Tasty, useful summer chili


On the last day before we pick up our new CSA share, I sometimes find myself wondering how I can use up four or five different kinds of vegetables that we didn’t get around to eating. Today I discovered the perfect answer: chili.

Yes, chili is kind of the ultimate catch-all. You make it in a big pot that can hold all your sins, or at least all the stuff you really should have eaten five days ago, when it was fresh.

Here’s how I made my chunky summer chili:

I fried onions, garlic, two sliced jalapenos and one habanero in oil.

Then I added celery and one coarsely chopped green pepper.

Then I threw in two sliced summer squash, some cumin seed and celery seed.

I cooked all that stuff until it was soft and lightly browning. Meanwhile, I peeled and chopped two giant heirloom tomatoes, then added them to the pot, along with maybe 2 cups of water and some salt.

Here let me say that I was cooking all this in my pressure cooker–a true time- and energy-saver. Case in point: It allowed me to put in half a cup of dried black beans, not soaked or anything, and after 45 minutes of pressure cooking they were perfectly done.

Meanwhile, I had cut up an eggplant and roasted it in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.

When the pressure cooker was open and all the veggies were cooked, I added the eggplant, chopped a little parsley and threw that in, and shook in a bunch more salt.

We ate with leftover tortillas and some grated cheddar. Delicious–and our fridge is now ready for a new bag of CSA goodies.

Anyone else have a clean-the-fridge recipe?