Summer stew

Summer stew

This filling, flavoursome Summer Stew is a derivative of a popular spread in Moldova, called “Zacusca”. It's quick to prepare, only uses 4 ingredients and is also vegan-friendly. 


  • 3 large aubergines
  • 1 or 2 diced bell peppers (red or yellow)
  • 4 ripe tomatoes (the sweeter the better)
  • 1 red onion
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying


  • Prepare all the ingredients in advance.
  • Dice the aubergines into 1.5–2cm pieces
  • Dice the peppers  into 0.5–1cm pieces
  • Chop the onion
  • Chop and crush (or blend) the tomatoes
  1. Heat the oil with a pinch of salt in a large wok or stew pan (preferably with a thick base)
  2. Add the aubergines and fry over low heat for approximately 10 - 15 minutes, until the cubes start losing their shape. For a better result keep a lid on the pan and stir often.
    Good to know – the bigger are the aubergine pieces, the less oil these will absorb.
  3. Add the onion and keep the heat low for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add the diced pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir and check if you need a little more oil, just enough for all ingredients to blend together and not get fried at this stage.
  5. Leave on the heat for another 7 – 8 minutes.
  6. Add the already prepared tomato paste and stir it all
  7. Leave on the lowest heat for another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how liquid it looks. The perfect consistency should be to still see the half-melted aubergine cubes in a tomato paste. Add more salt if needed.

Enjoy spread on bread or as a separate dish. Mashed potato makes a smashing accompaniment.

This meal is great on the day you cook it, but it is even better the next day when all ingredients blend even more. Enjoy!


More about Moldova

Here are a few more things you may not know about this small but interesting country...

The legendary Milestii Mici wine cellar, featuring over 75 miles of wine roads and 2 million bottles near the historic city of Chisinau, makes Moldova an attractive proposition for Brits wanting to try somewhere that they may not have previously considered. Moldova also boasts 500 hours of sunshine per year more than the UK, hence the ideal wine production.

More about Veganism

Thinking of opting for a Vegan diet moving forward? Find out more about the rise of Veganism and some excellent protein sources for vegetarians.

Vegan food

More recipes including a Vegan Mushroom Risotto from the team at our Bristol restaurant.