…from social media — funny guy named Jesse — asked me to write down this recipe. As a rule (there is no rule, I’m just making that up), I don’t write down recipes. At all. Especially not this one. That’s because the last time someone asked me to write down this recipe, she died. (Not making that up.) So read this recipe at your peril, make it if you dare, and eat it with whomever you plan to kiss goodnight. Or goodbye. Or whatever.
(caramelized vegetables with garlic-yogurt sauce)
3 yellow summer squash, or 5 zucchini (or courgette, or whatever you call them in your country. They are “kabak” here in Turkey, but you don’t care and why should you?)
3 eggplants (aubergine, “patlican”)
3 sweet red peppers (the kind you would roast, not red bell peppers, although those would be okay I suppose, you heathen) (“kirmizi biber”)
3 sweet green peppers (not bell peppers)
1 or 2 sliced, hot green peppers, more if you are a full-grown dragon (optional)
1 cup olive oil
2 cups full fat, unadulterated plain yogurt
8 fat cloves of garlic, fewer if you are a baby dragon (none if you are not a dragon at all, and how sad for you)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
pinch of fine (table) salt
strain the yogurt if it seems runny (an hour should do it; we’re not making yogurt cheese here)
mash the garlic cloves and coarse salt with a wooden mortar and pestle; it should be pretty much liquified — you don’t want big pieces of raw garlic to chomp on; stir the mashed garlic into the strained yogurt and refrigerate, covered
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (dragons, just use your breath)
Fry the vegetables in olive oil:
cut the squash into 3/4 inch cubes, sprinkle them with a little fine salt, and stir fry them in a single layer in a large frying pan in 1/4 cup olive oil, over medium high heat, just until they start to soften and have some well-browned sides; remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and scatter into a small, shallow roasting pan
cut the peppers into 1 inch pieces and fry them in the same oil, just until they blister; add them to the squash pieces in the roasting pan
add the remaining oil to the frying pan and heat it, while you
cut four strips of peel lengthwise from the eggplants and cut them into 3/4″ cubes.
add the eggplant pieces to the pan, sprinkle them with a little fine salt, stir them until they are equally oil-sodden little sponges, and fry them until they, too, have some well-browned sides. You might need to add even more oil, but don’t worry; they will release quite a lot of this oil in the oven. Add the fried eggplant to the roasting pan and stir in the hot pepper slices, if using.
Roast the vegetables for 15-25 minutes (This is to your taste. 25 minutes makes them a dark, sweet, creamy, lightly carcinogenic, suitable-for-toothless-Turkish-mothers-in-law mush). Transfer the vegetables and their oil to a shallow serving dish.
Serve warm or at room temp with yogurt sauce (on the side or smothering them, your choice), sprinkled with the pepper flakes if you wish. For vegans, omit the yogurt sauce; the caramelized veggies are pretty tasty without it. And they are pretty good cold, too.
Try not to die.