Zucchini-Pepper Ciambotta


I believe the title of this website is a clear give-away: The focus is on beige food! Clearly.


Still, I don't just try to come up with ever new beige food ideas that please my daughter while providing her with generally healthy, nutritious, and delicious meal options. Instead, I also cook for my wife and for myself, of course.


Thus, it's not always beige recipes for kids that dominate our kitchen. Oh no, even more frequent is the ever delightful quest for meals that the adult members of this household enjoy without being constrained by color limitations.


Since I cook a lot, I thought it might be fun to post a little bit of variety as well. After all, you are already here and perhaps you ended up exploring what other goodies are on offer on this site. Hopefully, the recipes you find in the non-beige section will inspire you to try them out as well and encourage you to present your family and yourself with something new and different.


Today, let me start with a Zucchini-Pepper Ciambotta. Ciambotta is a traditional Southern Italian vegetable stew which, although based on vegetables, may also contain meat. Ciambotta offers even more variety because it can be served as a meal by itself, or as an accompaniment to another dish – such as beef, chicken, or fish.


This particular version is completely vegetarian – even vegan.


We had the Ciambotta as a main dish for dinner, served with a crusty multi-grain baguette and salty butter.


You can't help but feel that you are doing something good for your body – this is chock-full of veggies. So much so that I kept joking that we are satisfying the recommended serving of vegetables for an entire month with just this one meal.


The recipe is based on one that I found in Good Housekeeping. Unfortunately, their recipe was very dry – nothing like a stew – and also greatly lacked in flavor. I found the result unsatisfactory and modified accordingly. You will find that this recipe yields a substantial amount of stew – more than enough to feed the average family.




2 Tbs Olive Oil (I don't really think the use of Extra Virgin makes a difference in dishes such as this, but feel free to use it, if you want to or have no other).


2 medium onions, chopped.


1 large fennel bulb, quatered, tough core removed, and thinly sliced.


1 large red pepper, chopped into ½ inch pieces.


5 garlic cloves, minced.


1 can (28oz.) of chopped tomatoes.


2 large zucchini, quartered and cut into thin slices (about the same thickness as the fennel).


2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces.


½ tsp salt.


Freshly ground pepper to taste.


2 cups veggie stock.


1 cup fresh basil, chopped.



In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.


Add onion and fennel, stir occasionally, and cook for 10 minutes. Don't let the veggies burn – it's okay to slightly brown them, though.


Add red pepper and garlic, cook for 5 more minutes while stirring occasionally.


Add tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, soup stock, salt, and pepper. Stir until well mixed.


Turn heat to high and bring stew to a boil. Once the stew boils, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 30 minutes.


Add the basil, stir, and serve.

Ideas, Suggestions, Comments?



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Mostly Beige.

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