Celebrity chef and nutritionist Serena Poon says this recipe is an excellent practice for knife skills and gives an understanding of cooking timing when it comes to working with vegetables of different textures.
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup medium-dice yellow onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup medium-dice green bell peppers
2 1/2 cups medium-dice eggplant
1 cup medium-dice zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped plum tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (to taste)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the tomato paste and cook until it completely coats the onions and deepens in color, about 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the vegetables in the following sequence: 1) bell peppers 2) eggplant, 3) zucchini 4) tomatoes. Cook each vegetable until it softens, 2-3 minutes each, before adding the next.
4. Add salt, black pepper and broth and reduce the heat to low. Allow the vegetables to stew; they should be moist but retain their texture and not become soupy. Stew until vegetables are tender and flavorful. Add parsley, check the seasoning and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. Serve immediately or cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.