Jeff’s vegetable garden is at its peak in August, and a few vegetables are even finished for the season. He’s got tomatoes, beets, Serrano peppers, bell peppers, Portugal peppers, onions, green beans, yellow squash, kale, potatoes, carrots, and celery still growing.
Frankly, I have been having a hard time keeping up with all the produce. Last week and the week before, I made the gazpacho recipe that I love (l published it on the blog last summer). But this weekend I still had a lot of veggies that I needed to use up, so I made ratatouille. Yum!
Here’s my ratatouille recipe in case you have veggies from the farmer’s market, Misfits Market, your garden, or even from the supermarket. It’s healthy, low calorie and deeeeelicious. You can alter the recipe based on what produce you happen to have on hand or your taste, though onions, eggplant, squash/zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes are staples in this traditional French Provençal recipe.
- 2-3 T. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small/medium onions, either yellow, white or red
- one eggplant, cut into medium dice
- 2-3 yellow summer squash or a mix of yellow squash and zucchini
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 hot Portugal pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
- 4-5 fresh tomatoes cut into chunks or a large can of canned whole tomatoes
- olives, with pits removed (optional: whichever you like or have on hand)
- fresh or dried Provençal/Mediterranean herbs e.g. thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- cornstarch dissolved in 1 T. water
- 1 T. capers, drained
- 1 T. sherry vinegar
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven or pot.
- Add the minced garlic cloves and sliced onions and sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Add the diced vegetables: eggplant, squash, peppers, olives, and tomatoes.
- Add the fresh or dried herbs, salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and bring to a gentle boil, and then simmer for an hour over low heat stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables from burning on the bottom.
- Add the cornstarch to thicken the liquid a bit. It should not be thick, however, just not as liquidy as before.
- Add capers and sherry vinegar and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
This is it. You can serve it hot, cold or at room temperature. You can also freeze it, and it is wonderful in the dead of winter. It’s very easy to make and doesn’t take very long. We’re having it as a side dish for dinner tonight. If you try it, enjoy!
Are you a fan of ratatouille?