I am always surprised when the greenmarket is still up to its ears in corn and tomatoes come late September. In anticipation of the months of cabbage and kale ahead, I buy as much vibrant produce as I can possibly carry and then watch it wrinkle and wither at home as my family just can’t eat another tomato salad. From this annual phenomenon bloomed the world’s prettiest chili–a dazzling, luminous, and highly healthy mix of purple, red, yellow, and orange.
I have included the ingredients and proportions of what I had on hand. You can easily tweak this recipe to fit your taste, or to fit the variety of produce fading in your fridge. (But to earn the Beauty Queen Chili title, keep the vibrant color palette in mind.) If I were using conventional produce I would peel the peelable items, but since I used organic I didn’t peel anything, just washed it all well. I tend to be spontaneous so I used canned beans, but use dried beans if you have the time. Lastly, I am drawn to cumin like a cat to catnip, so I actually added (much) more than listed here–suit yourself on that one.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and diced
3 cups red, yellow, or orange tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 carrots, scrubbed, trimmed, sliced
1 ear of corn, shucked
1 large beet, scrubbed with ends removed, cubed
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cubed
2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, diced
1 red chili pepper, seeds removed and diced
1 cup organic cannellini (or other white) beans and liquid
1 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
Sea salt, to taste
1. In a large pot sauté shallots in olive oil over medium heat until
2. Add tomatoes and sauté until they start to release some of their juice.
3. Add the rest of the vegetables and beans and bring to a simmer,
4. Turn heat down and let simmer until thick, about an hour. Depending on
the mix of your ingredients, you may need to add a little water during
cooking for the right consistency.
5. Stir in cumin and salt.
6. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro.