Smothered summer vegetables from Ikaria recipe

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  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut crosswise into rounds ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
  • 2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) strips
  • 3 medium zucchini (about 2 inches [5 cm] in diameter), cut crosswise into rounds ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
  • ½ cup Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
  • 3 large firm-ripe grated tomatoes
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 6 to 12 zucchini blossoms (optional)
How to Make It
  1. In separate colanders, lightly salt the eggplants, peppers, and zucchini. Drain for 1 hour. Wipe dry without washing.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Brush the eggplants, peppers, and zucchini with olive oil and broil lightly, to soften. There should be very little color on the vegetables.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lightly cook the onions and garlic, until wilted, 6 to 7 minutes.
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Replenish the oil in the skillet if necessary. Add the potato slices and fry lightly until their edges begin to color.
  5. Oil a 6-quart ovenproof casserole or Dutch oven. Spread 2 tablespoons of the onions and garlic on the bottom. Mix with 2 tablespoons of the grated tomato. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Arrange all of the potatoes in a single overlapping layer on the bottom, over the tomato-onion mixture. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Next, in this order, spread: bell peppers, more onion-garlic-tomatoes, a little fresh oregano, salt, and black pepper; then eggplant, more onion-garlic-tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and oregano; then zucchini slices, onion-garlic-tomato mixture, salt, and pepper.
  6. Continue layering until all vegetables are used up, saving about ½ cup of the tomatoes and onion mixture for last. As you layer, press down with a spatula so that the vegetables are layered compactly. Spread the zucchini blossoms, if using, decoratively on the surface. Spread the remaining tomato-onion mixture over the top.
  7. At this point you can bake the soufico, covered, in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until very soft and almost caramelized, about 35 minutes. Or you can cook it on top of the stove, over low heat, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft and any liquid they let off has evaporated.

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