Ok, so let me start off by saying Spiro was at work when I was making this recipe, so I did the video taping myself. I’ve done my own videos before. I have a mini tripod that I set up on the stove and just tape accordingly. Well, guess what? I messed up. Yup! I did! The entire time I was talking and explaining what to do? The camera was off. The entire time I was doing the cooking, steaming, answering the phone, washing dishes?? The camera was on! HAHAHA so, there’s no video this week. I’ll have to make it again and tape it for you. I can remember the first time I had ratatouille. I was in college. My friend Beth and I went out to lunch. She said she was going to order it. I had never heard of it and asked her what it was. Once I found out the ingredients, I said YUM! I’m trying that too. Well, let me just tell you. It came out in a crock bowl, the kind that French Onion Soup comes out in and it was topped with melted cheese. It was to die for. It was a soup/stew consistency. I fell in love. I’ve been making it ever since. But the way I normally make it, it’s mostly eggplant, onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes and some zucchini.
Today’s recipe has a lot more ingredients because I have such great, fresh, organic produce from our crop share. The key here is to make sure you cut the vegetables all the same size so they cook at the same rate. Spiro is still waiting for the scratch and sniff iPhone. He’d be drooling for sure. The kitchen smells amazing and the flavor is so fresh. Had I known I messed up the video, I would have taken more photos. haha Here’s what went into it. I added 4 more tomatoes and a bunch of basil. But you can adjust according to your taste.
I used Japanese eggplant this time because that’s what our crop share supplied, but you can use regular. I don’t really taste a difference to be honest. This recipe is a really good way to use those bountiful, summer vegetables. It’s good for you and tastes fantastic. I can”t ever understand how people say they don’t like vegetables. If they are prepared with flavor, how can you not like them? I hope you enjoy this recipe and when I get more veggies, I’ll recreate the video. Oh, and as always, add or remove any ingredients you like or dislike and adjust seasonings according to your taste buds.
- 3 small Japanese eggplant or 1 large regular eggplant
- 2 small summer squash
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1/2 large, sweet onion; about 1 cup chopped (I used vidalia)
- 9 Campari tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes ( you can use a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes)
- 7 small, mixed sweet peppers (or 1 large bell pepper – about 1 cup chopped)
- 5 cloves of crushed garlic (adjust according to taste – we LOVE garlic)
- Olive oil
- 1 cup – chopped fresh basil (or any fresh herbs you have on hand. Don’t have them? Sprinkle in a little dry – it’s about the flavor)
- Salt and pepper to taste
The key here is to try to cut the ingredients the same size so that they cook at the same pace.
Peel and cut the eggplant.
Cut the zucchini and summer squash into the same size.
Dice the onion.
For the garlic, I use a garlic press – to make minced garlic, but you can chop it by hand. Or, if you like it more mild, peel and slice into bigger pieces.
Remove the core (the part that attaches to the stem) of the tomato and chop into pieces (or the canned, crushed tomatoes).
Cut the top off the peppers and remove the seeds. Dice into chunks the same size as the rest of the vegetables (if possible)
Heat you pan up first. Add a few drizzles of olive oil ( swirl around the pan twice) and then add the onions. Season them with salt and pepper. Cook them for about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add all the rest of the vegetables, one at a time. Season with salt and pepper each vegetable you add. If you need to add more oil feel free. OR you can add white wine, vegetable stock or chicken stock. But here’s the deal, as the veggies cook, they will release a lot of moisture, so be careful what you add.
Mine took about 20 minutes total to cook – and I covered the pan. I checked every 5 minutes and tasted for doneness and seasoning. I adjusted the salt and pepper each time.
You could add anything you like for herbs; basil, parsley, oregano, crushed red pepper. Just add sparingly and taste.
This dish is great on it’s own. Or, you can serve it with crusty bread and a hunk of cheese, or shred the cheese on top. You can also serve it in a crock covered in cheese, baked in the oven, so the cheese melts. Or serve it with brown rice and nutritional yeast. Or over pasta.
There are many ways to enjoy this dish. The point is, experiment. I struggle sharing amounts and measurements because I go by taste so I want you to start with my recipes, but learn to adjust to your tastes. I really hope you enjoyed this. Please let me know if you have a favorite ratatouille recipe. I just whipped this together – different from what I normally do and it was fun. Enjoy your weekend.