This classic French vegetable stew is so good in so many ways. Incredibly tasty, it is also super-healthy: basically, two tablespoons of olive oil, herbs, and vegetables. Perhaps best of all, it requires a cutting board, a knife, and one pot. Have I mentioned that we wash a lot of dishes?
Here’s our go-to recipe for this, which in it’s original form came from the wonderfully named cookingforengineers.com. We’ve modified it and made it our own, and it remains one of our go-to dishes:
6 garlic cloves, minced
5 medium button or brown mushrooms, quartered
1 medium zucchini, diced
5 sprigs of Italian parsley, chopped
4 sprigs of basil, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 diced tomatoes, diced
6oz chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 large eggplant, diced
2Tbs. olive oil
Start cooking by heating olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute until the garlic smell intensifies, about one minute.
Add the diced onion and continue to saute until they turn translucent, about 4 more minutes.
Once the onions are translucent, add 1 Tbs. tomato paste. The tomato paste will be in a clump and will take a bit of stirring and pressing to get it to spread out and cover the onions and garlic.
As you work at spreading the paste out and mixing it with the onions and garlic, the paste will cook and darken in color. Once some of the paste starts to stick to the pan and brown, it’s time to add the stock (about one minute).
Pour chicken or vegetable stock and deglaze.
Add the diced eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Stir to combine thoroughly and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every couple minutes to promote even heating.
The eggplant will release a lot of liquid (slowly) into the pot and it’s in this liquid that you’ll want to simmer the other ingredients in. To evenly cook all the ingredients, you’ll have to stir it to make sure the vegetables spend time touching eggplant liquid. As a bonus, the flavors mix amazingly well during this process.
The eggplant will mostly be falling apart at this point, but the zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms should be tender but not yet mushy.
Add the diced tomatoes and stir in. After about a minute, the tomatoes will have heated through. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
Stir in the chopped parsley and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.