This past weekend we decided to stock up on a large variety of local vegetables for cooking meals throughout this week. Eggplant, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, okra, and tomatoes. One of the local farms is right up the road from our house, I drive by it daily, and they have an awesome produce stand open most days of the week. If only it were open year round! I find this produce stand to be a bit cheaper than the farmer’s market and more convenient so it’s been a great addition to my weekly produce purchases. Plus they currently have okra!
I love okra. I don’t know what it is about these slimy pods with their white seeds, but I truly love their flavor. Last week I bought a bunch and made an okra pizza. My crust was mediocre so I opted not to post the recipe, but okra is a great addition for a pizza topping! And thankfully Josh shares in my love for the funky vegetable. So as I was taking stock of our veggies I knew I was going to purchase more okra and make a local veggie stew. And with the cooler weather we are having it was the perfect meal to cook.
I served this stew with a side of millet. I have really come to love millet but struggle more times than not with cooking it. It seems everyone has a different method on how to cook it and I tend to end up with a pile of mush when I’m looking for nice dry granules. Well after many different ratios of liquid to seed I finally found the perfect combination! This is extremely exciting for me. I like millet much more than quinoa and now I can finally use it as often as I’d like. I do not rinse the seeds since they are not bitter like quinoa. Instead I toast them in a little olive oil until they start to pop and smell fragrant. Then I add in my liquid (it’s a 2:1 ratio of liquid to millet) and simmer it covered for 25 minutes. Once done I let it sit off the heat for at least 10 minutes before removing the lid. This method makes the perfect batch of millet, at least for me.
Summer Vegetable Stew
- onion, chopped
- eggplant, chopped
- zucchini, sliced thin
- carrots, sliced thin
- okra, chopped
- 2-3 slices bacon, diced, I used maple smoked
- 1 can tomatoes
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon chicken base
- 1 cup french lentils
- In a pot heat up a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the bacon. Cook until the fat has rendered out, 5 minutes or so, stirring often.
- Add in the onion and continue to cook until soft, 3 minutes.
- Mix in the vegetables, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and chicken base. Stir to combine and season with s&p.
- Stir in the lentils and add in enough water to cover the mixture by 1 inch. Once the liquid comes to a boil reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 35-45 minutes until lentils are tender.
- Serve with millet.