When the days are warm, money feels tight, time is taken up by endeavors other than cooking, and you want a one dish meal that will last a few days and even tastes fantastic at room temperature, this dish reigns supreme! I call it Greek Soul Food, because almost every household in Greece (and most likely quite a few other Mediterranean countries) has some version of this in the refrigerator at any given time.
Summer squash is beginning to make its appearance at the farm markets, along with string beans and herbs of all kinds. Add a small can of organic diced tomatoes, some sliced mushrooms and various seasonings and you have a dish that will sustain you through days of not cooking.
3 T olive oil
1/2 C diced onion
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced in 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 # green beans, tips removed
1 C mushrooms, sliced thickly
1 15-oz can of organic diced tomatoes (fire roasted works)
1/2 tomato can of filtered water
2 T fresh oregano, minced
2 T fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 C crumbled sheep feta for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy sauté pan, adding onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent, Add summer squash, green beans and mushrooms and stir to coat with oil. Add tomatoes and water and stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium heat until string beans are barely tender, stirring occasionally. Add herbs and salt, stir to combine and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. This is best cooked ahead and served at room temperature garnished by feta crumbles. Need I say crusty bread? You can also add potato chunks, or chunks of baby eggplant or okra with the squash for added bulk. Fresh herbs and fresh farm vegetables make a huge difference in this dish – please, visit your farmers market! Serves 2 for two days – doubles or triples easily.
Note: For you Takoma Park readers, the very best feta available in this area is found in the back refrigerator of the Takoma Park Co-op in tubs. It is French sheep’s milk feta and closely resembles Greek feta.