Güveç (Seasonal Vegetables Stew)

Zion Barnes

1 hour

Serves 3-4 (as a main course)

Photo by Sivan Roshianu

The book “This Is How We Cook” published by WIZO in 1948, contains a chart of vegetables by month. Chef Zion Barnes from Tel Aviv’s popular restaurant Ha’achim explains: “I grouped all the vegetables in the month of April, and threw them together in a pot.” One-pot recipes were a popular cooking method during the Tzena, or era of austerity and rationing in Israel (1949-1959), offering a quick and easy way to feed a large number of people. Similar to the Tunisian m’soki stew and French ratatouille, here too the vegetables take center stage and the seasoning is minimal.

This is a wonderful vegan dish, either as a main course or a side dish. You can add and change the selection of vegetables according to your personal taste and the season, just be sure to add the heartier vegetables first, giving them enough time to cook. This is also a great recipe for using any leftovers in the refrigerator or ingredients in your pantry with a fast-approaching expiration date.

This dish is part of a collection of vegetarian and vegan recipes inspired by early Israeli cookbooks from just after the founding of the state. Check out the full collection here and read more about one of the cookbooks, “Sefer Bishul,” here

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek stalk, coarsely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut into 3cm/ 1.2-in pieces
  • 2 celery stalks with a few leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm/ 0.8-in pieces
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced into 2cm/ 0.8-in cubes
  • ½ white cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (to taste)
  • ½ cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1 cup diced pumpkin, unpeeled
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) young green fava bean pods, cut into 3cm/ 1.2-in long pieces
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) green bean pods, cut into 6cm/ 2.5-in long pieces
  • 2 zucchinis, cut into 2cm/ 0.8-in pieces
  • 5 chard / spinach / mallow leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped

Preparation

  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and leek and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, celery root and stalks, carrots, potatoes and cabbage, increase to high heat and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Pour water to cover the vegetables, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower, pumpkin and fava beans, season with a little salt, mix well and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are slightly softened.
  3. Stir in the green beans, zucchini and chard, cover and cook for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the herbs and scallions, stir and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary and remove from the heat.

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