Tuscan Summer Vegetable Stew (Gurguglione di Elba)

July  7, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by Emiko
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Gugurglione, with its unusual name, is thought to have been adopted from Spanish pirates. It is a versatile, easy summer dish, similar to a rustic, French ratatouille. It can be eaten hot or cold, as a side dish, a main course (just add paper thin prosciutto and a ball of buffalo mozzarella), or even, when used as a topping for garlic-rubbed crostini, as an antipasto. The amounts given here aren't strict: Use what you have on hand (the only rule is to use a more or less equal amount of all the vegetables to keep it balanced). After all, that is the point of this delicious stew that makes the most of summer produce. —Emiko

What You'll Need
  • 3 very ripe tomatoes
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 medium eggplants, stem removed
  • 2 red or green bell peppers, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 to 3 small zucchini, stems removed
  • handful of fresh basil, torn
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. With a sharp knife, score a cross into the bottoms of the tomatoes and blanch them by placing them in a pot of simmering water for about 30 seconds. Remove and place immediately in a bowl of cold water. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, their skins should peel off easily. Quarter the tomatoes, remove their seeds, then dice the rest of the flesh and set aside.
  2. Dice the rest of the cleaned vegetables except for the zucchini into cubes about 1/2-inch (1 to 1 1/2 centimeters) wide and set aside. Slice the zucchini into thin circles. In a deep skillet (non-stick or enamel work well here) large enough to hold all the vegetables, heat some olive oil over low-medium heat in a deep skillet and begin cooking the diced potatoes. Cover and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking to make sure they are not browning or getting stuck—they should remain relatively pale.
  3. Add the onion along with a good pinch of salt, stir, and then let cook, covered, a minute or two more before adding the eggplant. Stir, and cover again, cooking an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the peppers and the zucchini, cover and let cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Finally, add the tomatoes. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the vegetables are cooked evenly. If you need to at any point (if you notice the vegetables sticking, for example), you can add a splash of water, but in general you should not need to do this. Before serving, add torn basil and season with salt and pepper.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Christina Boren
    Christina Boren
  • sydney
  • Emiko
  • heatheranne

7 Reviews

Christina B. August 25, 2020
Perfect! My finished plate came out exactly like the image.
heatheranne July 20, 2015
I made this on the weekend. It tastes pretty good, although doesn't look as nice as the photo! I think I used way too much eggplant (mine were massive), so it has a kind of unappealing brown mush quality to it (especially since eggplant is not my favourite vegetable). Probably what I as supposed to be going for! I added white beans for some protein. Great way to use summer produce, just with less eggplant.
sydney July 25, 2015
Good comment on difference between photo-food-stylized food versus REAL food.
Emiko July 25, 2015
Hi Zelda. I'm not a stylist, I'm a home cook. This is REAL food. It's food that I cooked and ate with my family. It's what it looks like every time I make it, when I make it for myself at home (which I do often in the summer). I believe that heatheranne misregarded one of the instructions which is to use equal amounts of all vegetables so you have a balance. It also sounds like she overcooked the eggplant -- it's not supposed to be mushy and, when cooked correctly, it will look exactly the way I made it in my photos.
heatheranne July 26, 2015
I didn't mean to sound critical. I totally overcooked it, and totally used way too much eggplant. I was doing a million other things at the same time, and my eggplants were on steroids. I didn't mind that they cooked all the way down, since it's not my favourite vegetable to begin with. As I said, we enjoyed the flavour.
Juliebell July 19, 2015
Do you suggest serving this warm or room temp?
Emiko July 19, 2015
Take a look at the author notes right under the photos for an idea of how to serve this -- as noted there, you can eat it warm or room temp/cold!