Mediterranean Eggplant And Fennel Stew
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30
A few pulses of the immersion blender thickens this hearty stew without turning it into soup. If you can find them, use organic, fire-roasted tomatoes to achieve particularly tasty results.
1 bulb fresh fennel
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 medium-sized eggplants, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1/3 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 Tbs. drained, minced capers
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1. Trim fennel stalks and fronds. Finely chop fronds, and reserve for garnish. Quarter fennel bulb lengthwise. Remove and discard any outer fibrous layers, and trim core. Cut each quarter crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is lightly browned, stirring often. Add fennel, tomatoes, broth, eggplant, olives, cinnamon and bay leaf.
3. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 15 minutes, or until eggplant and fennel are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Submerge immersion blender deep into mixture to avoid splattering, and puree just enough to thicken stew. Stir in capers and vinegar. Sprinkle with fennel fronds, and serve.
PER SERVING: 128 CAL; 4 G PROT; 3 G TOTAL FAT ; 21 G CARB.; 707 MG SOD.; 6 G FIBER; 10 G SUGARS