Giambotta is a classic Italian vegetable stew. It’s a celebration of the end-of-season summer bounty of the garden, and welcomes any and all vegetables that you can get your hands on. My grandfather Bimpy had a massive garden in his yard, and I spent every summer of my childhood eating giambotta—it was always served with a big chunk of day-old Italian bread and a heap of freshly grated cheese on top. By the end of summer, I have to admit I would grow tired of this dish, but Bimpy would never let a scrap of food go to waste, so we ate it for as long as his garden allowed.
Now that I am older, I find myself enamored by the beauty of this dish, the simplicity of it, and the spirit of using all the wonderful things that our gardens (or local farms and farmers) provide for us. I have taken the basics of Bimpy’s Giambotta and, I think, improved it a bit with my own recipe, which has helped stave off fatigue. I serve it both hot and cold. I have also served giambotta with olive oil-toasted hunks of bread, cheesy soft polenta, or creamy orzo pasta to keep things fresh. I always add a pile of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino on top, of course!
Note: Giambotta is all about embracing any vegetable you have, so please throw in your favorites. Some other vegetables I love to add in are mushrooms, kale, and squash blossoms.
This recipe was developed for Food52, and can be found here.Print
What You’ll Need
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste (optional)
- 2 large potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large red, yellow, or green pepper, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
- Finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino, for garnish
- Day-old or olive-oil toasted bread, cooked polenta, or cooked orzo, for serving
What You’ll Do
- In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, chopped onion, salt, pepper and red pepper. Stir and let brown.
- Add each vegetable to the pot and stir, starting with the ones that will take the longest to cook: potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, green beans and red pepper. Once your last vegetable is added to the pot, add your two cans of crushed tomatoes and 1 cup of broth and stir until combined. Place the cover on your pot and let it simmer over medium for about 25 minutes. Be sure to stir the stew a few times as it simmers.
- Once the vegetables are-fork tender, add your tomatoes and basil. Stir to combine and let simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 more minutes, allowing your tomatoes to wilt slightly.
- Taste your stew and adjust flavors, adding more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes to taste.
- Serve hot or cold alongside chunks of day-old bread (this is the Bimpy way), olive oil-toasted bread, cheesy polenta, or creamy orzo pasta. And of course, topped with grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.