Ciambotta - Southern
Italian Vegetable Stew
hearty side dish but can also make a delicious dinner by itself with some crusty
lb. eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
extra-virgin olive oil
onion, thinly sliced
cloves garlic, chopped
celery, thinly sliced
handful of fresh basil, stems removed, chopped
ripe plum tomatoes, seeded peeled and chopped
(or use a 14-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped)
new potatoes, or any waxy potato, scrubbed and cut into 1x2-inch pieces
zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
or 2 small sweet red or yellow peppers, seeded and cut into 1x2-inch strips
and freshly-ground black pepper
the eggplant cubes in a colander with 2 teaspoons salt. Let it sit in the sink
until it starts to sweat out the juices. Rinse them, drain, them and pat dry,
squeezing a little. This will prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil.
large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and celery. Stir-cook over
high heat for about 5 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to prevent
sticking and burning.
Add the eggplant and a little more olive oil and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes. When it comes to a simmer, add potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Stir, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add
the zucchini and peppers and simmer 15 minutes more, or until all of the
vegetables are tender. Add the basil.
Taste for salt and pepper, transfer to a warm serving bowl, and allow to stand
15 minutes before serving.