I'm always on the lookout for dishes that have that unidentifiable deliciousness to them. You know, that thing that finds you face down in your mostly empty plate, slurping up the dregs like a cat drinks milk. The Japanese call it umami, which is loosely translated as "deliciousness". I won't go into an in-depth discussion of the term, but you can read more about it here.
Well I gotta say that this dish has it. I'm not even a huge fan of olives, but I think it's that ingredient that provides the umami. If you hate olives you may still hate this dish. But if you're trying to insert more vegeterian dishes into your diet, this is well worth a try.
Greek Potato Stew
(adapted from this recipe)
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 Tblsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned (reserve juices)
1/4 cup vermouth, or more to taste
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
feta cheese, crumbled
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and stir. Stir in the garlic. Add the olives, cook and stir for several minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, vermouth, and oregano. If you need more liquid, add more vermouth or use the reserved tomato juices. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more reserved tomato juice if needed. Serve with parsley and feta cheese.
(For breakfast the next day, I served the leftovers with a couple fried eggs, and it was delicious!)