Monday, April 6, 2009

Italian Stew & Parmesan Pepper Crostini

For health and environmental reasons, James and I try to eat vegetarian at least a couple of nights a week. Tonight's menu of Italian stew with pepper parmesan crostini, and Greek salad managed to be hearty, filling, and nutritious sans meat. The following recipe can be adapted to suit many odds and ends that you might have in your fridge and pantry, beans are flexible (a substitution of chickpeas, kidney, butter, or lima beans would all be equally delicious). A decent marinara can substitute for the diced canned tomatoes in a pinch and if you hate zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, spinach, or green beans will work.

28oz can tomatoes
15oz can white beans
2 medium zucchini
1 large onion
5 medium garlic cloves
2 medium fresh tomatoes
olive oil
dried thyme
rosemary sprig (optional)
olive oil
white wine
chicken stock (optional)

  1. Saute minced garlic and thinly sliced (but not obsessively so) onions until translucent over low heat stirring occasionally.
  2. Once garlic and onions are translucent and fragrant, add sliced zucchini and cook 3-5 minutes over medium heat (being careful not to burn garlic), stir mixture occasionally to incorporate ingredients and prevent sticking.
  3. Once zucchini is lightly colored, add canned tomatoes and beans (I rinse the beans in cold water and drain before adding to control the texture of the stew but it's not necessary) and stir, also add a couple of pinches of thyme, salt, pepper and a sprig of fresh rosemary (because I have some growing on my kitchen counter) and simmer 5-7 minutes over medium low heat uncovered.
  4. At this point, the vegetables have begun to cook down and form a sauce, add a few splashes (about 1/3 cup) of white wine and a few glugs of chicken stock for faux slow cooked goodness. Continue to simmer 7-10 minutes until favors have combined
  5. Slice fresh tomatoes and stir into stew just before serving for added texture, serve hot.
~Serves 4 or 2 with leftovers~

We ate our delicious stew with a simple Greek salad of romaine lettuce, arugula, cucumber, tomato, and feta dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And parmesan pepper crostini made in the toaster oven on thinly sliced ciabatta bread.


  1. I havne't seen Ciabatta bread at Jewel..where can i get some good Ciabatta in chicago? Whole foods..I've looked at T.J's..keep the reciepes coming girl..i'm trying to do the whole meat less thing too, Cristi is romanian so that is unheard of...!! He says he wants to try though..!;)

  2. You can get ciabatta at Whole Foods and sometimes Trader Joe's. Any nice crusty loaf will work though, like a good baguette or some sourdough rolls.