Monday, 28 July 2014

Reds, Whites and Greens

Cicoria & Patate con Pomodori Secche & Olive
Chicory & Potatoes with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Olives


The great thing about southern Italian or Sicilian food, is how simple it is, how down-to-earth and of-the-earth it is. Good vegetable dishes, no fussy sauces or complicated preparations,low in fat, hitch in vitamins and packed with flavor... Do you need any more reasons to love this kind of food?

I prepared this simple dish, using lovely chicory greens, in the same way that we prepare Swiss chard back home in Sicily... One of my favorites! Taking just 20 minutes or so to prepare, this is a great weekday-night dish that is easy and quick to make, even after a busy day. Like today... And nothing is better after a hard day than a nice meal, right?


It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that people go to, to "invent" Vegetarian dishes... There really is no need to stress over it! Just take good, fresh produce, think about combining flavors to compliment and harmonize with each other and leave all of that complicated stuff out!


My dinner this evening consisted of 1 medium-sized head of fresh chicory, 3 medium-sized potatoes, 1 Spring onion, 4 pieces of sun-dried-tomatoes and 5 black olives... as usual, much less than you would think you need to make a good meal, but when it's cooked together, you soon see that it is more than enough... There is no need to over-indulge to really enjoy!


The only thing you really need to do to make this dish work is to get your timing right- you can do it! But I will give you a few hints and tips to help you along... It's super easy! So grab hold of your saucepans and let's get started! 

I peeled and rinsed the potatoes, cut them into quarters lengthways, and started them boiling whilst I rinsed-off the chicory, which I then cut into lengths of around 4"... Just a nice manageable size for cooking... And eating!

After the potatoes had boiled for 10 minutes, I added the chicory and a good pinch of salt, but not as much as you would normally add to season your potatoes and greens on account of the sun-dried tomatoes and olives, which are yet to be added and are rather salty themselves.

Whilst the potatoes and greens were boiling, I chopped the onion, olives and sun-dried tomatoes into nice, chunky little pieces- these, along with some yummy nutmeg, are the flavor that make the chicory and potatoes really come to life!

Once the potatoes are soft enough to just get a fork into them, but not completely cooked, drain the water and let them sit and cool off for a little whilst you grab your frying pan and get ready to pull all of these yummy ingredients together.


Fry the onion, sun-dried-tomatoes and lives in a nice splash of olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until the onion begins to brown slightly. 

Then, add the potatoes and chicory and season with freshly ground pepper and a nice dusting of nutmeg. stir-fry gently for 4-5 minutes, until the potatoes become slightly brown and everything blends together- including all the the flavors of these delicious ingredients! 

And if that is not a beautiful vegetarian meal, well then I don't know what is! These is everything I need and more in right there in that plate of food! It is healthy, it is easy, it is quick and it is satisfying and filling... Pretty close to being perfect I'd say! 

 Fancy a bite? Yeah... I do too! 

Mild potato, tangy tomato and olives and lightly bitter chicory... You have all the good flavor components working for you there, without any other fussing- and I don't know about you... But I like that!

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