Cavolo, Porro, e Patate Pantesco

Inspired by the simple foods and powerful flavors of the island of Pantelleria (Pantesco = Pantellerian) where we spent a few days in November. For more about the island, read this piece by Regina Schrambling or check out the blog of our friends Peter and Amy.

Chop about half a medium onion, a carrot, and a couple of celery stalks and start cooking them in enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy skillet. Peel a couple of yellow potatoes (or other waxy variety), cut them into chunks about half inch square, and add to the pan. Chop a couple of cloves of garlic and toss them in, too.

Trim the top and split a leek lengthwise; check the inside of the green end for dirt, and slice. Roughly chop half a head of Savoy cabbage; add it and the leek to the skillet, along with a healthy pinch of salt. Add a bit of water (maybe half cup) and cook uncovered over medium low until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in about a tablespoon of Pantellerian oregano and serve. I like to eat this with beans and polenta, but it’s delicious all by itself.