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For today's recipe, I am sharing a delicious dish that many of you may not have heard of before. During the summer months, I want to spend as much time as I can outside, so any summer recipes that I cook have to be super easy. Also, to keep it light, I tend to cook all-veggie dishes. One of my favorite versions actually uses lamb, but I keep it simple for the summer months. So, what is this Veggie Güveç? It is a Turkish stew prepared with a mix of different vegetables, primarily with eggplant and zucchini, cooked in a traditional clay dish. I adapted the recipe for regular stovetop cooking, so it could not be easier. Although it may seem exotic, it is very much like a French ratatouille, which you may have eaten before. Yum!
What makes this dish so simple is that it requires very few ingredients, no unusual herbs or spices, and the prep time is super quick! Although it tastes like a slow-cooked stew that has been simmering on the stove for hours, it takes just about an hour from start to finish. Another plus is that it is a one-pot meal, so you will not spend your entire day cleaning up afterwards. Yes!
By the way, my inspiration for this dish came from a restaurant that I loved when I lived in Nashville. It has been a few years since I have been back in California, and I totally miss this place. Luckily, we have a Turkish friend who explained to me the process of making this dish, and I streamlined it for those of us who do not have the traditional cookware. Yes!
Before we get to the recipe, I definitely have to mention this. As you know, I love recipes with tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are great in salads, but one of the ultimate time-savers for me with cooking is to use canned tomatoes. Honestly, any time a recipe calls for tomatoes, I am grabbing a can because they have a taste better, better texture, and save me so much time! If you poke around on my website, you'll see that my favorite lasagna and chili both use a few canned tomato products.
For this recipe, I headed to Walmart and grabbed a few things from the Tomato Sauce aisle. One can each of of tomato paste, petite diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. In particular, Hunt's uses a unique flashsteam peeling method, which you can read about more here.
A few more ingredients and you have yourself the whole ingredient list!
Veggie Güveç: Turkish Eggplant Stew
A Vintage Zest original
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups onion, diced (1 medium)
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 10 cups eggplant, diced (I used 1 1/2 large eggplants)
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) Hunt's petite diced tomatoes
- 1 can (8 oz.) Hunt's tomato sauce
- 4 Tbsp. Hunt's tomato paste, regular or no salt added
- 4 cups zucchini, diced (2 medium)
- 2 small red potatoes, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1/4 cup water or vegetable stock
- Optional: 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1. In a medium saucepot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the onions, garlic, and eggplant, stirring frequently until the eggplant has softened, about 15 minutes.
3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and the tomato paste and stir to incorporate.
4. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Add the zucchini, potatoes, salt and pepper.
6. Turn the heat to low and cover tightly with a lid. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes until the rest of the vegetables have softened. You can check once or twice, and if it looks dry, you can add up to 1/4 cup of water or vegetable stock.
7. To serve, sprinkle with chopped parsley and accompany with rice pilaf or bread, if you like.
Personally, I served my güveç in an earthenware dish so it looked a bit more traditional. The crack in the side is optional. ;)
I love this dish! It is colorful, bright, and delicious, but super easy and quick. Not only that, but it is comforting and light and the same time. Nice!
I hope you give this dish a try and let me know what you think!
Have you ever eaten Turkish food before?