Here it is 2016 and I’ve made a resolution to make a resolution about my blog (to post or not to post, that is the question). But it’s already nearing the end of the month, late going as usual, I guess. Within the past year or so, I’ve been getting nudges and questions via email and in person….what’s going on with your blog? Can you post more regularly? Are you quitting? And honestly, I have no idea. I’ve thought about letting this site go and just keeping it as is, an online archive of my recipes and life for the past 11 years or so (yes, eleven freaking years). Blogging isn’t as interesting to me as it once was. Readership is down, people don’t comment on blogs, and if you’re jonesing for comments, you have to be a social media rockstar or take a helluva great photograph or be an amazing wordsmith (and that’s just not me or my skillset). Instagram and Facebook and SnapChat are where people communicate and have conversations online and who knows what new social media outlet will come next to grab everyone’s attention. I’m not saying that blogs have become antiquated, but the atmosphere has certainly changed a lot in the past 3 or 4 years. There’s not a lot of commenting going on in the comment section. It’s chirp city and I get it, I do. I’m not on Facebook (publicly) or SnapChat but Instagram has picked up the online conversation for me. So it’s left me to wonder what’s up with this space anyway? Do people care if I update? And more importantly, what am I getting out of this little corner of the online universe? I can certainly point out all the things that this site has given me, from an ego boost and recognition to some seriously amazing lasting friendships. Not a bad haul, really. So will I continue hobbling along? Who knows, maybe! I still have things to share every at least for the time being.
In the meantime, I have a recipe to share….this is a food blog after all! The best thing is that the inspiration for this recipe comes from one of my long-time blog readers and friend who I follow on Instagram. Way back in December she made a stew with potatoes, carrots, peas and dill and I was intrigued. And when the excess of Christmas was over and I needed something comforting and a little austere, I thought about this dish.
The thing that stood out for me was the use of frozen peas. You don’t toss them in at the end to add pops of brightness. Instead, you cook them down with the potatoes and carrots to get stewy and oh-so-flavourful. They do not turn into mush. They remain peas, but darker, softer orbs of delightful pea-ness (that’s a good thing). I fed myself for several days with this dish (my husband wasn’t as keen as I was) and I was happy with every single bowl.
As you can see from the photo above, there’s a lot of liquid and after sending a message or two to Joanne during cooking, I decided to scoop up about 1/2 a cups worth of liquid (I drank it like a savoury tomatoey tea). You can play around with the liquid and go for something very saucey or more reduced. I wanted something more akin to stew, not soup. Your call.
greek vegetable stew with dill
Joanne’s version is a bit different than mine – she adds a quarter cup of olive oil to sauté the onions and then simmers the potatoes first in water before adding the rest of the ingredients. Here, I use less oil, add in garlic, add in some dried herbs, and use stock instead of water. You can add more or less of most anything….this is rustic and simple cooking. The leftovers reheat well.
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 large potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 carrots, sliced into coins
1 c of diced or broken up canned tomatoes (use your hands to really smoosh them up)
2 c frozen peas
1/2 t kosher salt
2 t dried dill
1 t dried oregano
2-3 c vegetable stock or water
several sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
fresh black pepper, a few good grinds
feta, as a topping (optional)
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add in the onion. Let it sweat for a few minutes, do not let it turn brown. Add in the garlic and let that cook for a minute before adding in the potatoes and carrots and tomatoes. Give everything a big stir and then add in the peas, salt, dried dill, oregano and stock or water. Stir again, gently and cover. Simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding in more water or stock if needed or leave the lid off if you need to reduce the sauce further. You may want a more saucey stew or something with more body. Remove from heat when vegetables are tender. Add fresh dill, a hammer of black pepper and give the mixture a final stir before serving into deep bowls. Top with crumbled feta and have plenty of crusty bread on hand.