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Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Georgia Monday: Vegetable Medley (Adzhapsandali recipe)


When I was little, I remember Mom and Dad hosting parties and  Mom fixing most delicious eggplant (or aubergine) dishes: fried eggplants with herbs; eggplants stuffed with walnuts, herbs and pomegranate seeds; eggplant medley and so on.  Mom was considered the best eggplant cook among her friends ;)
"Natalie's eggplants" were always in demand.
Those memories may be the reason I love eggplants so much.  Yesterday I cooked Vegetable Medley with eggplants (or Adzhapsandali in Georgian) for my family here in America. Similar to French Ratatouille, yet spicier.

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant*, cut into 1" cubes
1 large (or two medium) boiling potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
olive oil
15 oz can diced tomatoes
10 oz can Rotel ( I use Mild since my kids don't like Original flavor)
2 Tbs each dill, cilantro, parsley, basil
salt, black pepper and paprika to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne (I usually omit this)







Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add eggplant and stir-fry (for 10 min?).  Add potatoes, diced tomatoes, Rotel and seasonings.  Cover and simmer for about 30 min.  Serve with Garlic Texas Toast. 

Several years ago I discovered a wonderful cookbook The Georgian Feast by Darra Goldstein on amazon.com.  When it comes to Georgian dishes this is THE BOOK for me.  I have slightly changed Darra Goldstein's Adzhapsandali recipe here.  I honestly don't know how many copies of this book I have purchased throughout the years.  This is my standard gift for anyone from Georgia or for anyone who is remotely interested in or connected to Georgia.  By the way, word adzhapsandali in Georgia is used the same way as American hodgepodge, or British hotchpotch. 

*It's recommended to salt the eggplants after slicing to allow the bitter juices to drain for about 20 min to two hours, but I always omit this step.  I actually don't like cooking especially when there is some prep time involved.  However, this really is an easy recipe even for me!

Edit: I also like serving this dish with brown rice or quinoa.

8 comments:

  1. This does feel similar to the Turkish dishes. Looks yummy.
    Daphne.
    http://fashiondivamommy.blogspot.com

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  2. I love eggplant! I might have to give this a try. Please come over to my site and tell me what you think about my new shopping system...have a great day!

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  3. I love eggplant but don't make it enough. This sounds great.

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  4. Yammi. Looks very tasty:)

    xxx

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  5. Thank you for your vegetarina dish. I bet you were thinking of me???
    I shall try soon.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx

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  6. Okay, how spooky is this: tonight I had such a craving for eggplant! (or, aubergine as they call it here). I had bought a lovely perfect little eggplant which is waiting to be made into something - this recipe is perfect. I made some store-prepared Indian eggplant dish - I've just been really into eggplant - and also a lovely pasta dish with garlic, lemon zest, butter, a little ricotta and chopped fresh basil. I've been making dishes that are slightly Italian/mediterranean, middle eastern, slightly asian.. which is essentially what Georgian cuisine is about, don't you think? It's the best of all those worlds.

    There's a wonderful Italian dish that is similar to rattouille - and to this dish - called caponata. It's slightly pickled, because you use balsamic vinegar, so it's sweet/sour - and there's black olives in it, and celery. Come to think of it: I also added to my indian eggplant dish, fresh cilantro, parsley, basil.. then I started wrapping it up with chopped cucumber and raw onion (and sautted' onion) in a wrap.. I was like channeling your recipe - and I hadn't yet checked my emails all day. I love that kind of coincidence!

    I've also discovered the most delicious ingredient: the magic pistachio, Whole Foods sells fresh, neon green pistachio butter! I just bought a small amount and am rationing myself - it's heaven!

    Thank you for solving my bracelet mystery. As I wrote in my reply.. it is so crying out for a DIY/etsy version. It looks so simple to make - did you see that crazy price tag???

    You deserve a give-away price. I've got to sleep on this.

    Okay.. I'll shut up now! ; ) xx

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  7. This is a great conversation - on each others' blogs. I just found a recipe for it that happens to be from one of the best cafe chains EVER - Ottolenghi. Very posh place - there are a few of them scattered around London. As you can see - it's almost Morroccan - that's what I love about Sicilain cuisine:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/01/caponata-recipe-yotam-ottolenghi

    It's almost like a relish. As kids, there was an Italian brand that sold little jars of it in our Long Island supermarket, Waldbaum's. My mom and I loved it. It was expensive - and quite a luxury. When I make it - which isn't often - I just make a big batch and eat it with everything.

    Here's a simpler recipe:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/caponata_82903

    (I got mine from a great cookbook - Claudie Roden's 'Food of Italy':
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/726154.Claudia_Roden_s_the_Food_of_Italy

    she does it by region - Nigella Lawson, on her tv series, pulled it off a shelf and told the camera 'this is the best book ever' - my husband saw the show and got me the book and it's true.

    I can't wait to see your version of the Givenchy feather chain cuff!

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  8. This looks delicious.

    Saw your comment but then it somehow vanished from my photography blog. No, my hats blog is still there, I just got really lazy posting, because I had other more pressing things. But now that I work again (Wohoo), there will eventually be new posts, due to new hats.

    Here is the link: http://hatsmakemehappy.blogspot.com/


    Have a great week.

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