Just the word itself sounds like fun let alone a healthy side dish or meal. Let’s talk about the main ingredients for a minute before we get to the actual recipe. I would rather eat my vitamins than take them on a daily basis and this dish includes most of what is in a multi-vitamin. Just to name a few, zucchini includes vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid. As a bonus, zucchini contains antioxidants, too.
Eggplant includes vitamins C, K, B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, fiber, folic acid, and potassium. Eggplant is considered to be a superfood.
Tomatoes include vitamins A, K, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, and C. It also has folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, choline, zinc, and phosphorus. Given these are the primary ingredients I use for this recipe, I’ve got most of my daily vitamins covered when I make this a part of any meal and let’s not forget the carrots.
There are many varieties to this dish and several ways to serve it, so let’s just get right into it.
1 1/2 hours
Let’s talk about the ingredients…
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil (and extra fresh basil if you have any)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic salt
3 tsp olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 tsp white pepper (black pepper can be used as well)
4 green zucchini or yellow squash
4 small or 2 large eggplants
1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes or 6 fresh large tomatoes
1 bag of fresh whole baby carrots
Just for the record, the above ingredients do not have to be exact. An extra pinch here or there based on what you prefer works just as well.
I prefer to use a dutch oven on the stove to cook this, though I’ve also used a crockpot during the winter.
Start by drizzling the olive oil into your pot on a medium heat.
Add the onion and fresh garlic and sauté just until it begins to caramelize.
While the onion is cooking, cut up the zucchini and eggplant.
*I have made this dish by peeling the eggplants and by leaving the skin on, it’s a matter of choice. For me, I prefer the skin on because I feel there are nutrients in the skin and it cooks enough so that it peels off and just blends in.
Once you see the onion turn a light brown, add the zucchini, eggplant, carrots and spices.
Sauté on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
*You want the flavors to have time to blend before adding any liquid.
At this stage add the can of tomatoes.
Turn the flame up (if you have a gas stove) or raise the temperature to high, stirring occasionally.
Bring the mixture to a boil. I let it boil for a couple of minutes before turning it down to a low flame. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
It will be ready as soon as you can easily pierce the squash with a fork, but I like to let it sit on a low flame for as long as I can. I find the flavor intensifies that way.
Once it is fully cooked, let it stand until it cools down, about an hour. I leave the pot covered.
Now, you have choices. Personally, I love it right out of the pot both as a side dish or as a main dish over rice or a baked potato. It also works well instead of sauce over pasta or with chicken, fish, or red meat.
Alternatively, (and I have done this with leftovers after it’s been in the fridge a few days), you can put it right into a blender or Nutra-bullet and it makes the perfect soup, hot or cold.
If you serve it cold, garnish it with fresh cilantro and you have a cross between a tomato and vegetable soup.
If you have fresh basil, that always works well as a garnish too.
It really is the perfect dish to serve on a hot summer evening or a fall night, and the best part is how healthy this dish is!
Check out my blogging friends who are also focusing on recipe favorites today.