- sausage and vegetable stew
So here's what I did. First I chopped up a pooload of veggies: onions, garlic, celery, sweet bell peppers, zucchini, pattypan squash, and a variety of mixed eggplants (ichiban, rosa bianca, some skinny white ones and some skinny green ones). Plus we had a tomato that didn't travel well in the CSA box, so I chopped that up as well, along with some unidentified greens (some variety of chard, maybe?).
Then I browned off a chub of bulk pork sausage (Pederson's breakfast sausage, in this case) in a big heavy pot, breaking it up as it cooked. I was all set to drain off some of the fat, but this particular sausage didn't render much out at all -- I actually had to add some olive oil to moisten everything up! With the sausage still in the pan, I added the onions and garlic and stirred everything around really well until the onions had gone just a tiny bit translucent. Then I added the peppers and celery and stirred those around a bit until I could smell them.
Once the sausage, onions and peppers were all happy in there, I dumped in my mixed squashes and eggplants, along with my chopped tomato and greens, about a tablespoon of tomato paste, one small can of crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen Fire Roasted, in my case), two cans of water, and maybe half a cup of dry white wine. Then I sprinkled on a good teaspoon or so of dried oregano, a healthy pinch of salt, and several grinds of fresh black pepper. Stir, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour or until the veggies are nice and tender. Taste it and adjust your seasonings before serving.
I thought this was absolutely delicious! So fresh-tasting from all the veggies, and the sausage and tomatoes made it nice and hearty. If I had it to do over again, I would have peeled the rosa bianca eggplant -- the skin is a little tough on that one, even though the flesh came out nice and tender.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that the kids wouldn't even touch the stuff, and DH didn't much care for it. But then, he doesn't like squash, peppers OR eggplant and this stew was chock-full of all of them. Oh well. I froze a bunch of it and will look forward to having fresh vegetable stew all winter when those yummy summer vegetables are gone!