Thursday, February 24, 2011

Easy and delicious roasted vegetable & chickpea casserole

I just made this recipe this week, and am currently heating up some leftovers. It is so delicious, and very simple, so I thought I'd share.
It's made up of roasted 'summer' veggies, according to the recipe name, but here in Turkey, these are 'all year' vegetables, so hopefully you can find them too.
Since it's from the BBC Good Food website, I'm going to briefly translate it into 'American English' just to avoid any confusion that will keep you from trying this yummy dish. (I've also added the modifications that I made to the recipe but you can find the original here).

1 eggplant, cut into thick fingers
3 zucchini, thickly sliced
2 red peppers, de-seeded and chopped into chuncks
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds (although ground coriander will also do, I imagine)
1 14oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 14oz cans of chopped tomatoes
4-5 Tbsp olive oil
a small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped

So, it's really easy. Preheat the oven to 4oo degrees F. Chop up all the vegetables, put them in a big oven proof dish or baking tin (if you've got one that can go on the stove and in the oven, use that), toss in olive oil, add the coriander seeds, some salt and pepper. Put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. When I cooked mine, I think it took a bit longer because my potato chunks were a bit too big, but roasted vegetables aren't an exact science, so you don't have to be too precise. When everything is soft enough to eat, it's ready.

Then put the dish on the stove, over low heat, add the tomatoes and chickpeas/garbanzos. Bring it to a gentle simmer and stir gently. When it's done, sprinkle on the chopped cilantro (I left the cilantro out because it's pretty tough to find in Istanbul) and serve with olive oil and crusty bread.

I actually made the meal one night and we ate it the next. I read from some comments that it was better the second night after letting the flavours mingle together. I reheated it in the oven and when it was just about done, added a sprinkling of feta cheese, which added a lovely flavour to it.

The recipe also suggested a meaty version. If you have a carnivore in the family, you can start to roast a chicken for 30 minutes, take it out of the roasting dish, put in all the vegetables above, nestle the chicken in the middle and continue roasting as per the recipe. Sounds pretty good. But trust me, the vegetarian version is delicious as it is. And it will make your kitchen smell amazing!

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