Ratatouille (rat-uh-too-ee) is a traditional French stewed vegetable dish made with onions, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes and herbs. Your family and friends are bound to be impressed. After all, Ratatouille is very French-sounding and has been prepared by the likes of Julia Child. What I like about Ratatouille is its versatility. You can simply serve it with some crusty bread for a nice dinner. I’ve tossed it with pasta and enjoyed it both hot and at room temperature. It’s perfect for brown bagging or to tuck away in a picnic basket. Use left-overs to make Ratatouille-stuffed baked potatoes. Ratatouille flat-bread pizzas make a tasty lunch, appetizer or party food. Voila and thanks for being Vegi-curious.
1 onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)*
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
In a large, non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of water; add the onion and the garlic and saute until light brown. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in oregano, thyme and fennel seeds and heat until aromatic. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture for 1 minute. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.
*Note: You can substitute canned diced tomatoes.
29 Apr 2015