The Recipe: A hearty summer sausage stew, a great way to use up the summer sausage that so often shows up in gift baskets. The stew is packed with late-summer and early-fall vegetables so even though the sausage itself is calorie-dense, a serving adds up to about 200 calories. So good, this! I especially love it with a dollop of sour cream on top with some good bread for dunking into the juices.
The Conversation: A love letter to fall. (And if I may say so myself ... a lovely piece of writing.)
Fall’s light is one of amber glow, somewhere between the eye-wincing harshness of summer and the wind-braced gray of winter.
Fall’s food, in turn, lies somewhere between the garden-bright salads of summer and the braised-brown meats of winter.
With modern supermarkets bearing strawberries in January and June and cranberries in relationships with May and December, we too easily forget that food comes in seasons, that seasons come with food.
But fall? Fall knows.
Fall knows it’s the open stretch between the dog days of summer and the sundogs of winter skies. Fall remembers summer sweat even as it girds for winter chill. Lustily, fall celebrates with the last of the tomatoes and the first of the apples, the last of the grill and the first of the gratins.
Fall, fall knows its place, its glorious amber-lit place. And so does fall’s food, on plates, and in our hearts.
BALKAN SUMMER SAUSAGE STEW
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 7 cups
- 2 slices bacon, chopped (or 1 tablespoon bacon grease)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram (or thyme or sage)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf, optional
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes or 1 pound good tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups hot water
- 8 ounces summer sausage, skin removed, diced small
- 2 medium potatoes, skins on, diced or 2 medium turnips, peeled and diced
- 1 pound zucchini, cut in half moons
- Sour cream, for serving
- Good bread, for dunking
In a broad, shallow braising pan or skillet, start bacon on medium high. Add onions and peppers as prepped, then spices and bay leaf; cook until onions begin to brown.
Stir in tomatoes and water, bring to a boil.
Add summer sausage and potatoes, return to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer, cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until potatoes are nearly done.
Arrange the zucchini pieces on top, cover and let simmer until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Serve in bowls with dollops of sour cream and good bread for dipping.
Made with potatoes 219 Calories; 10g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 25mg Cholesterol; 1186mg Sodium; 21g Carb; 3g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 9g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 5 & WW Points Plus 5
Made with turnips 181 Calories; 10g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 25mg Cholesterol; 1206mg Sodium; 12g Carb; 3g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 8g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 4 & WW Points Plus 4
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