Russian Ratatouille

Serves: 4 as a side dish

Your rating: None (3 votes)

These ingredients are:
vegetarian iconVegetarian vegan iconVegan dairy-free iconDairy-free egg-free iconEgg-free gluten-free iconGluten-free peanut-free iconPeanut-free soy-free iconSoy-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free wheat-free iconWheat-free

This recipe is based on a dish that my grandmother used to make and that my mom still makes. In our family it always was called “imam bayalda,” which is the name of a Turkish/Bulgarian dish that also is eggplant-based but is prepared quite differently. Our version of “imam bayalda” actually is more like ratatouille. It’s a thick, flavorful stew of eggplant, carrots, onions, tomatoes and garlic. In Russia, we usually ate it cold, as part of an appetizer spread or as one of two or three supper dishes. It’s also delicious warm and makes a great side dish or topping for pasta, rice or couscous.

Ingredients

Preparation

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the eggplant and toss to coat it in the oil. Add 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, on medium heat until the eggplant is cooked down to about half of its original volume.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions in the remaining oil. Add the onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste and 3/4 cup water to the eggplant and simmer on medium low, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender. Add a little more water if the stew becomes too thick or sticks to the bottom of the pot.

Season with salt, sugar and vinegar to achieve your preferred balance of salty, sweet and sour (the sweet and sour flavors should be more prominent than the saltiness). Serve hot or cold.

Recipe by Irina Vodonos, PCC Cooks instructor

Source: PCC Sound Consumer, November 2010

More about: carrots, eggplant, tomatoes

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