Having recently been on holiday, and enjoying the local food, I was keen to explore some traditional Greek food recipes when I got back. A reader, Vera George, who is Greek, offered some of her recipes, and this is one of hers. Kounoupithi Yiahni by the way is pronounced koh noh PEEthi yakni
Kounoupithi Yiahni or Tomato Stewed Cauliflower. A traditional Greek food
1/3 to half a cup olive oil *, £2.98/litre, 25p
1 cauliflower, £1 (including all the stalks, chopped up small)
1 carrot, 160g, grated or sliced (optional) 35p/500g, 11p
2 potatoes, 500g, diced or wedges (optional) £1.30/2.5kg, 26p
1 tin tomatoes (plain or any flavour you like)* 50p
1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 Bay leaf (optional)
Salt, pepper and a pinch of salt
Priced at Asda September 2018
per serving (4)
302 calories, 20g fat, 30g carbs, 6g protein
Total cost £2.12, per serving, 53p
Wash and cut cauliflower into manageable bits.
Dry the cauliflower very very well. This is important. The cauliflower will not brown if not bone dry. I actually spin it, but towels will be OK.
In a big pot, add the olive oil on a medium high heat- don’t let it smoke. Fry the cauli, you want it to brown quite a bit. This is important, its where all the flavour is.
At this point you can stop right here and just salt it and add lemon juice and scoff it- its delicious! But carry on for the stew.
Add the carrots and potatoes (if using) and the tomato paste (if using) and let them all fry together.
Add the canned tomatoes, the bay leaf and as little water as possible- no water if you can.
Put the lid on, and turn the element down to the lowest heat for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Its ready when a fork goes easily though.
As with most stews, this is better the next day.
This goes exceptionally well with feta and crusty sourdough bread
Rice or chips also go well. Pitta breads are cheap and a good match.
Even plain (or cheese) scones would be great here, the point is to mop up the sauce
This could also go on the side of any protein (sausages, steaks, chicken, etc- It would overwhelm fish, though.
There is a misperception that extra virgin olive oil is expensive. But if you think that in these type of dishes, it’s the main source of energy, it changes that perception. Budget brands (as long as it is EXTRA VIRGIN COLD PRESSED) are also fine.
Please avoid any “Pure” or “extra light” or flavoured rubbish and for the love of all that is good & holy, do NOT under ANY circumstances use ‘Pomace” oil unless you are making soap!
Tomatoes star in this dish and Vera recommends you use good quality ones. If tomatoes are the star, here in the UK, I buy Napoli brand ones, when I can get them for £2 for 4 tins, so 50p each. They seem to be on permanent offer at that price
I made this when I had millions of cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse, so that’s what I usedKounoupithi Yiahni or Tomato Stewed Cauliflower is a traditional Greek food. When I tried a recipe supplied by a reader, I was blown away by how delicious it was. Simple food with fantastic flavour https://wp.me/p3MXF5-3x5 Click To Tweet
We had this with a lamb chop. It was really really good. I’d be happy to have it on its own, for lunch or dinner. As soon as my veg loving daughter saw it, she asked for some for her work lunches. She’s going to love it!
Having made this a couple of times now, I think I would cook the carrots and potatoes before putting them in with the cauliflower. I found that the cauli was disintegrating by the time the root veg was cooked through.
The variation that Vera suggests of feta and crusty bread is one I can’t wait to try!
I would also think about adding butter beans to it, a spritz of lemon juice and/or zest. Rinsed baked beans would work well too
Other than that, I don’t think I would want to twiddle with this one much
Vera also suggests using the tomatoes and olive oil with just potatoes; just green beans; just courgette; or just peas and carrot. So building on that, I would try swede and onion; parsnip and bell pepper; mushroom and tomato; potato and fennel. Loads of lovely combinations to try!
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