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.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add a little more EVOO to frypan, cook zucchini and eggplant until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add to frypan, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock and season with salt, pepper and oregano.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve warm and garnish with grated Grana Padano cheese if you wish.
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