Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer Vegetable Saute

I know I haven't written in while, but I was inspired yesterday during a visit to Doris' Italian Market in Coral Springs. While there, I grabbed a couple of red bell peppers (for half the price I would have paid at Publix!), zucchini and a big tomato. Last night for dinner, I added some garlic, onions, shredded carrots (pre-done into matchsticks) and red bell pepper pesto from a jar for the most amazing vegetable stew/saute I've had in a long time. I love ratatouille, and this is similar but doesn't have eggplant or mushrooms in it, and is far more colorful. I made grilled chicken to go with it, and am hoping the leftovers will be even better for lunch today than they were last night!

One beauty of this, besides the fact that it is healthy and tastes good, is that none of the measurements are exact, and nothing has to be chopped perfectly. Great for the kitchen clutz - like me!
  • 1 small onion, chopped - I used a Vidalia but any kind will work
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 6-7 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped roughly
  • 1/2-3/4 cup matchstick or shredded carrots (or run a couple through the slicing disc of a food processor, just so they are small pieces that will cook in the small amount of liquid here)
  • 1 good sized zucchini, diced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped - remove the seeds if you want
  • generous pinch each of dried basil, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon red pepper pesto (or any other pesto you like)
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Once all the veggies are washed and chopped, this comes together easily, but does require some cooking time.

Heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add the onions and peppers and let cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt, pepper and basil. Add the zucchini, carrots and tomatoes and stir well. Reduce heat to medium and let cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pesto and cook covered another 7-8 minutes. If the vegetables start to dry out, add a little water or broth, but no more than 1/4 cup. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese on the side. I can see this as a pasta dish too, tossed with some good penne or bow ties.

I didn't think to take a picture of this, but I will be making it again so I'll update it then!

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