While the weather has been warming up fast, the last couple days on Ikaria have been a bit nippy. I’m not going to complain too much since I’ve been blessed with many beach days so far. But the cool weather has one big perk and that is the return of some hearty Greek dishes. In Ikaria, the dish to soothe your soul (as well as your insides) is Soufico. This is an Ikarian specialty and each side of the island has their own variation. Definitely influenced by its Mediterranean surroundings, it’s very similar to a French ratatouille or an Italian caponata, where summer vegetables are key. Soufico, no matter where you’re from on the island must contain eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. Some parts of the island toss in potatoes, pumpkin or herring, but in this dish, the summer vegetables are the key. My favourite version is one from the south of Ikaria. The recipe is a little bit lighter, and a little bit saucier and to me just screams cool summer days.
Serves 4 (or 2 very hungry people)
- 8 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 2 large red (or green) bell peppers, diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1″ chunks
- 4 medium zucchini, cut into 1″ chunks
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- 2 large, ripe tomoatoes, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven or skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add another 2 Tbsp of olive oil and add the eggplants. Cook until soft 8-10 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, tomatoes, oregano, and more salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook until all the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature with a side of crunchy bread