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Eggplant Fiesta Ragout

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI


4 servinJuly 30 2014 034gs

This zesty ragout—a fancy word for “stew”—with its south-of-the-border flair makes a  simple and savory protein-packed dish. Take advantage of summer’s bounty, when eggplant and peppers are abundant.   Eggplant Fiesta Ragout is delicious over rice or served with whole grain tortillas, add a garden-fresh salad for a memorable warm-weather meal.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound Italian or Asian eggplant, unpeeled, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (a mini food processor or spice grinder is helpful, if available)
  • ½ cup of your favorite prepared salsa (choose your preference, from mild to hot)
  • 1 cup black beans, precooked
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt

To prepare beans from scratch,  soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Drain and rinse beans, then add to a large stockpot and fill with water to cover the beans by at least 6 inches.   Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Drain and rinse.

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat, then add eggplant, onion, and red pepper.  Sauté until eggplant is cooked through and onion is translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and mix in cilantro.  Let the caponata stand for 10 minutes to blend, then add salsa, beans, and salt.  Serve at warm or at room temperature with tortillas, rice, or your favorite grain.

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