A wonderful way to prepare high season vegetables! Our preference is to choose more tender, smaller produce and prepare them to the same size pieces. We also enjoy sautéing them one at a time for maximum flavor.
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- 1/2 cup medium weight good tasting extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium or 2 small eggplants, trimmed, skins on, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 medium or 4 small zucchinis, trimmed, skins on, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium or 4 small yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium or 3 small sweet green bell peppers trimmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
- 1 small hot red pepper, trimmed, seeded, cut into 1-inch squares
- 2 large bay leaves
- 3 large or 4 small plump, juicy tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
- 5 plump garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely minced
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 8 Kalamata olives, a few leaves each of parsley and basil, chopped together for garnish
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high flame. Sauté the eggplant with just a pinch of salt and one grind of pepper until a bit brown, about six minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large soup pot.
- If the eggplant has absorbed the oil, add another 2 tablespoons to the sauté pan and cook the zucchini sprinkled with just a pinch of salt and one grind of pepper until a bit brown, about five minutes.
- Remove to the soup pot atop the eggplant.
- Add two tablespoons olive oil to the sauté pan and cook the onion for two minutes. Toss in the peppers and continue cooking another four minutes. Remove to the soup pot atop the other vegetables.
- Lay the bay leaves, then the tomatoes, then the garlic atop the veg in the soup pot. Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper over all. Gently pour in the water and bring to a festive boil. Reduce the heat to low-low and cover to simmer.
- After about 20 minutes, check to see if there is too much liquid for your preference, and raise the heat to cook it more briskly till you like the looks of it.
- Reduce the heat back to low. Cover and steam cook 40 more minutes, occasionally checking to make sure it is not sticking. It’s certainly okay to stir a bit.
- Remove from heat and allow to rest covered for 30 minutes.
- Serve in warm bowls , passing the bowl of garnish for those who are intrigued. A fresh crusty loaf of sourdough would be excited to play along.
- Excellent as a microwaved leftover, topped with a bit of the garnish and a few drops of olive oil.
- Cook’s tips and tricks: You can save time by layering the ingredients and stewing. But we highly recommend the one-at-a-time sautéing. The flavors bloom uncontrollably. The only tariff is one more pan to wash and about 20 minutes of extra time behind the stove.
Stonebridge Farm CSA http://stonebridgefarmcsa.com/