Friday, December 26, 2014
This is a great recipe when you have bits of Mediterranean vegetables languishing in your fridge. I threw this together for Christmas Eve dinner with some fresh veggies and some garden veggies that I had stashed in the freezer. Consider this a template for getting more vegetables onto your plate. If you don't like eggplant, add more of the other things you do like.
The use of olive oil is generous, as is typical in Greece, though I've cut back from traditional Greek recipes that would call for even more. Olive oil makes vegetables delicious. Vegetables on their own are very low in calories but high in many other things that are good for you. If some olive oil gets you to eat more vegetables, I'm all for it.
4-6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion or leeks
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, whatever color you have, large dice
2 cups peeled eggplant, large dice
2-3 cups zucchini, large dice
1-2 cups frozen artichoke hearts
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon oregano or summer savory
about 1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Heat up a dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion/leek, garlic, and bell peppers, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 minutes until onions are quite soft but not browned. Add the eggplant and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients along with another 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Bring to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook gently for 30 minutes until all the vegetables melt together in olive oil goodness. Check for salt. Before serving, drizzle on remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Ikaria by Diane Kochilas, Rodale, 2014.
Photo: By Dana Payne (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons