In Greek: χορταρικά στο φούρνο, say: hor-tah-ree-KAH stoh FOOR-no
This mixed vegetable stew is ideally cooked in a fired clay pot in a beehive oven, but has been adapted for modern indoor ovens. The dish creates a lot of liquid which is delicious served with potatoes, rice, or – more traditionally – a large quantity of crusty bread to sop up the liquid. In order to level the playing field, I made this in an electric oven using a standard 6.5-quart lidded stainless pot, but any covered casserole dish will work.
Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- 3/4 pound of eggplant, trimmed, cut in chunks (do not peel)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
- 3-4 rounded tablespoons of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
- 1 large carrot, cut in 1/2 to 3/4 inch rounds
- 10 ounces of zucchini or Italian squash, cut in wide slices
- 2 bull’s horn peppers, seeded, cut in chunks (or 1 green bell pepper)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, cut in chunks
- 1/2 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped roma or cherry tomatoes (or canned chopped tomatoes*)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried crushed oregano leaves (optional)
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- about 2 cups of water
* If using canned chopped tomatoes, drain liquid before measuring.
Place the eggplant chunks in a bowl with plenty of cold salted water to cover. Put a plate on top to keep the eggplant submerged, and allow to soak for 30 to 45 minutes (this helps remove any bitterness). Drain well.
Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C).
Combine all vegetables in a large bowl or pan. Add parsley, salt, pepper, and oregano (if using). Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to make sure all ingredients are coated with oil.
Transfer to a covered casserole, add water, and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 355°F (180°C).
Do not stir or uncover while cooking, except to check for dryness (see note below).
Note: This dish will create a lot of liquid ( from the vegetables, the oil, and the water – perfect for serving with crusty bread. If you prefer less liquid, add 1 cup of water before starting to cook, but after 1 hour and 15 minutes, check the dish for dryness. If needed, add more water (heat before adding).
Yield: 4 main dish servings of mixed vegetables, 6 sides
Note: The eggplant will get soft during cooking – that’s normal, but the other vegetables will be firm.