Croatian Summer Side Dish with Courgettes and Aubergines πŸ‡­πŸ‡·

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What is the Croatian Summer Side Dish?

– a healthy, quick, and easy stew of courgettes (zucchini), aubergines (eggplants), and tomatoes infused with Mediterranean herbs served as a side dish.

Introduction to Summer Side Dish – Croatian style

This easy, popular side dish (varivo) along Croatia’s coast is often served with meat patties (polpete) or fried fish like sardines or calamari. It can also be made into a soup or stew and enjoyed as a main meal with rustic bread. As a healthy summer side dish, it is light and infused with aromatic Mediterranean herbs, offering a delicious flavour that captures the essence of Mediterranean cuisine.

Ingredients & Substitutes

  • courgettes (zucchini)
  • aubergines (eggplant)
  • tomato
  • sugar
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • paprika

Keep the skin on the aubergines. The skin contains valuable nutrients such as antioxidants and dietary fibre. Also, cooking with the skin on helps maintain the aubergines’ vibrant colour and adds a pleasing visual appeal to your meal.
Buy ripe and fragrant varieties of tomatoes for the best flavour, or use canned chopped tomatoes for convenience. Both options provide rich, robust tomato flavour essential for the dish.
Use fresh herbs for the best flavour. Don’t hesitate to add more; it enhances the Mediterranean taste of the dish.

Optional Ingredients: Potatoes and carrots can be added for richer flavour or when served as a main meal with bread.

Variations: Some households prepare this dish without tomatoes, using tomato concentrate or just sweet paprika for a different flavour profile.

How to make Croatian Summer Side Dish?

Wash the courgettes and aubergines well. Keep the skin on for texture and nutritional value, then cut them into cubes. Finely chop the onions and garlic.

Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and fry for a minute or less.

Next, add the cubed courgettes and aubergines ( and potato, if using) to the pan. Cook until they release their juices, about 5-7 minutes. Simmer gently to evaporate excess liquid, stirring occasionally.
Once the courgettes develop a golden crust, add the chopped tomatoes, fresh herbs, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. Add 100ml of water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender and the sauce thickens.

Croatian summer side dish with courgettes and aubergines cooking in tomato sauce.

What to serve with the Croatian Summer Side Dish?

Croatian summer side dish served with fish, greens and chips.
Bowl of tasty Croatian summer side dish with courgettes and aubergines.

This side dish is enjoyed with Croatian polpete – beef (pork) patties or chicken Milanese. It can also be served as a soup or stew for a main meal, with homemade rustic bread for dipping, alongside a bowl of your favourite salad.
For variation, add a sausage of your choice for a rich and hearty lunch!
Enjoy this tasty healthy summer side dish!

Note: If you love aubergines, check this tasty Japanise recipe

Recipe Card

Summer Side Dish – Croatian Ratatouille

A quick and easy stew featuring courgettes (zucchini), aubergines (eggplants), and tomatoes with Mediterranean herbs.
Servings 3 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 courgette / zucchini
  • 1 aubergine / eggplant
  • 1 can chopped tomato
  • 1 potato
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 2-3 tsp oregano
  • 1-2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • salt, black pepper - to taste

Instructions

  • Wash courgettes and aubergines, keeping the skin on. Cut into cubes. Finely chop onions and garlic.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add onions and chopped parsley, cook until onion is translucent (about 3 mins), then add garlic and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add cubed courgettes and aubergines. Cook until they release juices (about 5-7 mins). Simmer to evaporate excess liquid, stirring occasionally.
  • Once courgettes develop a golden crust, add chopped tomatoes, fresh herbs, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. Add 100ml water and stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Simmer for 15-20 mins until vegetables are tender and sauce thickens.

Notes

Calories listed are approximate and may vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes. Total calories for the entire dish: 550 calories.
Serves 4 portions as a side dish. Calories per portion: 137 calories.
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Β 
Calories: 137kcal
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Croatian
Diet: Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegetarian

Explore more tasty vegetable side dish recipes:

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