Greek-Style Stewed Vegetables

In my adopted Sephardic tradition (as opposed to the Ashkenazic one I inherited), there are a number of vegetable dishes that begin with slowly-cooked onions and tomatoes, to which they later add rice (and on occasion, spinach and perhaps other vegetables).  I’ve always liked these Greek/Turkish stewed vegetables, so when Barbara came home with some fresh Kale yesterday, I decided to create one of these dishes for dinner.

closeup bowl

Here is a quick outline of the dish:

  • cut two large onions into medium (3/4″) dice
  • add one leek, cut across into 3/4″ chunks
  • add two Tbs. olive oil to a large sauteuse pan
  • cook onions and leek over medium heat until tender, adding salt as they cook
  • chop one zucchine and four cremini mushrooms into 3/4″ dice, adding these to the pan, and cook for a few minutes
  • add one 28-oz. can of high quality Italian San Marzano tomatoes, with their juices
  • wash and chop several some kale leaves, stripped from the stalks
  • simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, adding 1 cup of vegetable stock along the way
  • separately boil some rice (I used a healthy blend of brown, red and wild rice, but any long grain rice will do fine), and cook until almost done
  • add the rice to the vegetables, along with a small can of giant Greek beans in tomato sauce (about which I have written previously).  Cook another 15-20 minutes.
  • alternatively, you can add the uncooked rice directly to the stew, and then simmer it
  • if you add the rice into the simmering vegetables to cook it, you may need to add more liquid

place setting

The table setting you see here was actually today’s lunch.  I reheated the stew, and added some crumbled Greek sheep’s-milk feta cheese.  Served with some pan-fried, homemade whole grain semolina bread and a glass of Jan D’Amore’s 2008 Polvanera Aglianico, the dish made me very happy, especially when surrounded by Barbara’s special handmade Hanukkah tablecloth and napkins.  Happy last night of Hanukkah tonight!

pan-fried bread

Polvanera Aglianico

Hanukkah napkin

tablecloth dreidel

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