Tourlou Tourlou (Greek Baked Vegetables)

The Recipe: Tourlou Tourlou may be a tongue twister – I dare you, try saying it five times in a row – but it's also a real tongue pleaser. Tourlou Tourlou is a big pile of different vegetables, cooked all together Greek-style for a long time – would you believe two hours? With such a long time in the oven, the vegetables take on a roasted quality, just better. Now, you know that the "veggie evangelist" – that's me – loves nearly all vegetables. But Tourlou Tourlou is something quite special, I hope you love it half as much as I do.

The Conversation: How serendipity introduced me to Tourlou Tourlou. Have you tried it before or is it new to you, too?

Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real.

Tourlou Tourlou (Greek Baked Vegetables), a rainbow of vegetables slow-cooked in the oven. Great for parties, serve hot or at room temperature. Vegan.

If ever there’s a story of vegetable serendipity, this is it. Back in 2012, I wrote a story for my restaurant-recipe column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that featured Olympia, a long-time favorite Greek restaurant here in St. Louis.

Back in the kitchen, I spied a couple of prep cooks chopping huge piles of vegetables. The “veggie evangelist” had to know more!

Turns out, the vegetables were for a Greek baked vegetable dish called Tourlou Tourlou – and every few months ever since, I’ve worked to perfect my own “master recipe” for Tourlou Tourlou, something that is seriously-seriously good. Opa!

Tourlou Tourlou is especially useful for folks who belong to a CSA or whose eyes get bigger than their refrigerators at the farmers market.

It’s a great party dish – prep it ahead of time, even the day before. I make a huge batch – 24 cups of vegetables (almost 6 pounds) fills a big stainless bowl right to the “line” and then I use two Corning casserole dishes for baking, one with feta and one without.

People really love Tourlou Tourlou! Earlier this month, I took a big dish to a Mediterranean-themed picnic. You should have seen those foodies go crazy, full of compliments and wondering how it was made.

ALANNA’s TIPS The vegetables shrink by half in the oven so allow for that when considering how much to make and what dish to bake the vegetables in. Left covered, Tourlou Tourlou will hold some heat for a couple of hours. Tourlou Tourlou is vegan as is but some times I like to stir in a few cubes of good feta after it comes out of the oven, letting it melt just a bit but leaving salty pockets of creamy cheese. Ricotta would work this way too! I’ve tried Tourlou Tourlou using my “standard” 1 pound vegetables:1 tablespoon oil ratio. But it’s just not the same! Tourlou Tourlou is worth a small splurge! Do be generous with salt and pepper. Remember, you are seasoning several pounds of vegetables! While prepping the vegetables, you may want to keep a compost bowl handy. If you’re not making a huge batch, you could end up with odd leftover bits of vegetables, half a zucchini, half a sweet potato, etc. It would be a great time to make Homemade Vegetable Soup, another master recipe.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite summer vegetable recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

MASTER RECIPE:
TOURLOU TOURLOU
– GREEK BAKED VEGETABLES

Hands-on time: about 30 minutes for 12 cups chopped vegetables (6 cups baked)
Oven time: 2 hours
    VEGETABLES
    For every 1 cup baked vegetables, you’ll need 2 cups chopped uncooked vegetables. Aim for at least five different vegetables, more are better. Six cups chopped uncooked vegetables weighs about 1lb/450g. Personal favorites * for Tourlou Tourlou.

  • Red onion * (don’t skip)
  • Asparagus *
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Eggplant *
  • Fennel bulb *
  • Green beans *
  • Leeks *
  • Mushrooms *
  • Okra *
  • Potato * or turnip
  • Red bell pepper *
  • Sweet corn *
  • Sweet potato * or butternut squash *
  • Tomato or grape tomatoes *
  • Yellow squash *
  • Zucchini *
  • (Avoid broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts)
    TO TOSS – per 6 cups (about 1lb/450g) vegetables
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil (sorry, no skimping here)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt & pepper to taste but be generous!

Heat oven to 375F. Lightly oil an oven-safe casserole dish.

Prep the vegetables, cutting into large pieces, aim for bite-size after shrinkage and for different shapes with each vegetable. Toss really well with olive oil, tomato paste, water, dill, parsley and salt and pepper.

Transfer vegetables into the casserole dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 hours, yes that’s right, two hours.

Serve hot from the oven, warm or at room temperature.

TOURLOU TOURLOU FOR SLOW COOKERS Because I knew you’d ask, because I wanted to know myself, I made one batch of Tourlou Tourlou in a slow cooker and oh my, what a disappointment! That batch was so bland and watery, I couldn’t believe the difference. If you insist on using a slow cooker, at least skip the water, that might help. But sorry, to my taste, Tourlou Tourlou really must be cooked in the oven, not a slow cooker.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 99 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 24mg Sodium; 13g Carb; 3g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2, WW PointsPlus 3 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1/2 cup (2g protein). This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized'.

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Oh my gosh, this sounds fantastic - and I've got at least half of the ingredients just lying around right now, too! :) Kind of brings to mind ratatouille, in a way. I guess most cultures would want to have a way to use up excess vegetables at the peak of their seasons.
 
I've seen this before only it was called briam. Apparently they're essentially the same thing. I had to chuckle at your apology for the amount of olive oil used. The least I've seen used is 1/2 cup and most recipes use at least a cup - and caution not to use less.

I'm getting eggplant and zucchini tomorrow and will make it.
 
Aha! Apparently Briam is the Greek name and tourlou tourlou (or tourli) is Turkish and means mixed up.
 
Sigh ... My room mate has been put on a low potassium regimen! I am so frustrated with the veggies she may NOT eat. It is difficult but what is a friend to do. I cook for both of us and miss so many goodies. Oh, well ... that is life.
 
Made this tonight in a Ninja Cooking System. Filled it at least 3/4 full and it was well cooked in an hour - on the oven setting 180 C and stirred it 2-3 times as things tend to burn easily in it.
I'm very pleased with the idea, loads of vegs but no work once you've prepared it. Very tasty too. Thank you Alanna.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna