Summer Vegetable Stew

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This Summer Vegetable Stew is easy to make with fresh vegetables from the garden or farmer’s market. You can have it hot one evening for dinner then chill the leftovers and have it cold the next day for lunch. Serve it with chickpea flour flatbread.Summer Vegetable Stew

4 yellow zucchini
4 Japanese eggplant or 1 regular eggplant.
1 bunch red chard with the stems
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 bunch basil
2 cans whole tomatoes (unsalted)
1 can tomato paste
1 cup red wine, vegetable stock, or water
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
dash of pepper
OPTIONAL: salt to taste 

1. Wash chard thoroughly. Place in a pot and cover with water. Boil until the stems are tender, about 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water and drain. Set to one side.
2. Mince the garlic.
3. Rough chop the onion by peeling and cutting in half then slicing each half in thin crescents.
4. Rough cut the zucchini and the eggplant to 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks.
5. Optional step. Some eggplant can be bitter and salting it prior to use can remove the bitter flavor. If you are using Japanese eggplant it is very sweet so you will not need to salt it before cooking. If you use regular eggplant lightly salt cut chunks with approximately 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Let set for approximately 1 hour in a colander. Rinse off the salt and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
6. Remove the leaves from a bunch of basil. Wash thoroughly and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
7. Saute the garlic in red wine, stock or water for a couple of minutes.
8. Add the vegetables in the following layers: onions; zucchini, eggplant, basil. Bring to a fast steaming boil over a medium high heat and put a lid on the pot. Cook with the lid on for about five minutes on high heat and remove the lid and add the Balsamic vinegar, the tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking with the lid on for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 as a main course, or 8 as a side dish. Can be served hot or cold.

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