VEGETABLE CASSEROLE (GUVEC TURLU)
2 Long eggplants -- -OR-
1 md -Oval eggplant
4 sm Zucchini
3 sm Sweet green peppers
250 g Okra -- optional
250 g Green beans
4 sm Tomatoes, ripe, peeled
1/2 c Olive oil
3 sm Onions -- sliced
2 Garlic cloves -- crushed
1/4 c Chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c -Water
There is some confusion about the name of this dish. To the Turks, Turlu is a lamb or chicken and vegetable casserole. Yet in other countries of the region Turlu is prepared as an all-vegetable casserole, with cooks admitting to it being a Turkish dish. Guvec on the other hand is a casserole of meat or poultry and vegetables, or vegetables on their own.
Oven temperature: 180 C (350 F) Cooking time: 1-1/2 to 2 hours
Remove stem from eggplant, wash well then peel off 1 cm (1/2 inch) strips of skin lengthwise at intervals giving a striped effect. Cut long eggplants in 1 cm (1/2 inch) slices; oval eggplant should be quartered
lengthwise, then cut into chunky pieces. Spread eggplant on a tray and sprinkle liberally with salt. Leave for 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
Trim zucchini and cut into 4 cm (1-1/2 inch) pieces. Remove stem and seeds from peppers and quarter. Wash, trim and (if desired) de-fuzz okra. Soak in vinegar to remove slime. Drain.
String beans if necessary and slit in half (French cut). Slice tomatoes.
Heat half the oil in a frying pan and fry eggplant until lightly browned. Remove to a plate - do not drain.
Add remaining oil to a pan, add sliced onions and fry gently until transparent. Stir in garlic, cook 1 minute, then remove pan from heat.
Place a layer of eggplant in the base of a casserole dish. Top with some of the zucchini, peppers and beans. Spread some onion mixture on top and cover with tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and some of the parsley. Repeat until all ingredients are used, reserving some tomato slices and parsley.
Place prepared okra on top if used and cover with last of tomato. Sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper and add water and oil drained from eggplant.
Cover casserole and cook in a moderate oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours until vegetables are tender. Serve from casserole as an accompaniment to roast or grilled meats or poultry. Often this is served as a light meal on its own; bread and peynir (feta) cheese are then served with it.
Source: The Complete Middle East Cookbook - by Tess Mallos