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Old 28-10-2005, 07:19 PM posted to
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Default Ciambotta

Did I, just a few days ago, say we should stuff ourselves because the
days are getting colder? Well, I'm in the Netherlands and it's bloody
22 C out there. The end of October, and I'm walking the streets with
my arms bare. Here's some sunny food.


Ciambotta (southern Italian vegetable stew)

1/2 lb eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
a large handful of trimmed fresh basil
1 lb ripe plum tomatoes, passed through a food mill or peeled and
chopped finely in the food processor or a 14oz can Italian plum
tomatoes drained and chopped finely in the food processor
3/4 lb new potatoes or any waxy potato, scrubbed and cut into 1x2 inch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb zucchini cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 large or 2 small sweet red or yellow peppers, seeded and cut into
1/2 inch strips
salt and pepper to taste


Toss the eggplant cubes in a colander with the 2 tsp salt. Let it sit
until it starts to sweat out the bitter juices (about 20+ minutes).
Rinse, drain and pat the cubes dry, squeezing a little.
In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onion garlic and celery. Stir
over high heat for about 5 minutes, adding a little water as necessary
to prevent sticking and burning. Add the basil and stir for a few
minutes, then add the tomatoes. When it comes to a simmer, add the
eggplant, potatoes and the 1/2 tsp salt. Stir and bring to a boil then
turn down, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and
peppers and simmer 15 minutes more, or until all of the vegetables are
Add salt and pepper to taste, transfer to a warm serving bowl and
allow to stand 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers are even better.

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