Ciambotta (Vegetable Stew)
Ciambotta is part of the “minestre” category of Italian foods, somewhere between a thick soup and stew depending on how much liquid is used. A melange of summer garden vegetables are simmered in a tomato based, vegetable broth. Ciambotta can be eaten on its own with some crusty bread or served alongside some rice, polenta or pasta. It makes a lovely side dish to any grilled meat, poultry or fish.
- ¼ cup Irini extra virgin olive oil
- ½ medium Ontario Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large Ontario Garlic Cloves, finely minced
- ½ medium fennel bulb, cored, quartered, thinly sliced
- 3 medium Ontario Red Potatoes, cubed
- 1 medium Ontario Red Shepherd Pepper, cubed
- 1 cup each Ontario Green and Yellow Beans
- 2 medium Ontario Zucchini, cut into ½ inch thick half moons
- 1 medium Ontario Eggplant, cubed
- 1 (398 ml) can Pastene Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ tablespoon La Cosentina Dry Oregano leaves
- 1 cup Campbell’s No Salt Vegetable Broth
- Soresina Grana Padano Cheese, grated, used as garnish (optional)
- Add cubed eggplant to a colander and sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt (to remove any bitterness). Allow to drain for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse quickly with water and pat dry.
- Working in batches, add a little EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) to a large frypan on medium heat and cook onion, garlic and fennel for approximately 8-10 minutes until softened. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add more EVOO to frypan and cook potatoes, red pepper and beans for another 10 minutes until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add a little more EVOO to frypan, cook zucchini and eggplant until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add to frypan, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock and season with salt, pepper and oregano.
- Return all vegetable to frypan, semi cover and continue cooking for about 20 minutes on medium heat until all vegetables are cooked. Add additional vegetable stock if needed.
- Serve warm and garnish with grated Grana Padano cheese if you wish.