Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

What do we do with these vegetables that love warm weather when summer seems endless? How about a French vegetable toss also known as ratatouille? Serves 8.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped yellow onion
1 diced bell pepper, green or red
2 medium zucchini, diced into bite size pieces
2 medium yellow squash, diced into bite size pieces
1 small Italian or Sicilian eggplant, small dice
1.5 cups tomatoes, peeled and diced (a 14 ounce can)
2 teaspoons ground thyme, 4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves (1 dried)
Salt & pepper to taste


1. Saute' onion and garlic in olive oil until it starts to turn tan.

2. Add eggplant and saute' until the vegetable is just tender when pierced with a fork.

3. Add bell pepper, zucchini and squash and toss until the vegetables are just tender.

5. Add tomatoes and seasoning. Reduce heat and simmer briefly to let the flavors meld.

Serve over rice, quinoa or pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Variations: I added mushrooms to this dish. Sometimes a splash of soy sauce is nice. Olives and capers are great when you toss with pasta. It's a stir fry, so anything goes as long as you consider the cooking time of the vegetables, adding those that need more time at the beginning and those that are flavorful and nutritious when a little al dente at the end.

Purists would cook each vegetable separately, then combine. I'm too lazy for that.

If the rice runs out before the ratatouille, freeze the balance to use in a summer-squash gratin. It's a dish I especially like in Fall's cooler weather.

Bon appetit.

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