This dish is the whole Mediterranean in a pot. It’s a classic village dish, homey and healthy. In the original version there is typically no nutmeg and no lemon garnish, but both add depth and balance to the final dish. It is a traditional dish from Halkidiki in Northern Greece. It’s perfect for meatless Mondays and every day!
For 4-6 servings
3 large, firm, ripe tomatoes
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried
8-10 small, preferably new, potatoes
½ kilo (1 lb.) fresh, young spinach, trimmed, washed, spun dry and coarsely chopped
½ cup snipped fresh dill
½ cup snipped fresh fennel
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grating of nutmeg
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1. Trim the base off the tomatoes. Place an upright cheese grater inside a large bowl and grate the tomatoes along the coarse holes until all you are left with is the flattened, circular tomato skin.
2. Heat 1/3 cup of olive oil in a medium sauce pan and sauté the onions until tender. Add the garlic and stir. Add the tomatoes to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, and add the bay leaves. Simmer over low heat, slightly covered, until thickened, about 15 – 20 minutes.
3. Peel the potatoes. Rinse and pat dry. In a large, deep, wide skillet or heavy-bottomed wide, shallow pot, heat the olive oil and brown the potatoes on all sides until lightly golden and about half cooked.
4. Add the potatoes to the tomato sauce and toss in the spinach. Stir gently with the lid off until wilted. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook until the contents of the pot are thick and the potatoes tender. Stir in the dill and fennel about five minutes before removing from heat. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.