And the Winner is …

August 25, 2016

Chef Christine has chosen Debra Bourke’s Moroccan Vegetable Stew as the winner of “The Back Forty” Recipe Contest.  After testing a large volume of submissions from very gifted home cooks, Chef Christine settled on this recipe for its balance of flavors as well as the recipe’s inclusion of so many of the vegetables we grow at The Farmhouse in The Back Forty heirloom vegetable garden.

This recipe features the non-GMO white onions, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, corn and cilantro we grown in The Back Forty. It has been successfully beta tested and featured all this week on The Farmhouse Restaurant’s Specials Menu,  and it will continue to be there for the next few weeks.

We thank Debra for providing us with this very successful addition to our summer menu, and congratulate her on this win.

We also thank all those who submitted their recipes for Christine’s consideration. Picking a winning recipe from among so many worthy submissions was for her a difficult choice.

Check back with us as autumn approaches for Chef Christine’s next recipe contest, and keep your spatulas at the ready!!

by Debra Bourke


8 tbsp. of oil, divided plus additional oil to brush baking pan

3 cups sliced white onion

7 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp. Hungarian sweet paprika

3 tsp. kosher salt, divided

2 tsp. ground turmeric

2 tsp. ground coriander

2 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper (or sub. Black pepper, divided)

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. Ras al Hanout

2 bay leaves

2 cups diced, seeded tomatoes

1 ear corn, kernels sliced from ear

1 cup water

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 lbs. medium zucchini — cut in half, remove seeds — sliced 1/4” in half moons

1 tbsp. fresh chopped marjoram

2 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds

Harissa paste (optional)


Preheat oven to 400° F.

Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in heavy large wide pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook covered 5 min., stirring occasionally. Add chopped garlic and cook another 5 min., covered. Do not brown garlic/onions. Cook until soft.

Add 1-1/2 tsp. salt, turmeric, coriander, 2 tsp. pepper, cumin, ginger, Ras al Hanout into onion and garlic mixture. Reduce to low and cook spices, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes (do not burn!)

Add tomatoes, corn, 1 cup water, and lemon juice. Bring to simmer, partially cover and cook 15-20 minutes, until slightly reduced.

Brush two large rimmed baking sheets with olive oil. Place eggplant and 3 tbsp. of olive oil, 1/2 tsp. of salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in large bowl and toss to coat. Spread eggplant on prepared baking sheet and bake until soft and slightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Place zucchini in bowl with 2 tbsp. of oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and toss to coat. Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake until soft and slightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Add eggplant and zucchini to pot and simmer another 10 min. Taste/season with additional salt and pepper.

Serve over couscous. Top with marjoram, cilantro, and sliced almonds. Accompany with harissa paste for those who like it spicy. Enjoy!!