how to eat your vegetables: late summer stewed vegetables

late summer stewed vegetables

Can I tell you something? It’s stupid and I know it, but sometimes I’m afraid of my vegetable drawer. Well, what’s in it to be exact. Being a member of a farm share is beyond wonderful, but it can be overwhelming – especially when I receive vegetables that I wouldn’t normally by. Zucchini by the half-ton and eggplant, I’m looking at you. But because I hate wasting food more than I’m afraid of it, I make do. And I try to be grown up about these things.

late summer stewed vegetables | everybody likes sandwiches

This fragrant pot is the answer to all of my late summer vegetable woes. Not only did this recipe use up a ton of my vegetables putting me more at ease with my vegetable drawer, it tastes really freaking good. We ate a big bowl of it for dinner with crusty sourdough spread with cold butter. It was perfect, rustic fare. A glass of red wine alongside is nice too. Just saying.

The idea behind this dish was to recreate a dish we had at Toro Bravo when we were in Portland last month. While everything we tried was lovely, I really wanted to try to recreate their green beans cooked long and slow in tomato sauce. I found a similar from Martha Stewart and decided to expand on the vegetable portion. Fresh garden tomatoes? Yes. Green beans? Of course! But in went some zucchini & yellow summer squash, onion, eggplant and sweet red pepper. The magic spice here is cinnamon and it adds the perfect mediterranean flavour. Everything gets sauteed on the stovetop before getting banged into the oven for a bit. I’m sure the green bean version I tried at the restaurant was baked for a couple additional hours to make sure everything was super-soft, but my version was good too. Not quite oozy-soft, nor tender-crisp, but a nice meeting point in between.

late summer stewed vegetables | everybody likes sandwiches

For a different take on this dish, I introduced chicken to the mix a few days later. I browned seasoned skinless, bone-in chicken thighs in a bit of olive oil on the stove top and then dumped the leftover stewed vegetables along with a cup of dry red wine into the pot to bake in the oven for 40 minutes or so. The result was better than I could have imagined. The second time in the oven along with the wine allowed the vegetables to get super soft, so much so that they almost melted away into the sauce. Tender and buttery and oh-so-lovely with the chicken.

So grab spoon out a bowl of your fragrant stewed vegetables (while saving some for leftovers), slice yourself some crusty country bread and pour yourself a glass of wine. You deserve to enjoy this moment and laugh about being afraid of your vegetables. Being an adult can have its privileges.

elsewhere: I made quickles, aka quick zucchini pickles for poppytalk. They’re tasty so get the recipe. Also, the week before I made a simple egg & tomato sandwich and it was sublime.

late summer stewed vegetables | everybody likes sandwiches

22 comments to “how to eat your vegetables: late summer stewed vegetables”

  1. 1
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe   September 20, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Sounds like a delicious and creative way to use up those veggies! I’m not a fan of wasting food either.

  2. 2
    Peggy   September 20, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Oh what wonderful timing! I have eggplant languishing in the refrigerator right now… and more ripe tomatoes than I know what to do with (but not enough to can.) What temperature did you use to cook your chicken thighs? 350? Since I live in a house with carnivores (read 3 teenage boys) meat is pretty essential. Thanks once again for sharing this great recipe!

  3. 3
    Sues   September 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Oh my gosh, I was JUST thinking this morning that I’m really scared of my fridge and REALLY need to clean it out and figure out what I have that I can still use. Scary. Definitely partly the fault of my farmshare 🙂

    This is a great idea for a recipe to utilize everything that IS still good!

  4. 4
    Michelle   September 20, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Fear of my vegetable drawer is exactly why I can’t commit to a CSA. A huge pot of stewed vegetables is so delicious. I still haven’t been to Toro Bravo yet. Tapas also freak me out!

  5. 5
    Joanne (Bijoux)   September 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I recently cleaned out my vegetable crisper drawer (it was a mess) and threw away a bunch of rotting and decaying food. A true crime in my world! I felt so bad afterward for neglecting to use up all those veggies. Glad to see you are managing just fine with your CSA stash and your abundance of green beans and zucchini. It’s amazing to see you slowly get over your fear of tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant. Bravo!

    Honestly, just reading about the dishes you prepared in this post reminds me of some traditional Greek dishes. You made Briami!!

    It’s a Greek dish prepared with cooked tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, zucchini and eggplant. Basically it’s a baked veggie dish and you can add bread crumbs over the top to create a crust. It’s a wonderfully fragrant summer dish when tomatoes and zucchini and eggplant are in season. [A variation of French Ratatouille] Oh, and you can add potatoes in it too.

