Summer Pistou

Summer Pistou

I was a little unsure about serving this for dinner last night. A stew? During the summer? When it was in the mid-80s inside my house? (Buying a house with no central air is something I will NEVER do again!!)

But with all the colorful vegetables inside the stew, and the herb-y pesto served on top of the stew, this really did taste like summer. I served it with some olive bread on the side, which (despite the fact that I recently posted an easy recipe for it) I bought. Because although we still need to eat, when the weather’s like that I just want to cook as little as possible.

Summer Pistou

For the stew:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper

2 cups green beans cut into 2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

4 cups chopped yellow summer squash

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 (15 ounce) cans red or white beans, undrained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the almond-herb pesto:

1 cup toasted almonds

1 cup packed fresh basil

2 cups packed fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 to 3 tablespoon water, optional

Make the stew:

In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and bell peppers, and cook for about 3 minutes. And the green beans and broth (or water) and simmer until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the yellow squash, tomatoes, and beans. Return to a simmer and cook until all of the vegetables are tender.

Make the Pesto:

Combine the almonds, basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. Add water if you would like a thinner consistency.

Serve the stew topped with a dollop of the pesto.

6 to 8 servings

From Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

Island Beef Stew

This my seem like an odd mix of ingredients, but they came together in a really fabulous way!

Island Beef Stew
Cooking Light
3 pounds lean, boned chuck roast, trimmed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
3 cups vertically sliced onion
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrot (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Dredge beef in flour. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven; add beef, browning on all sides. Add tomatoes, onion, pepper, and salt. Combine water, molasses, and vinegar; stir into beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef is tender. Stir in carrot, raisins, and ginger; simmer an additional 30 minutes or until carrot is tender.
Remove roast from pan. Separate roast into bite-size pieces, and shred with 2 forks. Return shredded roast to pan.

9 servings

Ratatouille Chicken Stew

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a long time, and I’m so glad I finally did – it was really good. While it does take a while, it is very easy. The chicken was moist with crispy skin, and the vegetables were full of flavor. All you need is some good, crusty bread, and maybe the rest of the wine used to make the stew, and you’ve got a great meal!

Ratatouille Chicken Stew
(adapted from Kosher by Design Entertains, Susie Fishbein)
Olive oil
1 chicken cut into 8 pieces, or 10 cchicken thighs
1 small Asian or Italian eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 carrots, cut into small chunks
1 onion, cut into small chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into small chunks
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup red wine
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 roasted red peppers (jarred), sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven, or very large saute pan. Add chicken pieces, in batches, skin side down. Sear on both sides until golden and remove from pan.
Add the eggplant to the pan , adding more olive oil if necessary, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots, onion, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns. Saute 6-8 minutes, until onions soften. Add the shallots and garlic; saute until soft, 4-6 minutes. Add the olives, if using, and the artichokes. Add the wine, and let cook until wine is reduced to 2 teaspoons.
Add the crushed tomatoes and the roasted red peppers. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, 5-10 minutes.
Place chicken, skin side up, on top of the vegetables. Do not submerge or skin will get rubbery.
Put pan in oven and cook, uncovered, for 50 minutes. Spoon some of the juices and vegetables over the chicken and bake for another 2 minutes.
4-6 servings