I was writing my recipes for my New Year’s Resolution Diet Be Gone culinary class and wanted to come up with a dish that would speak to the Mediterranean Diet and the Greek Blue Zone.
I was thinking, some sort of stew; so I googled Greek stew. There was literally no shortage of a diverse group of recipes. But one set really intrigued me. Each recipe I read used a variety of ingredients, some different than others. What I came up with is a recipe that, to me, speaks to my favorite ingredients that I tend to associate with Greece.
In France, we’d call it Ratatouille. In Italy, it would be Jambaut. But in Greece, we call it Tourlou Tourlou (pronounced Toodloo Tooloo), which means ‘all mixed up’.
My Favorite Ingredients from Greece
2 cups shelled and cooked fava beans
2 small eggplants, peeled and sliced into bite-size slices
¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 medium-sized fennel bulb, chopped (retain and set fronds aside)
2 large red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
6 multi-colored carrots, sliced into bite-size slices
1 cup Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc wine
1-3/4 cups unchicken broth
½ – ¾ preserved lemon, rinsed and cut into strips
2 tablespoons capers (if in liquid, drain; if in salt, reduce salt to ½ teaspoon)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, separated
4 cups frozen baby artichokes, thawed and cut in half
1/3 cup thinly slice scallions
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, freshly grinded
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup mix of fresh oregano, mint, dill, and/or basil
- If using dried fava beans, soak for 24 hours, then cook in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into an ice water bath. Drain well and dry/rub between a clean terry cloth towel to remove skins. Remove membranes. Place fava beans in a large pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until favas are tender, approximately 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse under ool water to stop the cooking process, and set aside.
- Salt sliced eggplant and set in a colander for ½ hour to drain. Rinse and pat dry. Set aside.
- In a large sauté pan or wok or my favorite pan for this task – a paella or biryani pan, heat olive oil, then add the onions. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until translucent, not browned, stirring frequently.
- Stir in chopped fennel, potato, carrots, and eggplant. Cook for another 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add wine and cook 1-2 minutes to begin reducing the wine.
- Add the unchicken broth, preserved lemon, capers, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a gentle simmer, cooking for an additional 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Whisk together 3 tablespoons lemon juice with the cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add slurry to pan; increase heat back to high, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
- Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and the fava beans. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to heat fava beans through.
- Pour Tourlou Tourlou into a large serving bowl or platter, then garnish with chopped fennel fronds and herb mixture. Serve immediately.
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