My Recipe Box

Braised Potatoes, Eggplant & Red Peppers with Garlic & Cilantro

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Serves six to eight.

  • To learn more, read:
    Potatoes as the Main Event
  • by Beth Dooley, Lucia Watson from Fine Cooking
    Issue 32

We like to use new potatoes when possible, especially red-skinned varieties. For a fresh-tasting vegetarian meal, serve this over steamed couscous, topped with a dab of yogurt, chopped fresh cilantro, and a wedge of lemon.

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lb. low-starch potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 3 large red bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 poblano or other mild fresh green chile, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 3/4-inch dice, seeds and juice reserved
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • Coarse salt
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 2 cups lightly packed chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-1/2 cups lightly packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Heat a very large skillet or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and coat it with about 3 Tbs. of the olive oil; reserve the rest for the sauce. Add the potatoes and sauté until they start to brown a bit around the edges, about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the eggplant, peppers, chile, tomatoes, and onion. Season with a little salt. Continue to sauté a few more minutes. Add about 1/4 cup water, cover the pan, and turn down the heat to a vigorous simmer. Braise until all the vegetables are tender when poked with a knife, especially the potatoes and eggplant, 15 to 25 minutes. During braising, be sure to stir and scoop the vegetables so they don't stick to the pan.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, smash or purée the garlic with 1/2 tsp. salt, the paprika, cumin, and cayenne to make a smooth paste. Add the parsley and cilantro and pound or process just until they're crushed—don't completely purée them. Add the lemon juice and the remaining olive oil.

If any liquid remains in the pan when the vegetables are cooked, remove the cover, turn up the heat, and boil it off. Then turn off the heat, add the sauce to the skillet, and stir to coat all the vegetables. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, lemon, or cayenne to taste. Serve hot.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 250; Fat (g): 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 130; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 29; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 270; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 6;

Photo: Martha Holmberg

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