Silver Palate Vegetable Chili

Today we’re watching football.  I plan to set out a cheese plate during the first game– Found a nice blue, a triple creme, a sharp cheddar and an aged gouda.  I’ll pile toasted walnuts, dried apricots and thin-sliced apples on the platter, along with a spoonful of ginger paste.  For dinner, during the second game, I’ll serve the Silver Palate’s Vegetable Chili.  It is still one of my favorites.

8 generous servings.

¾ c. olive oil, divided
2 zucchini, cut into a ½” dice
2 onions, cut into a ½” dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large red bell peppers, cut into a ½” dice
35 oz. Italian plum tomatoes
24 oz. plum tomatoes, cut into a 1” dice
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. dried basil
1 T. dried oregano
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fennel seeds
½ c. chopped Italian parsley
1 c. canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
½ c. chopped dill
2 T. fresh lemon juice

Heat ½ cup of the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the zucchini and saute until just tender, 5-7 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to a large dutch oven. Heat the remaining ¼ cup oil in the skillet over low heat. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Saute until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture (including any oil) to the dutch oven.

Place the dutch oven over low heat. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, the fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, pepper, salt, fennel seeds and parsley. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.

Stir in the kidney beans, the garbanzo beans, dill and lemon juice. Cook for 15 minutes. Stir well, taste, and adjust seasonings. Serve hot with bowls of sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced scallions alongside.

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