When the last of Bob and Charlotte's canoe-size zucchini appeared in my car (how careless of me to leave the car unlocked in their driveway), I planned to turn that zucchini, along with a few trimmings of some very ripe tomatoes, into a curry. Along the way, however, cinnamon and cumin called out to me, and just like that, this mildly spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew veered off toward the Middle East. A few sprigs of mint from my garden gave the dish just the right amount of brightness, without overwhelming the delicate zucchini flavor, and turmeric turned it a glowing golden color. As with all stews, this was even better on the second day, served over fluffy brown rice.
Spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew with garlic and mint
If you love chickpeas, add those to turn this into a heartier vegan main dish. Serves 4.
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 enormous zucchini, cubed (6 cups of cubes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
2 cups cubed fresh tomatoes, seeded (do not peel), or 1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
1/2 to 1 tsp agave nectar, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tsp fresh mint leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried mint
In a small (4-quart) tall-sided sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and zucchini, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the zucchini is slightly softened.
Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and turmeric, and cook for 2 minutes.
Then, add the tomato, and stir well. Reduce the heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Taste, and add agave nectar and salt, along with the mint. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.
Serve hot or at room temperature, over brown or white rice. Or, cool completely, and refrigerate. Like all stews, this one tastes even better the second day.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Zucchini tomato mozzarella pie, from Gluten-free Goddess
Zucchini and chickpea tagine, from Herbivoracious
Zucchini cookies, from My Baking Addiction
Zucchini and tomato gratin, from Andrea Meyers
Tunisian vegetable ragout with quinoa, from The Taste Space
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