Alternative Ratatouille

Ratatouille is the epitome of comfort food for a chilly day, which we occasionally have in Tucson.  When it drops below 70 degrees, Tucsonans pull out their winter coats and heavy blankets.  It was a little chilly out on Sunday, so I was in the mood for a warm dish with lots of vegetables.  Four of the ingredients in this dish were vegetables I was trying to use up from my Market on the Move box, which had an abundance of red and yellow bell peppers, eggplant, Roma tomatoes and summer squash.

A one-pot sort of meal!
This ratatouille recipe is somewhat non-traditional.  Many ratatouille recipes have carefully laid out arrangements of sliced vegetables, with the slices artfully arranged in patterns.  For a busy mom, full-time graduate student (not to mention working full-time)… well, I’m sorry, I don’t have time to spend three hours hand-arranging each vegetable slice, so my recipe is more of a chunky stew-type dish, cooked as a one-pot meal.


Ingredients 

  • 2 eggplants
  • 1/2 yellow onion – diced
  • 4 cubes Dorot basil or 4 tsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 summer squash
  • 2 C. chopped tomatoes (fresh is best, but canned will do in a pinch)
  • 1/4 C. red wine (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground black or white peppercorns (adjust salt and pepper quantities to taste)
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Slice eggplants in half, lengthwise.  Spray sheet pan with non-stick spray.  Place eggplant open-side down on pan and roast at 425 for 20 minutes or so, until soft.  Turn eggplant over half-way through cooking time.
2. Roast the peppers and garlic cloves, whole, along with the eggplants.  The peppers only need 10 minutes or so, the garlic 5 minutes or so.  (Keep the garlic in the skins while you roast it.  The skins will slip right off after it cools.)
3. Saute  onion and basil in olive oil over medium-high heat until onions are translucent. 
4. While onions are sauteing, slice eggplant and summer squash into cubes.  Chop red peppers into either strips or a large dice.  Take skin off garlic and mince.  
5. Add all vegetables, salt, pepper and red wine, if desired, to pot.  Cover and simmer of medium to medium-high heat for 25 minutes, until all vegetables are soft and have released their juices.  Taste as you go, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
6. Once the dish is cooked, removed 1/3 of the vegetable mixture and place in blender.  Pulse on puree setting.  Stir pureed mixture back into chunky vegetable mixture.

Served over brown rice pasta
Serving suggestions:  There are many ways to enjoy this dish.  You can toast a crusty bread and spread the ratatouille on top, serve in a bowl over quinoa or even over pasta.  We had ours over brown rice penne pasta.  A few nights later we had ratatouille on toasted sliced whole wheat baguette, as an appetizer.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Whenever it's this time of year at Market on the Move, my wife suggests ratatouille, and I think of the movie.

    Like

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