Güveç is named after the Turkish pottery in which it was traditionally cooked. This simple dish is common today not only in Greece, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria – but also among the Jews of the former Yugoslavia and even Poland and Russia. The recipe varies according to the area’s seasonal vegetables and from country to country, though you can almost always find peppers, tomatoes and potatoes in it.
This recipe, which I have modified over the years (for example, I cook all the vegetables together instead of adding them one at a time – and do it in a dutch oven and not in the traditional clay pot) – is based on the one served by my mother, Elda Sassoon, during my childhood.
Ingredients for Güveç – Balkan ratatouille
- 2 onions large, finely chopped
- 1 eggplants cut into small cubes
- 2 zucchinis cut widthwise into thick slices
- 2 potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2-3 bell peppers cut into small squares
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 4 tomatoes peeled and diced
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 heaping tablespoon sweet paprika
1. Pour olive oil into a large cast iron dutch oven (or other oven safe pot). Heat and add onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes and add the rest of the vegetables except tomatoes. Mix well and fry for 10 minutes while continuously stirring. Add tomatoes, spices and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat.
2. Remove the lid and place in an oven preheated to 395F degrees (200C). Bake for 10 minutes. Cover and allow the vegetables to cook in the hot oven for another 15 minutes before serving.