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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC


Baby Eggplant and Artichoke Ragout


Here’s a flavorful, eye-catching summer dish featuring sweet diminutive Indian ratna (brinjal) eggplants and tender baby artichokes. They are stewed in a sauce of hydroponically grown mini peppers and cherry tomatoes, and aromatics.  A smattering of delightfully sharp Lebanese green olives balances the sweet vegetable flavors. Serve with your favorite whole grains, or atop polenta, or your favorite whole-grain or bean pasta.


Prep 20 minutes

Cook 40 minutes

Serves 3 to 5


1 ½ pounds cherry tomatoes

1 ½ pounds mini bell peppers, stems and seeds removed

1 medium white onion, about 1 cup, cut in a small dice

3 large cloves garlic, peeled

Fistful of mixed fresh herbs like parsley, dill, mint, marjoram, summer savory

Grinds of black pepper to taste

12 to 15 baby artichokes, trimmed, outer leaves removed

1 large lemon, juiced or 5 tablespoons lemon juice

12 to 15 small ratna eggplants, stems intact, slit from base to top

¼ cup small brined green olives like Lebanese baladi, Turkish ye antepten, Italian barensane, or French picholine, unpitted

1/3 cup red aka miso paste, diluted in 2/3 cup water



  1. Choose small eggplants and artichokes the size of large walnuts for their sweetness, tender texture, and for uniform cooking.
  2. Olives are not pitted in traditional Mediterranean dishes, because the flesh around the pits is so flavorful. If you are serving young children, however, remove the olive pits.


  • Destem and deseed the peppers. Transfer to a food processor and pulse into uniformly small pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and retain any juices.  Repeat with the cherry tomatoes. Do not overprocess; the chopped peppers and tomatoes should each have a coarse texture.
  • Remove any tough stems from the fresh herbs. On a large cutting board, use a mezzaluna or chef knife to chop the herbs and garlic together finely.
  • Fill a medium-large bowl with water. Stir in the lemon juice.  Trim the very bottom of the baby artichokes and remove all the outer leaves which will not tenderize sufficiently with cooking. The trimmed artichokes should be pale jade green and its petals should tear easily. There is no need to worry about the chokes. Baby artichokes are entirely edible. As you trim each one, pop it into the lemon water and cover with a plate or bowl to push them under the acidulated water to retard oxidation and discoloration.
  • Trim the stems on each ratna eggplant to be one-inch long. Use a sharp paring knife to slit the eggplants from the base towards the stem, leaving ¼--inch of flesh attached to the stem. Repeat with another slit perpendicular to the first, creating an “x” that extends nearly to the top. We need eggplants held together by their stems. Transfer each eggplant to the bowl. The lemon water will help the eggplants to open like a flower, making them easier to stuff with ragout.
  • Heat a large skillet over a medium flame for 3 minutes. Add the onion, chopped peppers and tomatoes. Cover, bring to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • When the vegetables have softened, stir in the chopped garlic-herb mix.  Season with grinds of black pepper to taste. If the ragout becomes dry, add a cup of water. The ragout should be moist and saucy but not watery.
  • After a minute add the baby artichokes and eggplants. Gently open each eggplant and using a teaspoon, gently stuff them with the ragout.  Sprinkle the olives here and there.  Cover and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes before testing for doneness. The ragout is ready when it is fragrant, and the eggplants and artichokes are tender and pierced easily with a knife.
  • Serve hot in warmed bowls. Pass around the diluted miso for guests to drizzle on top to taste. You could mix the miso into the sauce before adding the eggplants but that would destroy its beneficial microbes. So, I prefer to season at the table to reap all of miso’s nutritional benefits.



Baby Eggplant and Artichoke Ragout

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