I had never had ratatouille before this summer; knew there was an animated movie about a rat gourmet and that’s about it. I came across a recipe in my newest cookbook, Gluten-Free and Easy. How fabulous to find all the ingredients for ratatouille right in my very own garden! What could I do? I had to try this yummy-yummy recipe.
- 1 large onion, finely sliced (My onions are still a bit small, so I pulled 7 smallish ones.)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 large eggplant, about 1 pound, chopped (I’m growing a lovely heirloom striped variety called Italian Bicolor.)
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, seeded and diced (this is a Big Bertha Bell)
- 2 baby yellow squash, chopped
- 2 1/4 pounds ripe plum (roma) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine (REALLY makes all the difference in the flavor!!!)
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf (I bought a sweet bay plant from the greenhouse this year, so I have fresh bay! Woot!)
- 2 TBSP chopped basil
- 1 TBSP chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- good grind of black pepper
(Wow does this use a bunch of my garden produce! Yay!)
Cut a small x in the bottoms of each tomato (helps the peel to separate), blanch in boiling water for a couple minutes, shock in ice water, cut off stem end, peel and chop.
In a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in olive oil until soft.
Add the garlic, eggplant and coriander and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
Add zucchini, green pepper and yellow squash. Cook for another few minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, thyme (the leaves will cook off the stems, which can be removed later), and bay leaf. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
(Now we’re smellin’ yummy!) Stir in basil and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with your choice of starch. The recipe suggests a baked polenta or mashed sweet potatoes with pumpkin. I had some pasta.
So good warm with a bit of parmesan! It was also yummy cold the next day for lunch, with a bit of basil pesto. The eggplant provides a sort of meatiness that makes this vegetarian meal (or side dish) satisfying to the meat-lovers in your house. The flavor from the wine melds with the veggies to create a yumminess that is more than the veggies would be on their own. And, with all of those freshly picked veggies? Gotta be good for you.