Georgian food is a wonderful - yet sadly underappreciated - cuisine that combines commonly used ingredients in surprising and delicious ways. The abundance of fresh herbs is what really endeared it to us.
- 3 cups eggplant
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 2 medium onions
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 tbsp coriander seed, ground
- Black pepper, ground to taste
- 1 tsp Reshampatti pepper
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 large sweet pepper
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups total of basil, chive, cilantro or tarragon (chopped)
Chop eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Place in a bowl. Sprinkle the salt and massage it into eggplant for about 2 minutes. Let excess water drain for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
Peel tomatoes if desired. Cut tomatoes, onions and sweet potato into 1-inch cubes.
Squeeze eggplant cubes with your hands to remove the bitter juice. Rinse in running water, drain well and squeeze out juice one more time.
Place eggplant, tomatoes, onions, sweet potato and spices in a pot and pour the oil over them; add bay leaves and stir. Put pot on medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until vegetables are softened, about 45 minutes. Cover if liquid is evaporating too quickly.
Cut peppers into 1-inch squares. Add peppers and garlic to the pot and cook for 10 more minutes. Salt, if needed.
Turn off heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Incorporate chopped herbs when serving.