Mediterranean potatoes with olives and herbs

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

CONCORD, N.H. -- No matter how you slice, fry or mash them, potatoes provide vegetarians with an easy way to make any meal a hearty one.

Potatoes can turn something as simple as steamed vegetables into a real meal. Toss them on a baked potato, add melted cheese or a few scoops of salsa and there's a dish even veggie-phobic children will tuck into.

For another tasty potato dish, try Mediterranean potatoes with olives, herbs and tomatoes from Amanda Grant's "Fresh and Fast Vegan Pleasures."

Those who eat cheese can try this dish topped with melted mozzarella. Add grated cheese to the top of the dish during the final five minutes of baking.

Mediterranean potatoes with olives, herbs and tomatoes

(Preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 55 minutes)

2 pounds waxy potatoes (4 or 5 large potatoes)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 Spanish onion, finely sliced

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips

1 clove garlic, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup mixed black and green olives, pitted

15 fluid ounces vegetable stock

Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, until they are partly cooked. They should still be firm when pierced with a knife. Drain and set aside to cool.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the onion and sun-dried tomatoes over a medium flame for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Oil a medium casserole dish. Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom and season with garlic, salt and pepper.

Scatter some of the onion and tomato mixture and olives over the potatoes. Add another layer of potatoes and toppings, and repeat until everything is used. End with a layer of potatoes.

Bring the stock to a boil and pour it over the potatoes. Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked and crispy. To serve, scatter parsley on top. Makes 4 servings.

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