Similar to a French ratatouille, tumbet is a traditional dish from Mallorca, Spain, in which vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers simply sing of summer. The inclusion of potatoes makes it hearty enough for a vegetarian main, although it is also delicious served as a side to roast or grilled meats. If your tomatoes are ripe enough, you can prepare them for this dish the Spanish way. Instead of peeling and chopping them, you can slice them in half crosswise, then rub the cut sides against a handheld grater.
Mallorcan Vegetable Bake
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) slices
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) olive oil
- 2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) slices
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and broken into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and broken into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 sprig fresh marjoram, leaves minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
1. In a glass bowl, lightly salt the eggplant slices, cover with a dry kitchen towel, and let stand for 1 hour. Rinse well and pat dry.
2. In a wide, shallow fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the potato slices and fry on both sides until just beginning to brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain, then place in a terra-cotta baking dish in a single layer.
3. Next, fry the eggplant slices on both sides until just golden brown, draining on paper towels and then placing in a layer on top of the potatoes. Lastly, fry the bell peppers, drain and add them in a third layer.
4. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
5. In a saucepan, combine the chopped tomatoes with the marjoram and garlic and gently heat until the mixture forms a thick sauce, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce evenly over the vegetable layers and bake in the oven until the top is bubbling and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Let cool and serve the tumbet warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.
Find more than 100 recipes for the simple, unassuming, and satisfying food of the Spanish countryside in Rustic Spanish, by Paul Richardson.