Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mid-summer Ratatoulli Stew

Some of the fun of having a CSA is trying new vegetables.  
This is a delicata squash.  
Its considered a winter squash but is more related to summer squash.  Delicata is also known as a peanut squash or a sweet potato squash.  It is slightly sweet and the skin is edible.  They can be cook similarly to a butternut or acorn squash.  
This week I received some really great vegetables but was daunted with so many other things to get done I didnt have the time or the energy to look up recipes for each thing.  So, I threw it into a one pot stew (or as a certain perky show host would call it a "stoup".

Mid-Summer Ratatouille Stew
4 slices of bacon or prosciutto (if vegetarian sub 3 tbs margarine)
1 medium onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup wine
2 medium delicata squash
3 medium beets
2 medium yellow squash
2 medium tomatoes
2 medium bell peppers 
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 cup corn starch
** cut all veg to similar bite size
  • In stock pot or dutch oven, saute bacon/prociutto/marg, onion and garlic until onion is translucent
  • Deglaze the pot using wine.  (deglazing is simply using a liquid to loosen up the yum from the bottom of the pot)

  • Add 3 cups of vegetable stock and bring to boil.  
  • Add delicata squash, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining vegetables.  Simmer 30 minutes.
  • Remove 1 cup of liquid from the pot and whisk with cornstarch.  Pour starch mixture back into the pot.  Bring back up to the boil then simmer for 10 more minutes.  
  • Test tenderness of vegetables with a fork.  If the vegetable slide off the fork then its finished.  
Dress with toast and a sprinkle of Asiago or a dollop of sour cream/greek yogurt.

I will freely admit that I am not a fan of chunky soups.  I generally not a fan of most soups with exception of chicken noodle and matzo ball soup.  I hit my soup with an immersion blender, threw a little parm on top and I was even happier.  


  1. Hello "Reluctant"....thanks for your blog posts! I am a single person living alone and am getting a weekly CSA small share from Binghamton Urban Farm. Pros: Really beautiful vegetables, forces me to prepare and eat a number of veggies I might not normally purchase for myself. Cons: Makes me feel a little stressed trying to figure out how to prepare them in a timely manner. Right now I have two weeks worth sitting in the fridge that need my attention. So far I have: 1) Blanched and frozen Kale and Swiss Chard for use in green smoothies (which I have not tried yet!). 2) Shredded summer squash and mixed into ricotta cheese mixture for Lasagna rolls (delicious), did the same with chopped and sautéed Chard (used in cheese mixture for Lasagna rolls). 3) Made Arugula and Garlic Scape pestos (yum). 4) Cooked beets, sliced and put on green salad or alone with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. 5) Made Black bean and Corn "veggie burgers" using corn cut off the cob 6) Ate carrots, radishes and lettuces raw in salads or dipped in olive oil and salt. 7) Made fresh tomato Bloody Mary's in the blender. Actually in listing all those things I made, it makes me feel good that I've tried to be creative and have eaten some delicious food and drink. I like your soup recipe above, and I'm with you - I don't like chunky vegetable soups and I will probably puree it smooth like you did! Oh, and one other thing, I used raw lettuce leaves and pureed them in the blender with water and froze the mixture, my intention is to try one of the lettuce soup recipes I've found online. I would welcome any more recipe ideas that you have tried and liked. Thanks!

  2. Sounds like you're off to a great start, Kristin! I'll admit, last year when I joined the CSA, I was daunted at times. I'm lucky in the fact that I dont work and I can spend my Friday afternoons reviewing veggies and figuring out how to make it all delicious.
    My biggest things, when I dont know what else to do with a veggie, is to dry it or blanch it. I use a lot of the blanched greens in quinoa sliders (I'll post the recipe soon!) or just save them as a cooked side dish.
    I am also a big fan of throwing things in blenders with salt and olive oil (or the precious, delicious sunflower oil I got at the farmers market) to make pesto out of them. Our favorite way to have pesto is on burgers (I would guess that if youre a vegetarian or like that kind of thing that it would be yummy on a portobella burger as well). I like to also mix it into a potato salad.
    Im going to work hard to try to get out at least 2 or 3 recipes that are related to that week's veggies. If there are any vegetables/herbs that are particularly tricky or youre running out of ideas for, please let me know and I will see what I have in my catalog of recipes. Im still kind of new to blogging this kind of thing so it gives me an idea of what people are looking for, too.

    1. Thanks for your reply, Marissa. How about some Turnip ideas? Thanks!