Here’s a hearty, flavorful rift on traditional ratatouille with okra and mirliton (chayote). If you've never had a mirliton, it's a very easy to cook squash-like vegetable that takes on pretty much whatever flavor you throw at it. It stays firm when cooking and doesn't fall apart like eggplant. Okra is soul superfood staple that has a nice flavor and thickens this stew nicely. Serve with crusty whole grain bread and garlic butter.
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 mirliton (chayote), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup fresh sliced okra
½ green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1. Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until soft.
2. Add two more tablespoons of the olive oil and raise the heat to medium-high. Add the mirliton to the pot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the okra and sauté for another 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the red and green bell peppers and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
4. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Adjust the heat down to medium if boiling too rapidly.
5. Add the thyme, oregano, coriander, and fennel. Stir in and cook for about another minute.
6. Turn off the heat and stir in the basil, remaining olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Serve hot or at room temperature.