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Friday, August 21, 2020


This vegetable stew is one of my favorite things to eat in late summer when I have an abundance of vegetables in my garden. But it can be cooked any time if you choose to use canned tomatoes.

The author of this recipe utilizes a method that keeps all the flavors fresh tasting by keeping the parts separated a bit while cooking so it doesn't turn into a mushy mess.



Source:  The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook by Kim O'Donnel
Serves: 6

1 large globe eggplant (about a pound) or 3 thinner Asian eggplants
salt for leaching eggplant
5 T olive oil, divided
2 medium onions sliced thinly (about 2 cups)
3 red or yellow bell peppers, seeded and julienned (about 2 1/2 c)
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow or green zucchini, cut into half moons (about 2 1/2 c)
ground black pepper
6 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 3 c) or 1 (28-oz) can plum tomatoes
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 teas dried
1 teas dried oregano
chopped fresh basil and/or parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Dice the eggplant into half-inch cubes (about 5-6 c). Sprinkle with salt and place on a rack or in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes. (This leaching step is not required but it will reduce liquid.)

With a towel pat the eggplant dry. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 T of the olive oil. Toss and spread into a single layer. Put the eggplant in the hot oven and roast for 15 minutes until the eggplant browns and shrinks substantially. Take it out of the oven and set aside.

You'll need a large skillet as well as a large lidded saucepan or Dutch oven which you can keep on a burner on the lowest warm setting.

Heat another 2 T oil in the skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions until tender and stir in the peppers with a generous pinch of salt. Cook until the peppers are soft.

Add half the garlic and stir for a minute and transfer all from the skillet to the Dutch oven (or saucepan).

In the skillet heat 1 T olive oil over medium-high heat and add the zucchini and some salt and pepper. Cook until the zucchini is tender but still retains its color. Add the remaining garlic; cook for a minute and then add the mixture to the Dutch oven. Stir the vegetables together.

Chop or mash the tomatoes with a potato masher so they are broken up. Add them to the vegetables along with the thyme and oregano. Stir in the eggplant. This mixture will be thick but as the tomatoes release liquid it will loosen up. If it remains thicker than you like add a few tablespoons of water. Raise the temperature to medium-low and mix the ingredients well. Cover and allow to cook for 12-15 minutes until heated through. Taste for seasonings and remove herb sprigs. Serve.

This can be served with couscous, quinoa, or orzo. Crusty bread would be great, too.


If you can't entertain the idea of heating your late summer kitchen with a 450F oven, you can pan-roast the eggplant before you start cooking everything else. Heat the olive oil in your large skillet (can be nonstick if you prefer) over medium high heat and cook the eggplant after leaching and patting dry. Stir from time to time so it doesn't scorch and cook until browned and tender. Set aside in a bowl. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel and begin cooking the onions as instructed above.

If I'm in a rush, I'll employ more than one skillet and cook onions and zucchini at the same time but in separate pans and you'll be able to control how "done" each vegetable becomes. This will speed preparation somewhat but will make for more pans to wash, of course.

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