Friday, February 1, 2008



Since there is no longer a place that is called "Yugoslavia," I guess the name of this dish gives away its age. I collected it in 1974 from the now defunct American Weekly, the Sunday supplement magazine in one of the local Durham, North Carolina, newspapers. I based myself in Durham as I traveled my little pocket of the South recruiting for the Peace Corps. It's amazing the things you pick up along the way, even when you are in a place only occasionally and for a very short time. I've turned to this recipe on innumerable occasions over the years when I needed a delicious side dish for a crowd. It's simple but festive and showy, a great accompaniment for any meat, and it also makes a good one-dish vegetarian meal.

Even though the portions of the individual ingredients don't look like a lot, this dish takes up a lot of space. Use the very biggest high-sided baking dish you have.

2 cups potatoes, cubed
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 lb. eggplant, cubed (peel if you prefer but it's not necessary)
½ pound zucchini, diced
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 10-oz.package frozen green peas
3 tsps. salt
Black pepper to taste
Tabasco to taste
½ cup raw rice
½ cup water
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 lbs. tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup jack or Muenster cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a flat 3-quart casserole dish. Using a large bowl, combine all vegetables except tomatoes. Add 1/3 of the cup olive oil, salt, pepper and Tabasco and stir to coat vegetables with liquids. Cover bottom of casserole with half of the sliced tomatoes. Top tomatoes with half the vegetables. Sprinkle rice over evenly, then add remaining vegetables. Top with remaining sliced tomatoes. Drizzle remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar and water over all. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until rice has absorbed all moisture. Uncover, top with grated cheese. Place under broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.


Dennis said...

Wonderful blog!

Did you mean to list the eggplant twice in the recipe?

Ralph said...

Oops! Thanks, Dennis. I'll fix that. There's nothing less efficient than self-editing.

And thanks for the compliment!

Kat said...

Yum, I'm adding this one to the recipes!

Ralph said...

Guaranteed crowd pleaser!