Mediterranean Vegetable Stir Fry
So, who says that stir fries should only be Asian? One large pan with sloped sides over high heat can render produce, herbs, and spices into a quick, healthy meal. Why not use Mediterranean ingredients? The Mediterranean diet is considered most healthy of all diets out there today. One skillet and one sheet pan dishes are highly popular today. Well, this is a one wok dish made in a dash that is healthy, quick, easy, and most of all delicious!
Don’t let the produce ingredients expressed in ounces scare you away from this recipe. It is only a guide to assist you in buying and not wasting any produce. So, if it calls for 8 ounces of red onion and the closest you can find at the market is 10 ounces, throw it all in as this recipe is forgiving. Also, note that it calls for extra virgin olive oil to be used over high heat. Many sources say that is a no-no. Well, that is what I thought until I attended a Mediterranean Conference with chefs from all over the Mediterranean. One of those chefs asked for a deep fryer to be filled with extra virgin olive oil. An audible gasp went up from the American chefs in attendance. But deep fry we did (talking 375°F heat) in extra virgin olive oil and the fried food was delicious! Been using it ever since in almost any recipe with no regrets.
Timing depends on pan size and heat source i.e. wok, skillet, shallow sauce pot and working over gas, electric, or induction (magnetic) heat source. So, follow your senses as to when to add the next batch of ingredients. Also, salt may be lightly sprinkled each addition as you go rather than all at once near the end. Your choice.
Scroll to the bottom for a printable recipe
4 entrée servings
1 (28 ounces) can whole peeled tomatoes in their juice (Certified San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned, patted dry, sliced ¼ inch thick
12 ounces fennel bulb, sliced into ¼ inch batons including core (about 1 large fennel bulb)
8 ounces red onion, peeled, halved, cored, sliced ¼ inch lengthwise (about 1 medium onion)
1 teaspoon (or more) garlic, peeled, minced
8 ounces eggplant cut into 1x1x¼-inch pieces (about 1 small eggplant)
1 pound zucchini cut into ½ inch rounds (about 2 medium zucchini)
½ cup olives (I prefer kalamata olive but use what you have on hand and like)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like)
1 teaspoon pimentón dulce (or smoked paprika)
½ teaspoon dry Greek oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt (preferably Crystal)
½ cup fresh herb leaves chopped or hand torn (mint and/or basil)
1. In a non-reactive bowl crush the whole tomatoes in juice with your hands into bite-sized pieces. Reserve to use at the end.
2. Heat a wok or very large skillet for a minute. Add the olive oil and when it shimmers add the mushrooms in a single layer if possible. Cook until golden brown on the bottom side without tossing.
3. Add the fennel and onions tossing until they are slightly softened, about two minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
4. Add the eggplant and zucchini tossing until slightly softened, about four minutes.
5. Add the reserved tomatoes and their juice along with the olives, pepper flakes, pimentón, oregano, and salt. Stir until the juices have reduced and the vegetables are soft about six to eight minutes.
6. Serve in a large bowl or individual soup-plate bowls. Top with the fresh herbs.