I believe that this vegetable dish is created by someone who hates wasting foods. The main characteristic of it is that it contains more than two kinds of vegetables. You can use any vegetable you have in your refrigerator. I generally cook it with the leftover vegetables, so I don’t need to do shopping specially for this dish. We buy several vegetables when we shop from the bazaar and we cook each of them on each day during the weekdays. For example, one daywe cook a dish with green beans, the other day a dish with eggplant, and so on. As we are just two people (my husband and I), less than half of these vegetables is always left each time we cook something. Then at the end of the week, we combine all the leftover vegetables, which resulted in a tasty vegetable stew.
In fact, this dish has two main types in Turkish cuisine: Summer Vegetable Stew (Yaz Türlüsü) and Winter Vegetable Stew (Kış Türlüsü) depending on the season of the vegetables we use.Summer vegetable stew mainly contains green beans, okra, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, green and red peppers as these are fresh in Summer. As for Winter vegetable stew, the vegetables above are replaced by the vegetables that can be found fresh in Winter such as leek, celery root and carrot. Besides the changing vegetables, we always have onion and tomatoes in both versions. However, as tomatoes are fresher in Summer, we can use more of them in Summer vegetable stew. Another difference between these versions of stew is that Winter vegetable stew may have some meat whereas Summer vegetable stew is generally prefered with olive oil and meat free.
Which version do you think is mine here in this post? It is in between the Summer and winter versions. As it’s still possible to find fresh eggplants, and zucchini these days, I couldn’t miss this opportunity. However, we can’t see okra at bazaar anymore as it’s exactly a vegetable of hotter days, so I couldn’t add it to my stew. Also, I used carrot, which is absolutely a Winter vegetable, to make the stew more colorful. That’s why I can’t call it either Summer or Winter stew. How about calling it no season vegetable stew?
Most Turkish women saute onion in olive oil and then add the other vegetables to make a vegetables stew, but I prefer placing the vegetables in layers in the pot and add olive oil on their top. This way, you can feel the flavor of olive oil more and I read somewhere that this method is better for our health.
As this is an adjustable dish, feel free to change the vegetables or the amounts of them.
- 10 green beans
- 2 medium size eggplants
- 1 large potato
- 1 medium sized zucchini
- 1 big carrot
- 1 medium sized onion
- 4 medium sized tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup hot water
Slice unpeeled eggplants and zucchini into circles. Peel the carrot and slice it into circles, too. Chop the potato in cubes. Cut the beans in half finger size. Peel and dice the tomatoes and onions. Chop the peppers. Slice the garlic cloves. Put these vegetables in seperate bowls to make it easy to arrange them in the pot.
Place the carrots at the bottom of the pot as the first layer. Then put the green beans and potatoes. Now toss half of the peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes on them. Go on with eggplants and zucchini coins. Finally, add the rest of the peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes on the top. Sprinkle salt and black pepper on them and drizzle olive oil. Cover the pot and cook it on low heat. After about 10 minutes, add hot water and go on cooking on low heat for about 40 minutes.
Vegetable stew is served hot with some rice pilaf and with a bowl of yogurt near it.