Beans, Greens, and Other Good Things

Well, despite the somewhat chilly summer (and untamed weeds) the garden is producing fairly well. The first photo is what I picked today in the front yard (tomatoes are still green, though). An is often the case I made a one-pot meal...with vegetables this fresh it would be more difficult not to make it delicious. I also added (not from my garden) onion, garlic, a small piece of kielbasa, a diced sweet potato, a couple sun-dried tomato, a can of cannellini beans, and a couple cans of chicken broth (in stead of water). This is a basic stew recipe (or ragu or ragout) can be made with almost anything you have at hand. It goes something like this: Sweat the onions and garlic along with any peppers, sausage (if you are including it...because this can easily be entirely vegetarian/vegan) and hard vegetables (such as carrots or potatoes) for 5 or 10 minutes, then add any soft and/or leafy vegetables; sweat them for another minute or so, then add broth or water along with any seasonings (I used basil and sage from the garden...normally I'd add dried pepper flakes but added some still-green cayenne peppers from the garden). Bring it to a boil, lower it to a simmer, and cook it until the vegetables are cooked and it's flavorful. Depending on your mood, it can be served over rice (as I did tonight) or tossed with pasta. Variations of ingredients and flavorings are seemingly endless: Add a little ginger and soy for an Asian slant, curry for Near Eat, and cumin, allspice, and cinnamon for Middle Easter get the picture. Leftovers taste even better the next day; if you make an extra-large batch (as I sometimes do) it freezes well (before mixed with rice or pasta).