Vegeterian Eggplant Stew (Etsiz Patlican Güveç)

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 Given the number of different eggplant dishes in Turkish cuisine Vegeterian Eggplant Stew (Etsiz Patlican Güveç)

If there’s a hierarchy among vegetables, for me eggplant’s place is secured at the top. Given the number of different eggplant dishes in Turkish cuisine, I think I’m not alone in my admiration of eggplant. In Turkish cuisine eggplant is used in various ways; we bake it, fry it, grill it, roast it, stuff it, paste it, puree it, use it as filling for pastries, wrap it around kebaps, and even make jam with it. There are a couple things to be careful about when cooking with eggplants. Buy eggplants right before you cook and pick the firmer ones. Eggplants tend to get soft in the refrigerator. Even though its skin is thick and sometimes bitter, do not peel it all the way; peel it lengthwise in 1/2 inch stripes. Once peeled eggplants darken fast. To prevent this you can take out the spongy middle part with seeds and keep eggplants in salty water until you cook them.

This is a perfect Mediterranean summer recipe with olive oil, garlic, and eggplant.

 Given the number of different eggplant dishes in Turkish cuisine Vegeterian Eggplant Stew (Etsiz Patlican Güveç)

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 big eggplant or two medium ones, peeled lengthwise in stripes
1 zucchini, diced
1 potato, diced
2 tbsp pepper paste or tomato paste
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tomatoes, grated or 1 can of diced tomato processed in a blender
1/3 cup water or vegetable stock
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
black pepper
pepper flakes

-Saute onions, garlic, and eggplant with olive oil on medium heat for 15 minutes.
-Add tomato/pepper paste, stir for 1-2 minutes.
-Add the rest of the ingredients except parsley. Cover and cook on low for 40-45 minutes.
-Sprinkle parsley on top a minute or two before you turn it off.

Serve with rice and bread.

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