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.
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
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.