The Tale of Icarus and Ikarian Longevity Stew
After learning all about the history of fennel, I was inspired to make a traditional Greek fennel dish: Ikarian Longevity Stew!
During my research, I found this amazing stew recipe from the island of Ikaria and was fascinated by its history. The island of Ikaria is named for the ancient figure Icarus, who was believed to have traveled too close to the sun and fell into the sea near the island. Since then, the island has boasted a new reputation: longevity! The Ikarian diet is very low in saturated fats, processed sugar, and other processed goods; instead, the stew incorporates the healthy crops from the area. No wonder Ikarians are so healthy!
This recipe for Ikarian Longevity Stew incorporates many of these traditional ingredients while also highlighting my new favorite ingredient: fennel!
Photo courtesy of Greek Mythology
Ikarian Longevity Stew
- 1/3-1/2 lbs dried black eyed peas
- 1 medium fennel bulb, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large ripe tomato, roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 T tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- dill (optional garnish)
1. To rehydrate the beans, place them in a pot covered by two inches of water. Bring the pot to a boil for 1 minute. Cover and remove from heat to sit for 1 hour.
2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced fennel and onions, stirring often until tender (about 10-12 minutes). Add minced garlic and cook for about 20 seconds.
3. Stir in peas, tomato, tomato paste, carrots, bay leaves, and salt until the paste dissolves. Add just enough water to cover vegetables and raise heat to bring to a boil.
4. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover pot. Let simmer until beans are tender, about 50 minutes.
5. Serve with optional dill on top.
Recipe adapted from Today Show