02 April, 2012

Roasted vegetables spring stew

While the weather is not cooperating with my planting plans and the nights and evenings get cool and humid, I am getting back to cooking warm, comfort food.

This vegetable stew is filling but quite light with a delicate flavour of roasted vegetables. I used my favorite eggplants and peppers but it would be just as great with potatoes, roasted root vegetables, or even squash. Like usual, use this recipe as a guideline and experiment with flavours and textures to create your own dish.

What you need:
1 large eggplant
2 red peppers
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, cubed
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 celery stalks, cubed
2 medium carrots, cubed
7-8 mushrooms, quartered
2-3 medium zucchinis, cut in thick slices
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can tomatoes (could be replaced by fresh tomatoes, cubed)
1 can chickpeas
2-3 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp fresh marjoram, minced
1/2 tsp dried coriander 
1 bay leaf
other dried herbs; oregano, basil, thyme to taste (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

What to do:
  • Begin by roasting eggplants and peppers.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Place vegetables on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Spray a little bit of olive oil onto the vegetables and cook 40-60 minutes, turning occasionally until vegetables get dark on all sides.
  • Place peppers in the Ziploc bag and let cool (this will help to peel them).
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot heat oil and cook onions on medium heat until dark golden.  Add half the garlic, stir, and cook for another minute or two.
  • Add celery and carrots, cook stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes (you want to get vegetables a little bit soft but not thoroughly cooked).
  • Add spices (everything except for the bay leaf) and tomato paste and stir well.  Add tomatoes, remaining garlic, bay leaf, and broth (if using canned tomatoes begin by adding only 1 cup of broth).  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile peel roasted peppers and cut in 1'' squares.  Cut roasted eggplant in halves, scoop out flesh and cut in 1'' cubes.
  • Add zucchinis, mushrooms, roasted peppers, eggplants, chickpeas and cook for another 7-10 minutes, until zucchinis become slightly translucent.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  • Let stand for 5-10 minutes.  Serve over couscous or rice, sprinkled with minced fresh parsley

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