Potato Mixta

I’ve seen variations of this dish in Sicily, Greece, and southern France, so I guess it’s truly “Mediterranean cuisine.” Certainly comfort food!
        Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. In a large pan, boil water.
       Start with 1 pound of waxy potatoes*, peel or not, as you wish; I don’t. Cut into quarters. Add potatoes, parboil for just 7-8 minutes. Drain.
       Cut about two dozen good-quality black olives in half. Cut the same amount of small tomatoes (baby plums are best) in half or thirds if they’re a bit bigger. Cut three or four cloves of garlic in thirds. De-stem and seed a red bell pepper, chop into dice. Combine and set aside.
       In a roasting pan, put 50 ml olive oil and place in oven (hot oil won’t soak into the potatoes and make them greasy).
       Place potatoes in a large bowl, add olive-tomato-etc. mix. Scatter over it a heaping tablespoonful of dried oregano** and several grindings of black pepper, toss well.
       Add the potato mixture to the roasting pan and stir well to coat with olive oil (give it a good shake as well, to settle the mix). Return it to the oven and cook for about 45 minutes. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes.
       If you want a one-pan meal, brown chicken breasts in a frying pan, then place on top of potatoes to finish for the last half-hour; or lay boneless fish fillets on top for the last 15 minutes. *Any quantity will do, just keep the 50/25/25% ratio. **You could also mix in a couple of rosemary sprigs to the mix before cooking; remove before serving.

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