Eggplant & White Bean Rag-A-Something

 

Have you ever been curious as to what the difference between a ragu and a ragout is? I have. For discussion sake, let’s say that you’re likewise dying to know. I’m not talking ragu like the jarred tomato sauce, but I’m sure at some point when you were perusing some posh menu you may have come across something like “blah blahdy blah served atop a fresh vegetable ragout” or “yitadee with summer squash ragu.” Okay great, sounds svelte, what exactly does that mean? Guess who paid a visit to the Epicurious food dictionary.. Now, lemme break it down for you right quick.  Ragu is Italian. Ragout is French. Both terms derive from ragoûter, meaning “to stimulate the appetite.” Both are hearty, meat-based, sauce-like substances.

Not sure I feel totally satisfied with the distinction, but I say we let this one slide and avoid all-out culinary anarchy. I’m claiming this tangent concluded.

I have an eggplant. She’s real perdy. In fact, upon entering the kitchen, the first words out of my roomie’s mouth were “Wow Darcy, that’s a beautiful eggplant.” Not gonna lie, I felt a wee bit proud…though I technically have no relation to this eggplant or its beauty. So, what does one do with such a fine eggplant?

I say we socialize her with some other handsome veggies and respectable legumes, throw a little party in a pan,  and deem it eggplant & white bean rag-a-something. Ya wanna?

Onions, peppers, and garlic always come early to mingle…sizzley. Can I tell you something completely not food related? In a more responsible world, I should be studying for a journalism test at this very moment. Wooo dear me, I feel better now that you know. It’s just that my brain feels all goopy and studying with a goopy brain seems downright absurd. Plus, I like hosting rag-a-something soirees with you way better.

Oh looky looky, eggplant has arrived. She is so the belle of the ball. I need a bigger skillet. I also need bacon to put in my big skillet.

So, could I maybe tell you something else? The reason I’m so darn blasé about this journalism class is that it is, quite frankly, a little bit to hardcore…even for me. More confessions: I do not enjoy mainstream news, business bores me, I find politics painful. There it’s out. My professor discusses intense investigative journalists being brutally murdered in the line of duty for at least 15 minutes every class. Excuse me, WHAT?? I’m just trying to talk with you about bacon and cake. Only way you die over bacon and cake is from happyness..or possibly artery blockage. Nahhh, lies, eat them together.

Alrighty now that my scholastic conscience feels cleaner, let’s shut this rager down. I served this veggie goodness up over brown rice. It works equally well with pasta, or shoot, pile her up on a bed of fresh spinach and grab dessert later. P.S. the leftovers make for some pretty jazzy samiches and the base of a super simple soup. Holla to the single ladies with our leftovers. Owowww.

Eggplant & White Bean Rag-A-Something

  • 1 medium eggplant- washed and chopped into medium-sized chunks
  • 1 large carrot- shredded
  • 1 small white onion- chopped
  • 3/4 C. chopped bell peppers (I used a mix or red, green, and yellow. Use whatever makes your heart smile)
  • 1 can (15 oz) Great Northern beans- drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes- drained of the majority of their liquid
  • 1 heaping Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic- finely minced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 C. loosely packed fresh basil- chopped

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent and fragrant. Add in bell peppers and continue cooking for about 2 minutes.

Add eggplant, carrots, remaining oil, and seasonings- except for the basil. Cook until eggplant is tender, stirring often. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce heat.

Add in beans and fresh basil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes longer. Remove from heat and serve as you please.

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