Monday, August 4, 2008

A legacy

I was reading a post on turulu which is a turkish interpretation of the ratatouille, and what a co-incedence this was just the moive that i watched with my nephew this afternoon (not that i have never seen this movie but just because he insisted on it). Coming back to the fact, turulu has been famous with the rest of turkey as is with the rest of france with ratatouille. Tomatoes can play different roles in turlu, depending on the proportion and form of tomatoes used. If you add relatively few tomatoes and leave them in fairly large pieces, you get a stew of diced vegetables. Use a high ratio of tomatoes, and the turlu becomes a vegetable medley in chunky tomato sauce. I can give you the recipe for turulu which i read, the exact same as the one that i had read.

For this simple meatless version of Turkish turlu, I use canned tomatoes to save time. Mushrooms are not classic but they give the stew a terrific taste. Serve it as a vegetarian entree with pita, green salad or Israeli salad, and, if you like, with feta cheese, labaneh or yogurt.

350 gr. eggplant
225 gr. zucchini or pale-green squash (kishuim)
110 gr. large mushrooms
2 to 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3⁄4 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1⁄2 cup water, or more if needed
1 to 11⁄2 Tbsp. tomato paste

Cut eggplant in 2-cm. cubes, and zucchini in slightly smaller cubes than the eggplant. Halve mushrooms and cut in thick slices.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy saucepan. Add onion and sauté briefly over medium-low heat, then cover and cook, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes or until just beginning to brown.
Add eggplant, top with 1⁄4 cup diced tomatoes, then top with zucchini, followed by remaining tomatoes and 1⁄4 cup water. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir once to bring top ingredients to bottom of pan. Cover and cooked over medium-low heat for 7 minutes.
Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Mix tomato paste with 2 to 3 tablespoons water and pour over vegetables. Cover and cook for 3 more minutes or until vegetables are tender; check, and add water by tablespoons if pan becomes dry. If you like, drizzle lightly with a little more olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Makes 4 servings.

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