Delicious, Economical & Nutritious: Greek Peas Or Arakas Latheros

Greek Peas Arakas Latheros

Greek peas or Arakas Latheros is an absolutely delicious vegetable side dish that is both economical and easy to make. It is perfect on its own with some pita bread or great alongside a meat main like a roasted lamb shoulder. The peas, carrots and potatoes are cooked until perfectly tender and absorb a delicious tomato based sauce. This is one of my favourite vegan side dishes!

Arakas Latheros is the traditional peasant way of cooking peas in Greece and the name means peas cooked in olive oil. The word Lathi or Ladi means oil and category of recipes known as Ladera that means cooked in extra virgin olive oil. Arakas Latheros can be cooked with or without tomato but I love tomatoes so I always make it with tomato. Dill is used in this dish and it really lifts the flavour. These peas are delicious or warm or even served at room temperature. I love them because they can also be made ahead of time, even a day or two and the flavour develops even further so they're great for gatherings and leftovers. They're also vegan so they can feed anyone!

I also love this side dish because while it is inexpensive to make, there is no compromise on flavour whatsoever. The most expensive thing will be the olive oil. I was talking to my Greek neighbour down the road and she and I lamented the crazy price of olive oil at the moment. Everything is just spiralling in cost especially here in Australia.

Greek Peas Arakas Latheros

It has been a while since we did some work on the house. You have to do it in bursts just because it's so expensive. But there was one thing that we simply had to do and it was replace the skylights in the bedroom. One night around a year ago I was lying in bed and it was raining outside. "I can feel water on me," I said to Mr NQN.

"Nah you're imagining it," he said. The gaslighting was strong that evening.

"Why would I imagine water on me?" I said getting annoyed. "Lie here," I said to him pointing to my side of the bed.

Greek Peas Arakas Latheros

And sure enough, there were tiny drops of water, as tiny as the finest spray falling on the bed. The next day he got up on the ladder and found that there were grates around the side of the skylight. The holes were quite large, enough for an insect to pass through and we were completely befuddled about why someone would install the skylights with grates in a bedroom. I mean the surprises just don't stop about this house and the former owner. Also this bedroom does not need skylights. There are 16 windows in the bedroom so there is no shortage of light.

We finally got some professionals in to install them and they were scratching their heads. Apparently they were very confused as to why someone would use skylights with grates on them in a bedroom. You would only use them in a bathroom where there's a lot of condensation and the room can get a bit wet as it is tiled. So we had the plastic ones removed and some glass ones installed in their place. When I told Mr NQN he just said to chalk it up to yet another mystery decision by the owner. At least these decisions are consistent - consistently befuddling!

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever had Arakas Latheros? Which grocery items do you think are getting crazy expensive?

Greek Peas Arakas Latheros

Greek Peas Arakas Latheros

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6 as a side dish

  • 100ml/.5flozs extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large white or brown onion, peeled and diced

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 500g/1.1lb peas (frozen or fresh, I used frozen)
  • 2 large potatoes (around 450g/1lb), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium carrot (around 100g/3.5oz), peeled and cut into discs
  • 1.5 cups/375ml/13flozs chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g/14oz tin diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 30g/1oz tomato paste
  • 7g/0.3ozs dill fronds, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Greek Peas Arakas Latheros

Step 1 - Place a large pot onto medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté onions until softened but do not brown (around 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Then add the peas, potatoes, carrot, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and remaining oil. Place the lid on and bring to a boil. Then simmer on low to medium heat for 30 minutes with the lid off stirring occasionally to prevent anything from catching.

Greek Peas Arakas Latheros

Step 2 - The potatoes and carrots should be tender or almost there. Add in dill and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and all of the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Greek Peas Arakas Latheros

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