Grecian Isle Stew

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups diced potatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups water
1 cup cut green beans
2 cups chopped red and/or green bell peppers
2 cups chopped fresh or undrained canned tomatoes (14 ounce can)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup coarsely chopped kalamata olives  (about 12 large)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
salt and ground black pepper to taste
grated feta or kasseri cheese or plain
nonfat yogurt, optional

To remove any bitterness, place the cubed eggplant in a colander, sprinkle it with salt, and cover it with a plate weighted down with a heavy can. Set the colander in a bowl or in the sink; allow the eggplant to drain for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well and set aside to drain again.

Warm the olive oil in a heavy nonreactive soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and sauté on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the potatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and water; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, and wine. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the olives, parsley, lemon juice, capers, and dill and heat thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If desired, top each serving with cheese or yogurt.



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