Vegetarian Times Issue: February 1, 2000
This zesty stew tastes just as good if made the day before but don’t add the herbs or cheese (if using) until you’ve reheated it.
Dill, Oregano, Parsley tend to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for instructions on insect inspection.
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large baking potatoes (1 1/4 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
16-oz. pkg. frozen cut green beans, thawed
28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 oz. feta cheese, cut into chunks (1 cup; optional)
In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in potatoes until well combined. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until potatoes are halfway tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini, green beans, tomatoes (with liquid) and oregano. Return to a simmer, cover and cook until vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Ladle stew into shallow bowls and sprinkle some feta over each serving if desired.
Fresh Herbs and Insect Infestation:
Fresh Dill, Oregano, Parsley and other herbs, including basil, cilantro, mint, rosemary and thyme, are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found, proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs, it should not be used.
1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.