Vegetable Stifado

I don’t typically think of stews as a summertime meal.  However, Vegetable Stifado from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day is one of my favorite dishes to make this time of year.  Almost everything in it can be found locally grown and freshly picked or, better yet, in my garden.

I vary the recipe a little in that I like to add extra tomatoes, peppers, and squash.  I use a zucchini and a yellow squash, and 2-3 different colors of peppers (green, red, and yellow were on the menu when I made this the other day, but I’ve also used orange and purple).  I leave out the optional okra (because I am not a fan).  The potatoes I used when I made this the other day were  small, thin-skinned new potatoes so I scrubbed them well and left the skins on.  This stew freezes well.  The potatoes might get a little mushy but it’s a stew so it works out okay, even thickening it a little.  The recipe calls for it to be served over rice.  I’ve been known to substitute couscous for the rice.

Vegetable Stifado

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large potato (about 2 cups cubed)
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 3 cups undrained canned tomatoes (28-ounce can)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (1 scant teaspoon dried)
  • 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 cup frozen sliced okra (optional)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (1 teaspoon dried)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • grated feta cheese

In a large stewpot, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil over medium heat until just softened.  Cut the potato into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the pot.  Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes.  Add the eggplant and the juice from the tomatoes, setting aside the tomatoes.  Stir in the water, salt, and rosemary.  Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.  After the first 10 minutes, the stew can be simmered uncovered.

While the stew simmers, cut the squash into 1-inch cubes and the bell pepper into 1-inch pieces.  When the potatoes are just beginning to soften, add the squash and bell pepper and continue to cook for 5 minutes.  Coarsely chop the reserved tomatoes and add them to the pot, along with the okra, lemon juice, and dill.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.  Add black pepper to taste, and remove the rosemary sprig if you used the fresh herb.

Serve topped with feta cheese.

Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day is one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks.  There are a lot of good recipes that don’t take nearly as much time as many of the recipes do in Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant (Cookery)Sundays At Moosewood has some fantastic recipes but they can be complicated and/or time consuming.  Moosewood Cooks at Home was a great cookbook to have while I was working (outside of the home) because most of the recipes don’t take that long to prepare and/or cook.

(Yesterday’s sunset.)

10 Comments on “Vegetable Stifado”

  1. Bo Mackison says:

    Those veggies look great. The colors of all the plants seem so vibrant this year…

    • Robin says:

      I’ve noticed that too, Bo. In fact, I’ve been tempted to desaturate my photos a little because the colors are so vibrant they don’t look real.

  2. Marcie says:

    Thank-you for this recipe..and what an absolutely stunning sunset!!!

  3. Karma says:

    Lovely colors here and the recipe sounds yummy. I have a couple questions for you: are you strictly vegetarian? I consider myself very omniverous, but I wouldn’t mind having a few more meatless meals now and then. With this recipe, do you still feel full later? I find I sometimes don’t feel full later when the meal doesn’t have much protein (and I’m unfortunately not a fan of beans.)

    • Robin says:

      Karma: No, I’m not strictly vegetarian although I’ve tried to be. I was anemic for a while and it just seemed easier to eat meat occasionally than to take the dreaded iron supplements (my digestive system does not like iron supplements). I was not anemic due to the vegetarian diet but because of another condition. We eat fish about once a week and some other form of meat about once every two weeks or so. Sometimes not even that often, unless we’re traveling or eating with friends or family who eat meat.

      I do feel full for the entire evening after eating this stew for dinner. I think the rice or couscous help with that as well as the feta cheese (which adds some protein). I know what you mean, though, about not feeling full later when the meal doesn’t have much protein. I think eating meatless on a regular basis somehow helps the body adjust to that. Plus I find all kinds of meatless ways to add protein (such as Quorn products, tofu, nuts & seeds, eggs and other dairy products — going vegan didn’t work well for me because I love cheese!).

      This particular stew has only 83 calories per serving (and 2g of protein). With such a low calorie count, I can eat a lot of it (depending on how much rice or couscous I have with it).

      One thing I noticed about going mostly meatless is that I feel better. Lighter, more energetic. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s all those veggies and fruit I have to eat to make up for the lack of meat. If you’re just starting out with meatless meals, I highly recommend the Quorn products, especially the chik’n tenders for stir fries — I’ve had it pass for chicken when I didn’t tell my son it wasn’t chicken. He would never have known it wasn’t chicken if I hadn’t told him.

      • Karma says:

        Thanks for the info! Hubby is having gall bladder surgery soon, and less meat is exactly what the doctor ordered. I’ll look into Quorn!

  4. jenna says:

    I love the Moosewood cookbooks, and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook. For a long time, it seemed they were the only really good vegetarian cookbooks one could easily find. There were other books out there, but the recipes were so healthnut-oriented, it was impossible to make any recipes for “normal” people. Like you’ve mentioned though, most recipes in her books are rather time intensive and can be complicated. They’re great for fine-dining food, and I’ve made some of the recipes for dinner party events, but I honestly don’t have that kind of time for day to day cooking. I’ll have to check out the Fast and Easy version you mentioned here. There are a lot more vegetarian cookbooks now, and veggie food is much easier to find, but Moosewood and Forest recipes always seem to turn out well.

    • Robin says:

      I love the Moosewood cookbooks too, J. I haven’t heard of the Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook. I’ll have to look for that one.

      Sundays at Moosewood was my first vegetarian cookbook. I acquired a Vegetarian Times cookbook shortly after that but never really liked it. Seems like almost every recipe calls for Bragg Liquid Amino Acids or brewers yeast.

  5. […] I also have a vegetable stifado (stew) simmering.  You might not think of stew for a hot summer’s day meal, but this is filled with summer vegetables and it’s one of my favorite dishes.  In the pot you’ll find onions, garlic, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, tomatoes, rosemary, and dill.  Almost everything in the stew comes either from our garden or from the local farmers market.  Only the lemon juice and black pepper come from Elsewhere.  (If you want to know more about it, you can find a post I wrote on my old blog that included the recipe here.) […]

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