Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Monday, August 19, 2013

Discovering a classic....

I have discovered an old classic this summer: Ratatouille.  I find myself making it almost every week.  A full five years after the movie came out. A movie that touted not eating garbage (and yes, one of my favorite movies of all time).   Many ratatouille recipes call for peeling tomatoes, salting eggplant, roasting and peeling peppers and making enough for a small army, with an extended baking time. Which seems to be a lot of work, especially since I’m the usually the only one around that wants a dish with eggplant and tomatoes. So I have been making a less refined version, just chopping and sautéing. Yes, you have bits of tomato peel, but this is something I will make for just me when I’m home alone. I’m not too exact on amounts, using what looked best at the farmers market... or what needs to be eaten now. Sometimes I’ll use cherry tomatoes, last time I only had one tiny zucchini. Time before, I used some yellow summer squash. Sometimes I'll add a few mushrooms, or some fresh corn.  It’s all good. I do typically use the skinny Japanese eggplant, because the skins are more tender and they are less seedy. And while I say this serves 2, I can easily finish off most of this recipe all myself. And after making this about 4 times, I’m thinking maybe I do need to make a big batch and freeze some, for the days when zucchini and eggplant and tomatoes won’t be so plentiful at the farmers market. And someday for friends, I might have to try this version from the new French Market Cookbook, no matter how much trouble it is!

Serves 2

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
½ onion
2 small zucchini
1 small bell pepper (preferably red or yellow)
2 Japanese eggplant
1 large tomato
1 – 2 cloves of garlic
Salt, pepper
Herbs… Basil, oregano, parsley (whatever you happen to have and like)

Have all vegetables out and washed. Put a 10” sauté pan on to heat over medium heat and put in a good film of olive oil. Start chopping vegetables in large dice (about ½ inch to 1 inch chunks) and add to pan as they are cut. Mince the garlic and add. Add a big pinch of salt (maybe as much as a ½ teaspoon) and a good grind of pepper. Turn burner to low or medium low, and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finish with fresh herbs.

Serving suggestions:

As a side for grilled meat. Or a grilled cheese sandwich.
Add some cooked chickpeas for a one-dish meal.
Over polenta with cheese on top.
Brown chicken thighs, then add and cook with vegetables, like this
Chop vegetables a bit finer and put over pasta, like this
Spread or dip… puree with some mustard, balsamic, hot sauce. like this

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