Summer vegetable stew

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Summer vegetable stew

There's a profusion of fruits and vegetables at our summer farmers' markets. It's a great time to explore and try new foods. Last week, I picked up Japanese eggplants and wasn't really sure what to do with them.

Then an expert friend and gardener at work gave me medium-sized green zucchini. Combined with other farmers' market bounty and some ideas from cookbooks, this week's recipe was born.

The result was a tasty, simple, and healthy low-fat dish with substance. All amounts are approximate. All amounts are approximate.

This is good the first night and as leftovers.


  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes) with the juice on the cutting board
  • 4 red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch chunks ("medium" is highly subjective — any zucchini looks medium next to the giant ones that can
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Handful of fresh basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram and oregano, minced — any combination along with the basil would work


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and cook the onions, garlic and chilies, covered, on low heat until soft and fragrant.
  2. Add the tomatoes, season a little, and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes release some of their juice.
  3. Add the potatoes and 1/4 cup water. Season some more, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the eggplant, cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Add the zucchini and herbs, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Adjust the seasoning.