As Summer is now with us, I felt like greeting it with a dish that resembles ratatuille, but is influenced by the flavours of Eastern Mediterranean and Georgia. I took the Greek briam or turlu recipe, and modified it to adopt some elements of its Gerogian relevant dish. This modification is the use of “Rehani”, a variety of basil that has bluish and green leaves, and hot green peppers. Here is what happenned.
My good friend from Georgia, Lali, grows in her garden “Rehani”, which you see in the picture above. It belongs ot the family of “basil”, but has bluish leaves and more assertive taste. Rehani is used in briam, and in fresh salads. I decided to follow this trail of freshness, and went to a farm outside Athens, near Marathin, where they grow organic vegetables, and bought eggplants, tomatoes, and zucchini.
The first ingredient that goes in the baking tray is the eggplants.
I then added sliced zucchini and chunks of red and green peppers, coarse sea salt and black peppers, along with finely chopped hot green pepper.
I use only fresh tomatoes, plenty of them, and do not bother to pulp them. I just cut them in chunks and throw them on top of the previous stuff.
Finally, I add chopped dry onions, chopped rehani and wide leaves of vasil, and parseley, more sea salt and black pepper, and some olive oil to add taste. Bake in 250 degrees celcius for about one hour, and let it rest for 30 minutes before eating.
This dish is a triumph of nature! All the cook needs to do is to know how to bake it so that it does not try out, nor is it too watery. The rest is left to the natural flavours of the super fresh and excellent ingredients!!! With dishes like these, I would be a vegetarian anytime!