To me food and family belong together like salt and pepper. With this dish my family was especially involved, since my sister chose the recipe and actually prepared most of it herself when I was there for a visit. I was only there to help with the tasting – a task I gladly undertook. Believe it or not, as much as I like standing in the kitchen myself, this was the kind of labor division I would engage in with pleasure 😉 What I liked especially about this dish was that the taste of all the different vegetables really came through. And since they all kept their texture, you did not have the feeling of eating a boring vegetable puree!
The recipe was taken from a German vegetarian cookbook featuring vegetarian soul food. We adapted the original recipe a little bit, for example we changed the white wine with white grape juice for a non-alcoholic version. Also we came up with the idea, that a little bit of fresh lime juice might combine and round off the tastes of all the different vegetables. Well, admittedly, there were some family discussions, whether that was a good idea, but tastes are different 😉 In the end that is also a part of family and food, discussing recipes and trying out new things, until they find their way in the huge, old cookbook of family recipes…
Ingredients (serves 2):
500 ml vegetable broth
1 pinch saffron
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
1 fresh chili pepper
1 rod celery
1 small zucchini
5 cocktail tomatoes
1 branch (each) thyme and rosemary
1/2 bunch of basil
150 g Kritharaki
1 dash white wine
50 ml sieved tomatoes
2-3 tbsp black olives, stoned
30 g grated cheese (e.g. Parmesan)
salt, pepper, a pinch lemon zest
Bring the vegetable broth together with the saffron to the boil. In the meantime chop onion, garlic and chili pepper. Wash celery, zucchini, and cocktail tomatoes and cut into small pieces. Wash the fresh herbs and chop them finely. Heat olive oil in a frying pan or a large pot and braise onion and garlic lightly. Add the celery, half of the chili and the Kritharaki and braise them together for another minute. Add the fresh herbs and deglaze with a dash of white wine. Reduce the heat and add half of the vegetable broth and the sieved tomatoes.
Bring to the boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Keep on stirring from time to time and pour in the remaining broth bit by bit. Add the zucchini bits and the olives and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes. At last add the cocktail tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and the remaining herbs. Garnish with lemon zest and the grated cheese. Serve with fresh lime bits to press the juice over the dish before eating.
Tip: To add a bit of texture, roast some pine nuts and sprinkle them over the dish before serving. Serve with a green salad for some freshness.