Vegetarian Jambalaya

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow onions
  • 1 cup died red onions
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups diced eggplant
  • 1 cup diced yellow squash
  • 1 cup diced Italian squash
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced shallots
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes or 24 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp creole seasoning (no salt)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cups long grain rice rinsed
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 8 cups vegetable stock

Heat tomato paste in a sauce pan over medium heat stirring constantly until it changes to a dark rich red color. Add a little bit of the vegetable stock to deglaze and mix with the rest of the stock until blended. Set aside.

Heat oil in a LARGE (this makes 12 servings and remember, rice expands) pot over medium heat. Add onions, shallots, bell peppers, and garlic. Saute until tender and onions are transparent. Add eggplant, squash and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add creole seasoning, bay leaves, and rice. Mix thoroughly and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Add stock, cover and cook for 35 minutes.

This is important. Never lift the lid while it's cooking. Set a timer. Once it's ready, immediately remove from heat and let it sit for another 20 minutes. There will still be a lot of liquid left so letting it cook in its own steam will make wonderfully fluffy rice.

Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy it with a really cold glass of BEER!