Ladera / Vegetable stew with olive oil

Ladera is a generic term for vegetables (and other foods) cooked in oil, and this is really traditional fare. Ladera is eaten all year, but is especially popular during Lent, when many Greeks don’t eat meat. Peas, carrots and potatoes, like in this recipe, are common in a ladera, as are artichoke hearts, peppers, tomatoes, beans – depending on what is in season. One, two or three vegetables cooked together and eaten, often as a main dish, in company with feta cheese and bread. But the ladera can of course also be served as an accompaniment to meat or fish. Dill is often used as spice, but especially with mint, peas are more than usable, and parsley goes with more or less everything. The recipe below is just a starting point, experiment with different vegetables and herbs.

I add quite a lot of water and thus less oil when I cook ladera, to limit the number of calories. If that’s no problem for you, simply use more oil, less water, and the ladera will be even better. Also be aware that the ladera should cook quite a while, in other words, the vegetables will be really soft – over cooked some will say. But that’s the way it should be.

  • 50 ml olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 200 g peas, frozen or fresh
  • 3 carrots into small pieces
  • 2 regular potatoes in slightly larger pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1.5 ml water
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • feta cheese and bread for serving

Heat oil and fry the onion so it becomes soft but not brown. Add the rest, except dill. Simmer for 45 minutes under a lid, stirring occasionally. Add the dill. Eat  the ladera warm or lukewarm, with bread and feta.

For 2 as main course, 4 as a side dish.

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