Tourlou-Tourlou – ‘Messed Up’ Vegetables


You’d usually make this using a couple of cloves of regular garlic – this time I used black garlic. I know it’s not easy to get hold of, but if you do have any it makes for a much deeper and slightly smokey flavour. This is the kind of dish that would have been baked in the wood-fired oven of the local baker, maybe the black garlic evokes a little of those flavours. 

2 small red onions, cut longwise into sixths or eighths, depending on size.

1 large or 2 medium aubergines, cut into chunks

3 courgettes, also in chunks

1 large green or red pepper (or both) cut into chunks.

Any other vegetables can be added to suit your taste and fridge leftovers. I like a few green beans – it’s probably a good idea to blanch bigger ones for 3-4 minutes before adding them to the pan. Chunks of potato are a nice addition too – these need to be sautéed like the other vegetables.

Olive oil

1 large tablespoonful of tomato purée, diluted in 200ml water

2 cloves black garlic, well crushed

Salt and ground black pepper

Take a large frying or sautée pan and pour in a good glug (probably a couple of tablespoonfuls) of olive oil and heat it up.

Add the onions and sautée them, stirring them frequently until they’re just starting to caramelise. Spoon them out into a large baking dish or roasting tin.

Add a bit more oil to the frying pan and sautée them in batches, putting each batch in turn to the baking dish.

Add the crushed garlic to the frying pan and cook it briefly in the residual oil. Now add the diluted tomato purée and bring to a steady simmer. Season with salt and pepper and then remove from the heat. Pour the garlic-tomato mixture over the sautéed vegetables, drizzle with a little more oil and mix well. If it seems a little dry, it’s fine to add a cupful of water. The vegetables need to be sitting in plenty of sauce but not completely covered in it.

Mix well and bake on a pre-heated oven at 185 degrees for 40 minutes. While it’s cooking, stir the vegetables from time to time, to make sure that they cook evenly.

Serve as a main dish with plenty of bread and slices of salty feta. Tourlou-tourlou goes really well with grilled or barbecued chicken and lamb as well.