Good morning from rainy, misty, foggy, cold Athens! Clean Monday today! The beginning of the Greek Orthodox Lent.
Today is Clean Monday (Greek: Καθαρά Δευτέρα), also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.
Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food, a special kind of azyme bread, baked only on that day, named “lagana” (Greek: λαγάνα) and the widespread custom of flying kites. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Orthodox Christians throughout Lent. So here for you today I have a delicious potato dish! No meat, just veg!
- 4 potatoes
- 1 cup homemade tomato sauce
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic finely diced
- Clean, peel and slice your potatoes. Boil them for 15 minutes (half done) then rinse them and set them aside to strain. In the same pot saute your onion and garlic with the paprika in some olive oil and add your tomato sauce.
- Add the potatoes and one cup of water.
- Once it starts boiling, lower the heat to 2, mix and cover. Let it continue cooking for another 15 minutes!
- As simple and boring as it seems…it is actually very very delicious! You can substitute the water with chicken stock too if you like (and if your not fasting!)
In the link in the Greek section, I have 3 recipes of foods we traditionally eat today. It is in Greek but if the pictures catch your eye, DO google translate!!