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Monday, May 24, 2010

European vegetable casserole

Ingredients :
  • 1 medium (aubergine )eggplant chunkily diced
  • 6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium green or yellow( courgettes)zucchini thickly sliced
  • 2 medium red onions, trimmed, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 6 oz/ 150g okra, trimmed on both ends and left whole
  • 1 lb/ 450g fresh tomatoes, chunkily diced (no need to skin)
  • 2 small red and yellow peppers (capsicum), trimmed, seeded and cut into squares
  • 1 heaped tablespoon sweet or hot paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • A large bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Optional garnishes (use one or more of the following):
  • Several sprigs of fresh savoury, dill, tarragon, or celery leaves
  • Fried eggs, or hard-boiled eggs – shelled and cut into wedges
  • Feta, or other feta-like white cheese, cubed
  • Green or black olives, pitted

  Method :

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/ 375F/ gas mark 5 Medium heat.

 Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Sauté the aubergines and courgettes for around 5 minutes until they are starting to soften and become lightly browned.

 Pour the remaining oil in a large oven-proof dish (earthenware if you have it), and place the empty dish in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes.

 When the oil is heated through, take the dish out and put in the aubergines, courgettes, onions, okra, tomatoes, and sweet peppers. Sprinkle with paprika and salt and pepper.

  Stir the vegetables gently so that they are evenly coated with hot oil, paprika and seasoning. Place the dish back in the oven without a lid, and bake for 1 hour. The aubergines and okra should be tender and thoroughly cooked, whereas all the other vegetables should retain some bite.

  Remove the stew from the oven, check for doneness, and adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle with parsley and stir gently. Top with any of the optional garnishes you are using.

  Serve hot, accompanying each portion with yoghurt or sour cream, mixing up the hot vegetables with cool yoghurt/ cream as you eat.

To serve:

Plain yoghurt or sour cream
Rye bread or caraway seed bread


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