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
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.