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WVIZ/PBS Cooks!

Grandpa T’s Garden Mix

Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2011

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Some of my earliest memories are of my Grandfather Tarsitano, teaching my brother and me how to grow vegetables. This is a recipe that we use to clean out the fridge at my brohter's organic farm in Ashtabula. Anything leftover in the refrigerator or grown in your garden.

Ingredients & Directions

INGREDIENTS:
1 large zucchini, cubed
1 medium to large eggplant, cubed *
18 Italian tomatoes (plum) - use less if you use a can of tomato sauce
1 large onion - sliced
5 garlic cloves - reduce the number of cloves if you don’t love garlic
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped - can be replaced with green peppers
1 Italian hot pepper - optional, but it adds PUNCH
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian herbs **

* Press eggplant to release water.  If you do not press eggplant and use tomato sauce, you will have soup-like mixture instead of stew.
** If you use dried Italian herbs, add last.  Dried herbs loose flavor during cooking process; whereas, fresh herbs release flavor during cooking.

METHOD:
Coat large Dutch oven or saucepan bottom with olive oil.  (Remember olive oil heats quicker than vegetable oil and could burn onions.) Add onion,
zucchini and eggplant.  (These vegetables take longer to cook; therefore, you need to add them early.)
As eggplant begins to brown, add garlic.  When eggplant is brown, add tomatoes, celery, carrots, Italian hot pepper, and whatever else you like.
Bring to a boil for 1 minute, reduce to simmer for 20 minutes to 1 hour.  The longer this cooks, the thicker it gets.
Serve in a bowl accompanied by Italian bread.  NOTE:  you may add Italian sausage also.

SUBMITTED BY:  Michele Tarsitano-Amato (Lakewood, Ohio)

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T is for Tomato

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From its inception, the idea for the WVIZ/PBS Cooks! series was simple… and simply delicious! With Northeast and North Central Ohio being so rich in ethnic diversity, our plan was to gather together traditional and family-favorite recipes from some of the region’s best home cooks and then, through the power of television, share those recipes with you, our family and friends.