Greek Style Peas-Arakas Latheros

July 13, 2015

Greek peas

Today I am sharing a favorite, traditional Greek recipe. Another lathero. These days, here in Greece we have been getting very little sleep, what with following all the developments taking place with our economy, so I cook dishes that are very easy, almost requiring no recipe. Just vegetables cooked with olive oil and tomato, that is what a lathero is. This one is called arakas latheros, translated as peas cooked in olive oil. Not only is it easy to make, but it is also a comfort food: cooked vegetables in a rich olive oil-tomato sauce, accompanied with tangy feta and good bread to dip in the yummy juices.

I feel peas are an underestimated food, usually served on the side plainly boiled with a lump of butter on them. However, in Greek cuisine we cook them in olive oil and tomato, along with dill. We also add carrots and potatoes-(today I added only carrots as I did not have any potatoes). This meal of course, is accompanied by feta and bread. Again this is a vegetable based main meal that is characteristic of the Greek diet, not a side dish. So in essence you fulfill almost all your vegetable needs of the day, in just one meal.

Peas although a starchy vegetable, are a good source of protein. Peas are actually considered a legume. Apart from protein it is a great source of fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, but also a good source of iron and calcium. In addition peas have high antioxidant activity due to the presence of beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

This dish, as with all lathera is consumed at room temperature and tastes better the next day.

Peas Greek Style-Arakas Latheros

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1 potato cut in bite size pieces
  • 2 medium grated tomatoes or 10-12 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
  • ยฝ cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot.

2. Sautรฉ onions until soft. Add carrots and potatoes and sautรฉ 3-4 minutes more.

3. Add peas and heat and mix until all peas are covered in the olive oil.

4. Add the tomato, dill, pepper and a half teaspoon salt. Add enough hot water so that the peas are covered just a bit (about ยผ cup).

5. Mix well and bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until peas are soft and water is gone-they should only be left with the olive oil.

Serve at room temperature with feta and bread. Add salt as needed.

Photo by Elena Paravantes

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23 Comments

  • Reply Katina Vaselopulos July 14, 2015 at 1:33 am

    One of our favorite main dishes!Filled with wonderful nutrients!
    We buy frozen petite peas, cook them the same way, and serve them as lunch or dinner every other week. Tender and succulant!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD July 14, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Definitely! Frozen peas are fine to use and I use them often.

  • Reply Pamela Fiddimore July 14, 2015 at 8:56 am

    what a lovely economical recipe

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD July 21, 2015 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Pamela! Economical and easy to make

  • Reply Joan July 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Hi, Elena. This sounds lovely. My problem is that I have never like the taste of dill. Is there a different herb that would work well with this dish please ? Many thanks for your help.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD July 21, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Dill and peas is the classic-traditional combo. But you can add parsley instead.

    • Reply Mak November 23, 2015 at 3:41 am

      I was never much of a fan of dill either. But with peas, this is one of the only dishes I love that uses dill.

  • Reply S July 19, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    This looks so tasty!!

    I was wondering what your opinion of a low carb diet is? They seem to be getting a lot of good press at the moment, but the world’s best diet – Greek – isn’t low carb, so I get a bit confused with it all!!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD July 21, 2015 at 8:09 am

      The Greek diet is actually a moderate carb diet. Greeks do not eat as much pasta and most dishes are vegetable based. Sticking to mostly whole-grain bread is a good idea.

  • Reply Trudee Lunden July 22, 2015 at 4:47 am

    This looks delish only my partner has a problem with oil so I will try it with less oil. I bet this would taste good with green beans too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD July 22, 2015 at 6:00 am

      Thanks Trudee, Try not to go below 1/4 cup for every pound of vegetables.

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  • Reply Anita Tsarbos October 13, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Elena,
    Please could you setle an argument?
    I am married to an Athenian who insists that aracas are not peas ie bizelia (in Greek) .
    Peas or aracas it’s still a great dish!!
    Anita Tsarbos

  • Reply Jillian November 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Just made this dish tonight. I’ve been eyeing it for a while and it’s delicious! Very easy too. I’ll be bringing some for my lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe!

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  • Reply Maria February 21, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    I have made this dish several times and every time I am amazed as to how tasty and satisfying this dish is.

  • Reply debby May 19, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    if you use can tomatoes, do you drain them or use the liquid?

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