    And, I also noticed the Greek inspiration in your green beans with chicken dish. Stewed tomato and green beans with chicken is another popular Greek dish. My mom made this many times when I was a kid. No lie. Check it out:

  6. 6
    Nicole   September 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    This sounds great for a cold night. I feel the exact same way about my vegetable drawer and my hate for waste pushes me forward, too 🙂 I bet it was amazing with the chicken thighs!

  7. 7
    kickpleat   September 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks Amanda, it is delicious and it’s made the whole vegetable drawer fear a little better 🙂

    Peggy, I think I cooked the chicken dish at 375F, but 350 would also work. I understand about the boys and the carnivore thing. My husband wasn’t too thrilled with the veggie dish, but when I made the leftovers with chicken a few days later, he thought it was absolutely amazing. Funny that!

    Sues, I’m glad I’m not the only one! Enjoy this dish, it’s a great one!

    Ha, we’re not alone, Michelle!! That is a good realization. But tapas? It’s a very good thing! We didn’t go as a dinner but just as a snack thing and it was a very good snack thing!! Do it!

    Thanks Nicole, cold nights and this dish would make a great partnership.

  8. 8
    Joanne (Bijoux)   September 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I left a comment earlier but it’s awaiting moderation 🙁

  9. 9
    kickpleat   September 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    So weird that it was comment blocked like that since you’re a regular commenter! Done!! I love how this dish spans countries – Spain, Greece and France! I was really taken with this dish and will make it again. I love the addition of bread crumbs to become something more and I’ll try that next!! Thanks Joanne for the links too – capers would be a great addition! Thanks so much.

  10. 10
    Joanne (Bijoux)   September 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    No worries, maybe it was the pasted links that set it off… 🙂

  11. 11
    Lydia   September 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Our CSAs are so different, I never get eggplant and I’ve barely gotten zucchini! (Also, I love them and I do normally buy them.) I’ll trade you all my lettuce and beets I’ve got piling up. 🙂

  12. 12
    Elizabeth   September 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    All season we’ve been SO GREAT about eating everything is our CSA share. Until now. I’m currently hiding from at least 4 bunches of turnips. Which I love, but there are just so many. This stew is inspiring, and a good reminder that sometimes you just need to make a big old stew.

  13. 13
    kickpleat   September 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Joanne, yeah probably 🙂

    Lydia, who is your farm? I’ve been pretty happy with ours and I think this year is the best yet – i love how we get garlic every week. We got a ton of greens and lettuce early on and now we’re just getting 1 bunch a week which I can handle. We’ve got beets too (I just roasted a bunch this week to throw on salads), but our zucchini is now slowed down. Maybe I”ll remember you next year and we can do a swap 🙂

    Congrats, Elizabeth! I think it’s a huge accomplishment to have a well-managed CSA share. Pats on the back, all-round!! I do love turnips though and I roasted some in a pot roast and it was amazing. I can’t wait until we get more turnips 🙂

  14. 14
    Daniela @ FoodRecipesHQ   September 21, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I like this recipe because of the herbs of Provence and cinnamon, something I’ve never add in my vegetables stew. It’s worth trying it, I’m sure!

  15. 15
    Lisa   September 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    This was amazingly good. I hit the farmers market this afternoon for the things I didn’t have on the counter already and then enjoyed combining things into deliciousness. Saved some for chicken tomorrow, but this was so good that I might actually sign up for a CSA share next year. Thanks for helping magic happen in my kitchen!

  16. 16
    Robert F   September 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I made this. I used goat cheese, which contrasted well with the Mediterranean flavors. Since I used a soft cheese, the flavor was quickly suffused throughout the tomato juice. I liked that, but maybe a harder cheese would have had more distinct cheese ‘moments’. Anyway, Judy’s only complaint was that I should have made more!

  17. 17
    kickpleat   September 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Daniela, do try it – it’s so good and a nice twist on something that seems so familiar.

    Lisa, I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I’m glad that this dish could spark your interest in a CSA. Yahooo!

    Robert, so glad you liked this one. I’m sure goat cheese was a good call. I’m sure many cheeses would be good here – like feta 🙂

  18. 18
    Kimberley   September 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    YES. I don’t do a CSA perhaps because I am too picky, and purchase my produce on whims, depending on what I crave. But I feel ya. Zucchini is such a challenge this time of year, and most of it winds up in baked goods if anywhere. I love this – green beans stewed in tomatoes is something I’ve always wanted to do but always forget about. Thank you for reminding me.

  19. 19
    Krissy   September 28, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this tonight and it was absolutely wonderful! Reminded me of ratatouille (which I noticed someone upthread also mentioned), especially since I left out the cheese. This one is going into regular rotation! Yum.

  20. 20
    kickpleat   October 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Thanks Kimberley 🙂 I’m glad I’m not alone in my fears. Enjoy this dish, it’s a good one.

    Krissy, you know, I’ve never made ratatouille and I’m glad to know that this is similar. Hooray, glad you found a favourite!

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