Summer Vegetable Stew

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This recipe was inspired by the last gasp of my summer garden.  It combines several tomatoes (both green and red), a zucchini and a few small eggplants.  I seasoned the veggies with balsamic vinegar and basil, for a ratatouille meets caponata style stew.  Optional add-ins include wine (1/4c) and either capers (2T) or sweet corn (1c).  Since capers are one of the few foods my husband truly cannot tolerate, I opted for corn.  But since changing his mind about pickle flavors after eating my piccalilli, who knows?  Capers may be next off the “Do Not Fly” list.

This dish would be great served over pasta, cous cous, rice or millet or quinoa (if you want to boost the protein content) and sprinkled with parmesan.  Use as a bed for a piece of fish or poached egg if you’re going low-carb.  Or keep it simple and spoon on toast with a bit of cheese melted on top, crostini-style.  However you enjoy it, this recipe is a delicious reflection of the late summer season, melding the light and fresh flavors of the garden with the heartier tastes of fall.  Eat it hot, cold or room temperature, or freeze and enjoy it when the summer bounty is a distant memory.

Recipe
Time: 1 ½ hours – 30 minutes hands-on, 1 hour cooking
Yield: ~10c

Ingredients
2T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4c chopped zucchini, large chunks
2c chopped eggplant, medium chunks
1 ½ T tomato paste
3c diced red tomatoes
1 ½ c diced green tomatoes
4 small sprigs basil (whole)
2T balsamic vinegar
1t salt
1c water
1c corn (frozen or fresh) or 2T capers (optional)
¼ c red wine (optional)

Directions
1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.

2. Add zucchini and eggplant.  Sauté 3-5 mins, depending on the size of chunks.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

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3. Add tomato paste and heat for 2 more minutes to cook out the can taste.

4. Add tomatoes, basil, vinegar, salt and water (and capers and/or wine if using).  Simmer gently on medium low heat for one hour, adding corn in final 5 minutes if using.  (Cook less if you prefer your vegetables al dente.  For this dish I prefer them soft.)

5. Remove basil sprigs and adjust seasoning as desired.  Serve in your preferred manner.

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Enjoy!

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