Italian Vegetable Stew (Ciambotta)

My trip to the Clintonville Farmer’s Market last weekend included a 20 mile round trip bike ride. Lunch with an old colleague and her daughter. A stop at the Public Library and a great haul of veggies for the week.

One of the things that caught my eye were these beautiful little eggplants from a local farm. Once home and showered after coming in from a sunny day looking like I’d just walked in from a heavy rain I flipped through the copy of “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook,” by America’s Test Kitchen and stumbled across a recipe for Ciambotta.

With herbs from our balcony garden to make the pesto and everything else required from my┬ástrenuous trip to the Farmer’s Market I made this last night for the rest of the week. The process outlined by America’s Test Kitchen, as usual, is excellent. A quick Google search led me to a great write up by Chez CateyLou with the recipe I used (saving me a write up).

It’s an amazing experience when something comes together and emits a cohesive aromatic experience that transports you to someplace like Hunter Avenue when I first met Eddie living next to his friend Ted Rau. It was Summer and the backyard garden was in full swing with sage, rosemary, fennel, dill, poppies, nasturtiums, lettuce, castor beans, and so many yellow finches. It’s one of those places┬ásolidly fixed in my memory. I was in love… and that’s exactly what the dish smelled like.

Now married, and still in love, it’s wonderful to find myself in the middle of 2015 enjoying another aromatic Summer.


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