September Vegetable Stew

September is a time of transition as we go from the heat of summer to cooler days and nights. The light also seems to change as we finish off the summer produce and begin to make slightly more hardy dishes. This is a dish that incorporates green beans with tomatoes, squash, and potatoes. The fresh and flavorful beans, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and basil came from my CSA bag from La Nay Ferme. The recipe calls for zucchini, but since I had cucuzza (an Italian squash/gourd that I adore) from my garden, I used that in its place. They are interchangeable for this recipe. This stew benefits from a day in the refrigerator before serving. The flavors seem to develop more fully with time. I serve it as a side dish, but it also is delicious tossed with a pound of spaghetti.

September Vegetable Stew
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 c. chopped red onion
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 lb. green beans, stemmed
3-1/2 c. vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
1 large carrot (I used a yellow carrot for this)
2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes (3 medium)
2 c. peeled and diced zucchini or cucuzza if available
1/4 c. fresh basil

Place cubed potatoes in a 3-quart stockpot pot. Fill with cold water and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and set aside. While the potatoes are boiling, heat oil in a 6-quart stockpot on medium heat. When oil is hot add garlic and cook 1 minutes. Add red onion and cook 5 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add tomatoes, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, pepper to taste. Cook 3 minutes then add green beans, stock, and oregano. Cover and cook 10 minutes until beans begin to soften. Add carrot, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and more pepper. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Add zucchini or cucuzza and basil, then cover and cook 10 minutes longer or until vegetables are fork tender but not mushy. Add potatoes and cook 5 minutes longer. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed. Serves 8.

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