Another favorite from cooking goddess Deborah Madison that fits perfectly with the Eat Local Challenge. Her description reads, “It’s such an easy pleasure to make this dish, I always imagine it would be ideal for tired farmers at the end of the day- or tired anyone. While the onions sizzle in olive oil, you’re cutting eggplant and squash into big bold pieces. Into the pan they go, a thigh-fitting lid goes on top, down goes the heat, and the vegetables stew briefly in their own juices until tender. You can be completely relaxed and improvisational with this stew, for it really reflects the generous spirit of the market with all its choice and variety. Any kind of squash, onion, or eggplant will be fine, in any proportion. I find that some of the skinnier eggplants are interesting here: Yellow squash definitely enlivens the appearance; pattypans can be cut into thick wedges; zucchini into 2-inch logs, than halved or quartered, etc.”
|3 T||olive oil|
|2||onion (large, coarsely chopped)|
|3 T||oregano (chopped)|
|8||eggplants (skinny, cut into 2-inch lengths)|
|1 1⁄2 lb||summer squash (cut into large wedges or lengths)|
|2 T||tomato paste|
|2 pn||sea salt (to taste)|
|1 t||black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)|
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other deep pot that has a tight fitting lid. Add the onions, thyme and oregano and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally while you prepare the rest of the vegetables. By the time they’re all cut, the onions will have wilted and started to color in places.
Add the vegetables, giving them a stir, and cook, keeping the heat high and shaking the pan occasionally, until they begin to give off an enticing smell. This should take 10-15 minutes. The vegetables should have an inviting tender appearance and be blushing with a faint glaze of red from the tomato. Season with salt and (optional) pepper.