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 gardener/friend 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.


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


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

Nutrition information (per serving)