Only three veggies are needed for this recipe plus spices and herbs. What can taste better than that?
The beauty of Israeli and Middle-Eastern cooking is that we like to use vegetables in almost everything we cook. Seasoned veggies can taste as good or better than meat or fish at times. Served over couscous or fluffy rice it is a lighter meal that is also nutritious, low calorie and makes a nice change.
Did you know that a number of vegetables were actually originally developed in Israel? Like the Orangetti Spaghetti Squash, Seedless peppers, Galia sweet Melon etc. and many more...
My father was not a big meat eater and my mother always had to come up with new dishes to keep her meals interesting. He did love vegetables though. She always said that it is all in how the seasoning is added and cooked.
She taught me how to fry the seasoning first rather than add them in later to sauces or the water for soups. This method of cooking opens up the flavors and produces the wonderful aromas that come from the spices. If you just add garlic, cumin, turmeric and other spices to a pot of water you don't get the same taste from them. I think that is one of the major differences between European and Middle-Eastern cooking. Sautéing the spices in oil first before adding them to your recipe.
That is the way I cook everything now. I still smell my mother's cooking in my own kitchen when I cook and my kids have said when they visit, that it reminds them of the same smell they grew up with when they visited their grandparent's home.
So let's start cooking this simple dish which is perfect for a midweek quick dinner. And it's Vegan!
Ingredients you'll need: All spices and herbs can be adjusted to taste.
8oz of Baby Bella mushrooms ( a small box) washed and sliced
2-3 zucchinis peeled and sliced into rounds
One onion, sliced. I like the large yellow sweet onions.
2 - 3 tablespoons of Olive oil
1 cup of parsley chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ Harissa hot sauce (optional)
Heat oil in a pan, Add onions and sauté until translucent and yellow in color.
Add all the spices and mix together. Add zucchini and mix.
Add mushrooms toss lightly with your mix and add chopped garlic.
Add ½ cup of water and bring to just below boiling. Lower heat and cover.
Cook for about 15-20 minutes on a low-medium heat. If liquid is all absorbed add half a cup of water and continue cooking covered for another 5-10 minutes on low heat. If there is too much liquid remove the cover and cook for 10 more minutes.
Add chopped parsley just before serving.
Done and delicious. Enjoy!
Serve with my Israeli couscous for an authentic dinner.