Turlu Turlu: Turkish Roasted Vegetables

Oh my heavens, this is a good meal. It has so much flavor and texture and color. We loved every bite.

It all started when Eric gave me this incredible book for Christmas: Turkey . It is a gorgeous book, and I want to make just about everything in it. It really covers regional cuisine and gives little snapshots of a day in the life in different parts of Turkey. It’s a must-have for anyone who likes to eat their way around the world, and it was a beautiful way for us to keep on living our trip there this past fall.

This recipe was the first to catch my eye because it has all of our favorite things: eggplant and peppers, chickpeas and potatoes. Yum.

The recipe also calls for zucchini, which we bought at the store and then…lost. I searched everywhere for them, from the trunk of the car to the back of the fridge, but they had just disappeared. And then, a week after I made this recipe, they appeared, hiding behind some yogurt! So I cannot testify to their place in this dish, but I am sure they are delicious, and next time I shall be on guard and shall not lose my zucchini.

Even without them, this dish is incredible. Cumin and coriander have always been superheroes in my book, and the added pinch of red pepper flakes gives it just the right amount of heat. I am a big proponent of armchair traveling, since I can’t get to every place I’d like to visit, and now I am happy to say that I’m inaugurating kitchen chair traveling too. Bon voyage!

Turlu Turlu
Recipe from Turkey

3⁄4 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
1 large eggplant, trimmed and cut into 11⁄2-inch pieces
sea salt
1⁄2 cup  extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 red onions, cut into 11⁄4-inch pieces
14 oz all-purpose potatoes, cut into11⁄4-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed and cut into 11⁄2-inch pieces
1 lb 7 oz winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 11⁄4-inch pieces
3 zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 11⁄2-inch pieces
2 cups tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

-Cook the chickpeas in boiling salted water for 45 minutes, or until tender. Drain well. Put the eggplant in a colander, sprinkling lightly with salt, and set aside for 30 minutes to drain. Rinse well, then pat dry on paper towels.
-Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Combine the olive oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, chili flakes and sugar in a large bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the eggplant, onion, potato and bell pepper to the bowl and toss to coat. Divide the mixture between two baking dishes, spreading evenly over the base and drizzling over any oil left in the bowl. Cook for 35 minutes, then add the squash and zucchini and cook for another 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender and some are starting to char slightly. Scatter over the chickpeas, pour over the tomato passata and continue cooking for 5–10 minutes, or until heated through. Scatter with the cilantro and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

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