This is my favorite time of year, when all of the end of summer produce is getting out of hand, and people are begging people to take their extras. Since I live in an apartment in the city, I have no outside space for a garden. If I did, I would definitely have it bursting with fresh veggies and herbs, but for now, I must simply wait for the goodwill of others to fill my produce drawers.
This week, I was gifted with a lovely eggplant, some fresh summer squash, and some gorgeous blood red tomatoes. I knew right away I wanted to combine them into a lovely fresh-tasting vegetable tomato sauce.
The ingredients are so simple in this recipe, and it gives the produce a perfect stage to showcase its flavorful ripeness. It's so tasty you may be tempted to eat it by itself, but it would also be incredible over pasta, rice, or wholewheat couscous.
Garden Vegetable Tomato Sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups yellow squash, chopped
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups eggplant, chopped*
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
1 c tomato, chopped
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes in puree
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
In a large saucepan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil. Add squash and onion, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add eggplant, cook an additional 3 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seed, and saute 3 minutes. Add tomato, crushed tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. Stir well, and simmer over low heat until vegetables are tender. Serve over pasta, rice, or couscous.
*To prepare my eggplant, I always slice it lengthwise a few times, sprinkle with salt, and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. The salt draws out the bitterness. Rinse off well before chopping.