In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tourlu -- a great way to cook up a mess of vegetables

We're soon leaving on vacation, and I've got a bunch of vegetables to use up before we leave.
Came across a great recipe in the cookbook "Real Stew" by Clifford A. Wright, by the name of Tourlu: it's a Greek version of a Vegetable Stew from Turkey. I'd even describe it as a Moussaka without the meat!

This dish is really not a stew in the sense of coking with broth; rather, it's a baked dish -- slowly roasted vegetables coated in olive oil. Most recipes call for potatoes, but the one I used tonight featured parsnips. I used neither, and substituted carrots, of which I currently have A LOT.
Plus, of course, I've got the zuccini!!!
What drew me to the recipe is not only that it called for roasting veggies coated in olive oil, but that it asked for leeks, which I adore. I also had a bulb of fennel (it did not ask for that), but I thought it might fit in perfectly.
The basic idea is to cut up a bunch of veggies, and roast them -- just up my alley. Seasoning listed were garlic (but of course!), fresh cilantro leaves, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
It's not the prettiest dish, but very tasty, and it promises that the flavors improve by the second day. I'm looking forward to munching on the left-overs.

Over dinner, when I asked the family for feedback, my son asked:
"What do you mean "next time" -- do you HAVE to cook this again?"
I just cracked up! Well, I had left out the cinnamon in fear of alienating my eaters, but they thought it should go back in (on the other hand, the fennel was not everybody's favorite), and
the general consensus was for more herbs and spices. It's not the prettiest dish, but who cares?!?

Soooo, now I'm searching the internet for more versions of Tourlou, and here's what I'll probably try next time:

Tourlou (Greek Vegetables)
Onions and/or leeks
potatoes, carrots or parsnips
bell peppers
tomatoes (fresh or canned)
optional: eggplant, green beans, okra, fennel?
olive oil
fresh herbs: either parsley, oregano, cilantro or dill (but probably not all!)
cinnamon, paprika?
salt, pepper

Toss vegetables with olive oil. Bake for 1-1.5 hours in heavy casserole dish. Serve with Greek bread and Feta cheese, or as a side dish to meat.

Photo credit:


  1. I like the veggie mix but I agree with your family that it needs more seasonings. Sounds like it needs some Indian spices and seasonings to me.

  2. Great idea: Tourlou, Mumbai-style!