I love taking advantage of the fresh bounty available in summer. This vegetable melange is doing just that, and works hot as well as cold, and takes about 30 minutes to make. This dish is vegetarian inspired (I am not a vegetarian) and I do suggest side dishes and garnishes that may not fit with your diet. But, even the confirmed and rather stubborn carnivore in my house will eat this stew and not miss the meat.
Recipe to follow
What you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil – you can substitute water but you will need to stir far more frequently
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped – I prefer a really fine chop
2 bell peppers, green, red or yellow or a mixture, diced in large chunks – reserve about ¼ cup for later
1 pound eggplant, skin on, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes – I suggest that you salt the eggplant after cutting, and leave in colander to drain for at least an hour
1 yellow squash, trimmed and diced
1 zucchini, trimmed and diced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in bite-size lengths
3 medium perfectly ripe tomatoes skinned and cut in pieces or 30 ounces canned diced tomato. I use plum or roma tomatoes here – coming close to the 30 ounce chopped mark.
2 ears corn, kernels removed and “milked” – to milk corn – place a shucked and silked ear of corn into a bowl and remove the kernels as close to the cob as possible.. scrape this bowl clean being sure to add in the ‘water’ that is at the bottom of the bowl.
1 teaspoon dried oregano, ground between fingers before adding
Salt (you’ll use quite a lot) & pepper
1 tablespoon good vinegar: I use either an aged balsamic or champagne white vinegar
Tabasco – few drops
1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. red pepper flake – the amount used is determined ONLY by your ‘heat tolerance’.
In a dutch oven, add oil, onions and garlic over medium heat, sauté for about 5 minutes until onions are soft. Add all but ¼ cup of the chopped bell peppers – sauté another 5 minutes. Add eggplant and cook for 5 minutes – stirring constantly. Add zucchini and yellow squash and green beans, stir frequently for the next 5 minutes. Then add tomato, corn, oregano, tabasco, red pepper flake – stir for 5 minutes for flavors to meld and incorporate. Taste for seasoning, add salt and black pepper as needed. Here is where you stir in the vinegar and remove from heat. Serve immediately – will make from 9 – 10 cups of stew.
I serve this with crusty bread, and will top it with sour cream or a dollop of plain yoghurt. Eaten cold – it’s a nice side or main dish, again with a dollop of yoghurt, or with flatbread.