Summer Stew-licious

Isn’t it funny how you can put -licious on the end of pretty much any word these days? I actually just googled “licious” and these websites came up: candle-licious, mama-licious, cycle-licious, picklelicious, vegan-licious, madonna-licious; I could go on and on. Google it yourself and see.

Anyway I found this recipe for a summer stew and I’ll just say right now that I am absolutely in love with it therefore I deemed it worthy of the “licious” tag.

This is my first eggplant recipe which I am finally getting around to posting. I’ve actually made this recipe twice in ten days! It’s perfect for summer, perfect for lunch or dinner and a perfect way to use up your vegetables from your garden.

Eggplant, Zucchini and Sweet Red Pepper Stew
4 servings (actually way more than 4 servings I think)

1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, Italian style
1 cup Marsala wine
2 – 2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped

Place eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. I peeled my eggplant too by the way. This is what an eggplant looks like on the inside in case you didn’t know.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add onion and saute until transparent. Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes. Meanwhile rinse eggplant and pat dry. Add to pot with onions and garlic and cook until slightly browned (only a few minutes).

Stir in wine. Now take a minute and breath in all the Marsala goodness before you continue. The Marsala wine makes the whole thing smell so good. Then add 2 cups of the water, rice, zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add more water if necessary.

Remove from heat and stir in basil, parsley and rosemary.

You can find the original recipe here. I made a few changes. First I switched the order on cooking the onions and eggplant. The first time I made this recipe I made it exactly as written and cooked the eggplant first. The eggplant soaked up all the oil and there wasn’t any left to cook the onions and garlic. The second time I took the advice of one of the reviewers on All Recipes and cooked the onion and garlic first and then added the eggplant. I thought that worked a lot better.

Second, I increased the water by a full cup. There just wasn’t quite enough to cover all the vegetables. That could be because I used a pretty big zucchini, eggplant and red pepper.

Third I substituted a can of Italian diced tomatoes for fresh tomatoes only because I don’t have any fresh tomatoes right now and I had this can of diced tomatoes already on hand. When the tomatoes finally ripen in my garden I will be making this with fresh tomatoes. I will also use my yellow bell peppers too!

This recipe is SO good. I’m really glad I found it. It has the best flavor. It also freezes really well. The second batch that I just made went straight into the freezer in my favorite Pyrex bowls.

I had picked an eggplant the day before and I knew I needed to use it right away so I whipped up this stew again since I already knew how to make it and knew I liked it. It makes a really great lunch too – very filling. That’s the primary reason I freeze it in these individual bowls. I just grab one of these bowls out of the freezer in the morning, let it set on my desk all day and then pop it in the microwave at lunch time. Just to warn you though that the bowl will sweat all over your desk as it thaws out so make sure you set it on a plate or on some paper towels or something.

I love finding awesome recipes!

Other zucchini recipes:
Zucchini Pie (I just posted an update here so go check it out again)
Zucchini Cake
Zucchini with toasted walnuts


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