Friday, October 1, 2010

Ratatouille with heirloom veggies

Whoa, it's been a long time! September almost went by without my noticing, had a really good time visiting friends the last couple weeks, but it's nice to be home and cooking again.

Inspired by some beautiful heirloom zucchini and eggplants from Suzie's Organic Farm at the grocery store, K looked up a few recipes for ratatouille and we decided to follow the one from Tartelette, attributed to her french mother, which was the right choice. Note to self: when in doubt go for the mom's recipe :) Update: The link to the recipe is broken... Full text is reproduced below.

The dish was super easy to put together, sauteeing each vegetable a bit before adding the next, and then stewing for about an hour basically unattended. And it made quite a lot. Easily enough for a main course for 4-5 people. All the veggies were good, but the Rosa Bianca eggplants (white flesh with white/purple skin) were particularly amazing, which is good because they were easily the most expensive thing that we got at the store.

That clove of garlic sitting on top was a knock out spread on a baguette. Kristen tried to convince me that roasted garlic was the real vegan butter, and while it is super delicious, I still ain't buying it.

Also happy World Vegetarian Day! A great day to go for the lentil burger or the mushroom risotto. Oh man, I need to make some mushroom risotto soon.

UPDATE: skillet smashed potatoes topped with ratatouille topped with an over easy fried egg is probably the best breakfast I've ever had.

Here is the original Tartelette recipe, retrieved from The Internet Archive.

Mom's Ratatouille:
1 medium onion (peeled and diced)
1 eggplant (peeled every other strip and diced)
3-4 zucchini (peeled every other strip and diced)
1 red bell pepper (we used orange because no red ones at the farmers market)
1 green bell pepper
4 tomatoes
1 can good quality tomatoes (we used one 14oz can of fire roasted tomatoes)
5 garlic cloves (we like ours unpeeled and whole but some don' as you prefer)
Herbes de Provence
Or a mix of thyme, parsley, oregano, lavender, all spice and a pinch of basil
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil

In a large saute pan set over medium (and I mean the largest you have that you can put a lid on), sautee the onion in a bit of olive oil until translucid. Add the diced eggplant and sautee until it becomes golden in color. Add a dash more olive oil and add the zucchini, then the peppers, tomaotoes and canned tomatoes. Add the whole unpeeled garlic cloves, the spices, salt and pepper. Do not stir. Cover with a lid and let stew for aout 15 minutes. At this point the vegetables will have reduced a bit in volume from cooking and you will have room to stir and mix the herbs with the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for at least 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover and let simmer 20 to 30 minutes on low until most of the cooking liquid has evaporated.
Et Voila...

1 comment:

  1. I've tried making ratatouille before and it's never turned out well; the recipes I've used have always called for the traditional slicing the veggies, layering them, baking them, etc. Every time they come out watery and bland, and every time I'm like, "this would taste so much better if you just sauteed all the veggies... but then that wouldn't be ratatouille, right?" But apparently that is not the case! Woo!