used lots of very small carrots (fresh from the garden), but traditionally, two or three large carrots are used in this recipe.


Anginares a la Polita (Artichoke Stew)


Serves 6–8

Ingredients

  • 30 small cocktail onions, ends trimmed, peeled and left whole
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 fresh or frozen trimmed artichokes
  • 2 potatoes, roughly chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 2–3 large carrots (or 15 very small carrots), sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over high heat.
  2. Add salt, flour and cocktail onions and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Add lemon juice, water and dill and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add artichokes, potatoes and carrots, adding more water if necessary (vegetables should be just covered with water).
  5. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.



Enjoy!


55 comments:

  1. i love artichokes and just got a huge jar of them! i am definitely planning on making this dish soon!

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    1. Oh my goodness, it's been so long since I visited the blog I didn't even realise there were comments here! Thank you, Caitlin, for always being here. It always makes me smile to see a comment from you :).

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  2. Thank you Lisa for the recipe, I love artichokes! My Granny used to make these!

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    1. Hi Viviana, it really is a lovely (and easy!) recipe. I think it’s time I made this dish again.

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  3. This looks phenomenally good. I thought you had moved to sunny Queensland are you back in Melbourne now.

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. No, we haven’t made the move to Queensland yet – we’ve had to put it on hold for a while because of work commitments. It’s definitely still on the cards, we just don’t know when. And in the meantime we can’t help comparing Melbourne’s and Brisbane’s daily top temperatures, “Oh for god’s sake! Brisbane is TWICE the temperature Melbourne’s going to be today!!”

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  4. Wow this look divine. I would like try this definitely.

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    1. And it’s a very simple dish to make. I hope you had a chance to try it :).

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