Tsik tsik (Τσικ τσικ) is a traditional Greek recipe of summer vegetables with egg
Τσικ τσικ. Some things just don’t translate well from Greek to English, and τσικ τσικ (which phonetically translates to Tsik Tsik) is one of those things. We don’t know where this term originated. In fact, for the longest time we thought that this was our paternal grandmother’s own inventive way of referring to a dish which is a medley of whatever vegetables you have lying around, and some eggs. But we were wrong; it seems that around Messinia (which is where our parents are from), many people refer to this easy, summer meal as tsik tsik.
This recipe is a favourite of our dad’s, probably because it was a favourite of his own mother’s. Γιαγιά Ελένη (Yiayia Eleni) made tsik tsik (Τσικ τσικ) often for her family, with vegetables from the garden, and eggs straight from the chicken coop. This is an old-time, humble dish and there are likely similar versions found across various regions of Greece, perhaps going by less interesting names. Whatever you call it, and wherever you find it, tsik tsik was, and still is, an easy way to get a meal on the table, particularly in the summer when zucchini and eggplant are at their peak. More importantly than this summer vegetables with eggs’ ease however, we love watching our dad make it, and eat it. We are sure that when he does, he remembers his youth, his homeland, and his mom.
What summer vegetables do you combine with the eggs to make tsik tsik?
There are so many ways to change up your tsik tsik, and you can easily play around with the ratios of vegetables. So, for instance, in the recipe listed below, there is more eggplant than there is zucchini. Part of that is cook preference, but another part is simply because when we cooked this meal with our dad, he happened to have more eggplant than zucchini available (probably because we had dipped into his zucchini stash to make zucchini chips).
Do you have to salt and drain your eggplant before using it?
For this recipe, the short answer is, No. We know that many recipes recommend doing things to eggplant before you cook with them, to take away their sometimes bitter taste. All we can tell you is that the eggplant used in this recipe was washed, chopped, and used. No fuss, no muss…and it was perfectly delicious. Maybe there is sometimes much eggplant to-do, for nothing. Maybe as well this has to do with the fact that the eggplant came straight out of our parents’ garden. In any case, treat the eggplant as you wish. If you would like to chop it, salt it, and let it drain for about 30 – 60 minutes before using it, go ahead. Just be sure it rinse it well to remove the excess salt.
Use a good quality tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes
Our dad used homemade tomato sauce in this recipe. If you happen to have some, great. If you don’t, you can take some extra tomatoes (meaning, more than the 2 which will be diced to be added to your pan), peel them, remove the seeds and grate them. Grate enough tomatoes to end up with 2/3 cup, and use this instead of the tomato sauce. If you need information on how to peel and seed tomatoes, click here.
How to enjoy Tsik tsik (Τσικ τσικ) , the traditional Greek recipe of summer vegetables with eggs.
Tsik tsik makes a fantastic lunch or supper. Pair it with some nice cheese, some bread, and a few olives and you will have a meal which is nutritious, delicious, easy and wholesome.
Tsik Tsik (Summer vegetables with egg)
- 3 cups zucchini chunks (about 1 inch in size) heaping cups
- 2 cups eggplant chunks (about 1 inch in size) heaping cups
- 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced into small chunks
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium sized, vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into small dice
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup tomato sauce or grated peeled and seeded tomatoes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 large eggs
- After washing both the zucchini and the eggplant, cut them into 1 inch large chunks. Do not peel these vegetables.3 cups zucchini chunks (about 1 inch in size), 2 cups eggplant chunks (about 1 inch in size)
- In a large frying pan, add the vegetable oil and the olive oil. Immediately add the zucchini and eggplant, and the potatoes. Cook over medium heat, covered for approximately 5 minutes.1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced into small chunks
- Add the diced tomatoes, the water and the tomato sauce or tomato juice. Add the salt and pepper. Mix well, cover and cook for 25 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. If the pan appears too dry, add a bit more water.2 medium sized, vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into small dice, 1/2 cup water, 2/3 cup tomato sauce or grated peeled and seeded tomatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs. Pour them evenly over the vegetable mixture. Using a spatula, cut through the vegetables and wiggle them around a bit so that the egg falls to the bottom of the pan and cooks. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat, or until egg is cooked.3 large eggs
- Let cool a bit, before eating, to allow the flavours to come out.