Today I’d like to introduce you to the object of my new love affair with vegetables – sulu yemek. It’s Turkish, and translates literally to “dish served with juice”. It is infinitely variable, and you all know I love that about a dish. No running to the store at rush hour to get something you forgot – just leave it out! Something in the fridge about to go bad if you don’t use it today? Throw it in! Like I said, infinitely variable.
As if that wasn’t enough to tug at your taste buds, wait until you taste these Mediterranean spices! Omigod. I owned all of these, and most of them were way at the back of my spice cabinet because I never think to use them. Now that I’m addicted to the flavor, I’m going to try to sneak them into dishes where they might add a bit of unexpected wow.
1/2 sweet onion, chopped very roughly
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped roughly
2 ribs celery, sliced
4 cups kale, rinsed and torn
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
salt, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red pepper flakes
Ready? Got everything chopped? Okaaaaaaaayyyyy…GO!
Saute the onion, garlic, carrot, and tomatoes in the olive oil over medium-high heat until the onions are translucent.
Add the celery and the Marsala wine, and stir. Keep everything moving, because it will come right back up to a good sizzle pretty quickly.
Add your seasonings to taste. In fact, add a little more because you’re about to dilute it all, and you don’t want it to taste weak. Be free with the spices! If you’re not familiar with any of them, they smell pretty much how they taste. They’re all pretty bold, but they work in harmony very well.
Once the Marsala wine has reduced a teeny bit (about 2-3 minutes), add the chicken broth and kale, and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Leave it alone for about 5 minutes, or until the kale is wilted.
Now remove the cover, crank the heat right back up to medium-high, and cook until liquid is reduced by about a third – about 8 minutes – stirring frequently.
And you’re done! It makes a lovely side dish on its own, or serve over couscous for a very hearty main course. It’s so delicious, you’ll forget you’re eating vegetables. Although, you might want to garnish it with Beano. Just sayin’.
Know what? Just because it’s a vegetarian dish doesn’t mean you have to be totally authentically Turkish about it – add some meat if you want to! Sausage would be really good, I’ll bet. Or maybe some leftover pork loin or something. This dish has very bold flavors, though, so it would probably overpower seafood. Why do I keep associating pork with this? I don’t know. Maybe the gods of culinary inspiration are speaking to me right now. I should write this down.
Okay, kids! Look out on Monday – I have a very unique stir-fry coming your way!