Helena Vonk is a Returned Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer who served in a pueblo in Magdalena, Colombia.
1 Cabeza de ajo
2 Cebollas blancas
3 Ramas de cebollin (cebolla larga)
Hojas de laurel
Sal & pimienta
Pimiento rojo en hojuelas
Aceite de oliva
Papel de aluminio
I generally wash all my vegetables in tap or manguera water and vinegar (for 15 to 25 minutes), but since the veggies are getting cooked, you can opt not to wash them.
1) MAKE THE SAUCE!
Char your peppers on your burner.
(Cut circles around the stem and remove as many seeds and white parts as possible without sacrificing the shape of the pepper, then use any utensils to give them a turn every time the skin turns black on the flame. When they’re totally black, put them in a plastic bag to sweat it out for about 15 minutes. Then peel away skin, rinse hands and chop. )
Mince 5 cloves of garlic.
(Set some aside.)
Dice the cebollin.
Cut tomatoes into chunks.
(Some people like to remove the skin. I don’t care personally)
In a large saucepan or pot, heat the olive oil and add thegarlic and cebollin.
(The heat should be medium to not burn the ingredients.)
Add some thyme, chili flakes, oregano, and basil.
Add tomates, peppers with salt and pepper and a few bay leaves.
Stir and cover.
Keep stirring occasionally until tomatoes collapse
Keep tasting to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.
***optional: Add a dash of balsamic vinegar for a sweet richness.
2) PREP VEGGIES!
While the sauce is cooking, slice eggplant into thin to medium rounds and soak in salt water
Peel and slice potatoes, carrots and onions.
(Throw potatoes in with eggplant if they start browning.)
3) BLEND THE SAUCE!
(Make sure it’s cool and there are no giant bay leaves.)
4) ARRANGE IT ALL IN THE PAN!
(Preheat your oven.)
Find a baking pan of any depth. Grease pan with a bit of oil
Put down a generous layer of sauce and begin to file onion, eggplant, carrot, potato in rows.
Take the garlic you set aside and put in olive oil. Drizzle oil on veggies then throw on some salt and pepper.
6) COVER AND BAKE!
Cover your pan with aluminum foil and put it in the oven.
Check in 45 minutes and remove the foil if veggies are softening.
Cook until water evaporates from the sauce and the veggies have a nice roasted look.
Check every 15 minutes to avoid burning.