A dish of mixed vegetables in Turkey is generally known as türlü and is one of my personal favourites.
The weather outside is 30+ degrees so why would I feel like a hot casserole of veggies? Well, it all started the other day when I mentioned the word ‘ratatouille’: I casually said do you remember the days when all we did with aubergine was make ratatouille? That got me thinking…
Personally I have been on quite an aubergine journey since those days! How about you? Have your boundaries been pushed? Have you broadened your aubergine scope? In Turkey, patlıcan is the queen of the summer vegetables so it isn’t surprising that there are so many wonderful ways in which to prepare it. Not that there is anything wrong with ratatouille …. but it is just one way.
Anyway, I just love vegetables so I really did feel like cooking up some sort of medley. I have already posted on something very similar with lamb but this one is vegetables pure and simple that you cook slowly for over an hour until it reaches a glorious, thick, fragrant consistency. The taste is enhanced by the golden olive oil in which it’s cooked. It contains all the summer vegetables including green beans and okra. The peeling and chopping is a bit endless but it is oh so worth it. It couldn’t be more seasonal if it tried!
Here are the ingredients:
TIP: When buying, don’t choose the very small ones nor the large ones: go for middle of the road.
- Soak the aubergines in salted water for 30 minutes; then rinse and drain the pieces, squeezing them gently. NB This soaking is to prevent too much absorption of oil.
- Using a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and fry the aubergines briskly, stirring continuously until the flesh is pale golden.
- Remove from the heat and place on paper towelling.
- Heat the olive oil and lightly brown the onions and garlic in a large saucepan; add the okra, beans, potatoes, peppers, and courgettes and sauté together for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients, and cook in the pre-heated oven for approximagely 1hr 20 minutes. NB You could also cook this, covered, over a gentle heat on top of the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Stir occasionally and add a little water if needed. NB if your tomatoes are juicy, this probably won’t be necessary.