Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vegetarian Rosh Hashanah Part II: Romanian Vegetable Stew

For my bridal shower, my friend Maya gave me a wonderful cookbook, Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World.  It's written by Gil Marks, who is both a rabbi and a chef.  The book contains hundreds of recipes, all of which include a history of the dishes in question, as well as background on the region and cultures where the dishes originated.

I'll be making several dishes from this book for tomorrows meal.  Tonight, I made Romanian Vegetable Stew, or Guvetch.  According to Rabbi Marks, Guvetch is a popular Romanian dish that his family enjoys at potlucks and other family celebrations.  Its origins can be traced back to Turkey in the 14th century.  The flavor comes from slow cooking of a variety of vegetables.  The Rabbi adds that you can use whatever veggies you like, but the Romanian version includes plenty of garlic.

The version I made included eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, onions, zucchini, red and green peppers and garlic.  I used our Le Creuset baker, which was just a tetch too small for the amount of veg called for in the recipe, but will be perfect for reheating and presentation.  There's not a lot of seasoning, but the sauteeing of the eggplant, onions and garlic looks like it will add a nice flavor dimension, and I made sure to add plenty of salt and pepper.  Also, the 90 minute cooking time should help the flavors develop.

We won't be tasting the dish until tomorrow, but I thought I'd share a visual preview.

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