CSA Bounty + Pesto vegetable ragout

I realized tonight as I was happily chopping vegetables in my finally-NOT-blazing-hot kitchen, that I’ve been in a cooking slump because of the unseasonably hot and humid summer here in Minnesota, and that I’m starting to come out of it, now that it’s cooled down and it’s not a thousand degrees in my kitchen.  Tonight’s dinner was quite the smorgasbord of CSA veggies, and I wanted to show you that before I share tonight’s yummy dish.  (I also served a beautiful spring mix/arugula salad, but didn’t get a picture of that.)

Beautiful baby chioggia beets, golden and red:

Pesto vegetable ragout:

So here’s the scoop on the Pesto Vegetable Ragout:

Pesto Vegetable Ragout:

  • 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 c. mushrooms, sliced (I used Baby Bellas)
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 3 c. potatoes, chopped into slices or chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper (optional. I used an heirloom variety from my CSA)
  • 1/2 bunch of kale or other sturdy green, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 c. sliced pepperoni
  • 1/2 c. pesto (I used some of the pesto I made last week using pecans instead of pine nuts.)

Sautée garlic and onions in the olive oil over high heat, using a Dutch oven or a pan that can be put in the oven safely.  When the onions and garlic are translucent, add the mushrooms.  Allow to cook for a few minutes, then add white wine.  Keep stirring.  Add potatoes, and keep stirring.  (If necessary, add a little water to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.) Cook for 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, peppers, greens, and pepperoni.  Stir for 3 minutes, then cover and turn the heat down to medium.  After 10 minutes, add pesto, stir in well, then put casserole into 400ºF oven for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

You could do all kinds of variations on this–if you are vegetarian, of course, you leave out the pepperoni.  If you prefer a different kind of meat, use stew beef (add the beef after the onions and garlic, and before the mushrooms, and allow to brown before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.)  You could leave out the pesto, and use more tomatoes and basil.  Or you could add things like eggplant, olives, zucchini…..Whatever veggies you have on hand and sound good to you!


P.S.  I had the privilege tonight of introducing a neighbor kid who got swept into our dinner plans at the last minute to beets–he’d never tasted them before, and he loved them!  Huzzah for veggies!