Monday, April 12, 2010

Speedy Greek-Style Ragout

I love a good stew.  Any time I can prepare an entire meal in one pan (and it turns out tasting good) is time well spent (or saved, actually).  Last week I needed to make a quick dinner before heading out to an open house for Local Matters (a great organization from what I can tell, so far) and had some vegetables I needed to use before heading to the other side of the country, so I came up with this super easy, quick dinner.  Ragout refers to a stew that is slow cooked for a long time, resulting in a rich, thick stew type of dish that can be served over pasta, however, my quick version turned out thick and hearty without the time commitment.  This dish would be good on its own, served over traditional pasta, or over pretend pasta made out of zucchini:

1 medium sized zucchini
1/2 onion, cut in chunks
5 cloves of garlic, halved
1/2 red pepper cut in chunks
1 cup mushrooms, thickly sliced
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/2 medium sized eggplant (cut in 1 inch cubes)
2 medium tomatoes cut in wedges
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 tsp oregano
salt & pepper to taste
feta cheese

*Julienne or shred the zucchini (I used my handy-dandy spiralizer to turn the zucchini into "pasta") then lay on a paper towel lined plate to dry a bit while you prepare the "ragout".
*Saute onion, garlic and red pepper in a little bit of olive oil on medium heat for about 10 minutes (until onion starts to become transparent).
*Add mushrooms.  Sprinkle some salt on everything in pan to help draw out the moisture in the mushrooms.  Stir.  Add the red wine.  Cover pan with lid and allow to simmer for about 5 - 10 minutes.
*Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the feta cheese.  Return to simmer, replace lid and cook for about 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
*When stew has thickened, remove from heat and serve on bed of pasta or zucchini.  Garnish with feta cheese.  Leftovers would make a great Greek-style bruschetta.
Makes approximately two large servings.

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