Pronounced "jew-vedge", this hails from the part of the world formerly known as Yugoslavia. This is home cooking at it's best- simple, nutritious and rich. The miracle of this dish is that I made a mistake, turned off the oven halfway through cooking, and came home three and a half hours later to perfection. My kids have activities every afternoon right now, and I don't get home until around 7. I will be making this dish as often as my family will eat it.
I found this recipe in Elisabeth Luard's The Old World Kitchen: The Rich Tradition of European Peasant Cooking. It was published in 1987, so it's hardly the hot new thing, but it is a good thing. The directions were so simple I reread them again and again because I kept thinking that I had left something out. No- it's just that easy. And did I mention delicious?
My kids abhorred the eggplant, but my sympathy is limited. Your family, your call. This needs at least an hour and a half to bake.
1/2 cup olive oil (it's rich, not greasy)
2 sliced onions
3-4 cloves of sliced garlic
2 pounds of boneless lamb, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
salt and pepper
2 pounds of chopped mixed vegetables (bell pepper, zucchini, green beans, eggplant)
1/2 cup of rice
1/2 pound sliced fresh or canned tomatoes
Options and Alterations:
You can leave out the meat and add feta cheese during the end of the cooking. You can switch out the vegetables for whatever is in season. You can substitute chicken for lamb. You can use 4 peeled, sliced potatoes instead of rice. You can also add some cumin to the spices. The original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, not the paprikas that I used.
I have eaten many frittatas in my life, but this was the best. The results were perfect and light. This is a great lunch or snack and tastes fine warm or room temperature. This version was from Saveur magazine, but there are at least ten versions found in Margaret Shayda's The Legendary Cuisine of Persia. Some versions call for potato, cauliflower, eggplant, herbs, strained yogurt, and a few of them are sweet. Eventually I will try a few of them, but except for the yogurt version and the sweet version, they mainly follow the recipe below. Sometimes saffron is used instead of turmeric for the color.
A friend of mine uses it to make sandwiches for her kids. My son ate his drenched in ketchup. To each his own.
1/4 inch coin of ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large onions, chopped
1 t. ground turmeric
5 medium zucchini halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
salt and pepper
4 T. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
7 eggs, beaten
2 T. chopped parsley
sumac for sprinkling
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Fry ginger, garlic, and onion in some olive oil until soft. Add the turmeric and zucchini and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until the zucchini is tender. Stir in the flour and baking soda and allow it to cool.
2. Stir the eggs into the zucchini mixture. Use a little oil to grease a 9" x 13" baking dish, sprinkle with a little flour so nothing sticks, and pour in the zucchini mixture. Bake it about 25-30 minutes, until the egg has set. Take it out and garnish it with parsley and sumac.
This is a very simple way to cook zucchini that has a pretty presentation. I originally tried this over 15 years ago from Rozanne Gold's Recipes 1-2-3, and as far as I can remember this is faithful to the recipe in the book. I served this with a pound of pasta cooked and mixed with a cup of grated parmesan and 2 cups of stem pesto. Both kids ate it without complaining.
3 tablespoons butter
3 zucchini sliced into circles
1 or 2 lemons sliced into circles
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Put the zucchini down in the hot butter in one layer. Season them lightly with salt and pepper. When the zucchini have browned nicely, flip them over. The ones in the center of the pan will cook first, so you may have to do some shuffling. Once they have cooked through and both sides are browned, carefully remove the zucchini and put the lemon slices in. Use the back of a spoon to press the juice out a little. You may have to turn the heat down a little at this point if you hear the lemon juice sizzle too hard. Now pour the lemons and butter over the zucchini. Add salt and pepper if it needs it.
This recipe also comes from Recipes of All Nations by Countess Morphy and I included the original recipe in a photograph below. I tried to follow it as closely as possible, but when I researched the dish I started to wonder if I hadn't misinterpreted the directions. Then I watched someone make it on youtube, and now I'm certain that what I made and the dish enjoyed in Hungary are two very different things. But no matter! It's too good to change. Here is another recipe I found for Tokfozelek if you crave authenticity. The recipe below is my "interpretation". This would be great with buttered potatoes, but we ate it and loved it with steamed rice and an omelette. A Hungarian omelette, of course.
3-4 small zucchini
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon flour
1 cup sour cream
1. Cut the zucchini in half and then slice into strips. Put the strips in a strainer with plenty of salt and leave to sweat for thirty minutes to an hour. When you're ready to start cooking, give it a quick rinse and a shake to get rid of most of the moisture.
2. Melt the butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat and add the zucchini strips and paprika. Cook it for about five minutes but be careful not to let it get too hot- if the paprika burns it will all taste bitter.
3. Stir in the flour and the sour cream and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. The sour cream starts to get thicker and cheesier. It probably won't need any more salt, but taste it to be sure.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!