Does a casserole sound a bit too wintry?
I know we usually think of casseroles as being warm and comforting but because this one is filled with all the fresh summery vegetables, it seems like just the thing!
This is an easy undemanding dish, good for when you have company and would rather socialise than tend the kitchen! Or make it in advance and simply reheat.
Türlü actually means ‘various’ or ‘of all sorts’. The reference here is to all the different vegetables included in this dish.
The name is difficult to pronounce as that ü is similar to the French u: two of them together make it quite a tongue-twister for us!
The intense heat of the last few weeks has finally abated. My goodness, it was hot and how our appetites suffered! Since a recent violent storm, temperatures have fallen and now we are feeling comfortable again and more like eating.
I am a great fan of casseroles at the best of times because I like mixed flavours and this one is great.
In this recipe the amounts are specified but you know, just use what you have available at home – it won’t really matter. You can add other vegetables too eg carrots or peas. I had a lone carrot in the fridge so used that.
On the other hand, I do think having a great pot is essential – these earthenware ones called güveç here, are ideal but any le Creuset for example will do the trick.
With food, having the right pot, the right dish can make all the difference.
I’m a great one for getting the right look and for a hearty rustic dish like this, this pot shows it off to perfection as well of course, as cooking it nice and slowly to mouthwatering tenderness.
Take it to the table just as it is. Your guests will love you for it.
Ingredients for Türlü or Summer Casserole of Vegetables with Meat
4 tbsp sunflower oil/sıvı yağ
1/2 cup water – depending on how juicy the tomatoes are
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2.
- Grease the inside of a medium earthenware pot or güveç with the margarine and put aside.
- Heat the sunflower oil in an open pan and add the meat. Cook until the juices evaporate. Add the chopped onion and continue cooking till softened. Season to taste and add the tomato paste. Cook for a few more minutes. Transfer to the güveç.
- Add the remaining vegetables in layers: potatoes, courgettes, green beans, long green peppers, eggplant/aubergines, tomatoes and okra. Finally, add the chopped garlic and finish with some sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with the dried thyme.
- Pour the water over the vegetables. Cover and bake in the oven on a low heat for 2 hours. Check that the vegetables are cooked at the end of the cooking time. If necessary, add a little more water during the cooking. It all depends on how juicy your tomatoes are. Mine were very juicy but I still needed to add extra water.
- Don’t serve it straightaway from the oven: it will be too hot. Let it sit for a while. Because the pot is earthenware, the dish will retain its heat for a long time and be perfect for eating whenever you are ready.