Greek Sidegreek vegetable casserole

Vegetable Casserole
Turlu Furno
(Serves 8-10)

The perfect complement to our Leg of Lamb—a medley of vegetables, seasoned with dill, garlic, and cheesy breadcrumbs.

3 med. eggplants (lg. chunks)
salt for eggplant
2-3 T olive oil
1 large onion (chopped)
2 large cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
4 large potatoes (peeled, large chunks)
6 medium zucchini (3/4" slices)
2 T fresh dill (chopped) or 1 T dried dill weed
2 T fresh parsley (chopped)
2 C chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 C breadcrumbs (divided)
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
15 oz. can whole plum tomatoes (drained)

Sprinkle salt on eggplant chunks and let stand in colander for 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 350. Sauté onion till tender, add garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes.

In a large bowl, combine eggplant, onion-garlic mixture, potatoes, and zucchini. Add herbs, chicken stock, and seasonings. Turn out into a large, greased casserole.

Cover with foil and bake. After 40 minutes, combine half of breadcrumbs and half of the Parmesan cheese. Stir this mixture, along with tomato chunks, into eggplant casserole. Sprinkle top with remaining breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes longer. Wonderful served with Roast Leg of Lamb.

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Tips & Glossary

You may not have a number of ingredients used in Greek cooking in your spice shelf, but you can find them at Mid-Eastern food stores. So to avoid frustration, make a list of the items you need before trying out the recipes.

Filo: aka phyllo, paper-thin sheets of raw, unleavened flour dough. Purchase frozen in most grocery stores and follow directions on package for thawing. When working with a sheet, keep others covered with a damp towel to prevent drying out.

Grape Leaves: Grape leaves are sold canned in salted oil. Rinse off the salt before using. If you want, prepare your own: find fresh, tender young leaves and plunge them for 1 minute into boiling water (with 1 or 2 T lemon juice). Then proceed with recipe. After blanching, you can freeze them for later use. Here’s how: blanch as above, dunk in iced water, pat dry with towels, and seal in an air-tight plastic bag. They're safe for 6 months, but use quickly when thawed.

Nutmeg: Use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought nutmeg!

Pine Nuts: edible seeds of pine trees used in many Greek dishes. Before cooking, release flavor by lightly browning in a heated skillet

Skewers: Use metal or wooden skewers for kebobs. If wooden, soak 30 minutes before using to prevent them from catching on fire.

Rosewater: distilled from rose petals and used to flavor Mid-Eastern and Asian cooking. You can make your own. But, seriously, why would you? Purchase it at Asian or Mid-Eastern stores.

Semolina: aka farina or Cream of Wheat; a coarsely ground wheat grain. You also know it as couscous. If made from durum wheat, it is used to make pasta.

Tarama: poor-man's caviar. From carp roe, it is pinkish-orange and is what (along with food dye) gives taramasalata its lovely color. Buy it jarred in Mid-Eastern food stores.


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