Tag Archives: stew

Pistou

It’s the peak of the summer harvest right now, which means it’s time to make pistou. What’s pistou? It’s the Spanish version of ratatouille, and is easier for me to spell. (Aren’t you glad you asked?) Anyways, whatever you call it, it is a classic Mediterranean summer dish filled with fresh veggies that is already vegetarian, so no modifications were needed.

It does call for a bit more of oil than I usually use, and while I’ve tried to cut it back, the eggplant becomes unhappy. And while I also try and cut back on longer prep steps, peeling and salting the eggplant is pretty necessary: otherwise, it can be bitter. By itself, it makes a nice but light dinner. The traditional Spanish way of serving this dish is to poach eggs in it just before serving. When I’m short on eggs, like this week, I add some plain Greek yogurt for protein or have a side of bread and cheese. My sister who first introduced me to ratatouille serves it over orzo and topped with parmesan or goat cheese. However you do it, it’s yummy and packed full of veggies.

Pistou

  • 1 large or 2 medium eggplant, peeleed and diced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 6 medium tomatoes, diced, or 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • 4 eggs (optional)
  1. Put eggplant in a colander in the sink or over a bowl, salt generously and set aside for half an hour. When ready, throughly rinse the eggplant and shake off most of the excess water.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant and soft, about 1 to 2 minutes, then sprinkle with salt.
  4. Add the eggplant and cook until most of the oil is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the zucchini and bell pepper, stir until coated and evenly mixed.
  6. Add the tomatoes, juice and and all, stir into the pot and bring to a simmer.
  7. Allow to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, and adjust salt to taste.
  8. If desired, crack one egg at a time into a mug, then gently pour into the pistou, taking care to not break the yolks.
  9. Poach until whites are set and yolks are at their desired hardness.
  10. Serve with 1 egg per bowl.

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side.

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Lima Bean Stew

As I’ve mentioned in my menu posts, I’m making an effort to clear out my kitchen of all the food I preserved last summer before this summer’s harvest starts to flood in. One potential problem child is the 2 pounds of Christmas lima beans in my freezer, which are really pretty, but I’m suspicious of lima beans, despite never having actually eaten them before. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I used to be a picky eater and sometimes I forget that I actually like most foods once I get around to trying them. Anyways, last week I decided to bite the bullet and actually use them. I went to my boyfriend, Mark Bittman, and found a recipe for lima beans with dried fruit that used canned tomatoes, which are also taking up space in my pantry, and figured I’d give it a whirl.

Oh my goodness! These lima beans are delicious! I had them as a main course with a side salad, but I could totally see these served as side dish to roast pork.

Lima Beans and Dried Fruit Stew

  •  2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ in fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ tsp cayenne or crushed red pepper
  • 24 pieces dried fruit (the recipe called for ½ apricots & plums, I used dates)
  • ½ lb lima beans, fresh, frozen or cooked from dry (weigh after cooking!)
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • salt

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium low heat. Add onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, ~15 minutes. Turn heat up to medium, add garlic, ginger, and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover. Cook for about 20 minutes until beans and fruit are tender. Serves 4 to 6.

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