Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ratatouille

This is a deliciously simple and healthy dish when you come in with a basketful of goodies from the garden. Here I use sumptuous heirloom red, yellow and orange cherry tomatoes. Their flavor really intensifies in the oven.


1 medium zucchini, cubed
1-2 eggplant, cubed
2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
1 cup fresh sweet and/or spicy peppers, diced
1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
2-4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, thyme, rosemary and parsley
1 teaspoon Herb de Provence
olive oil
salt and pepper


Briefly saute each each fruit/vegetable separately in olive oil, just to brown and carmelize, about 3-5 minutes each, seasoning each component separately and tasting periodically. Saute onion and pepper last, stirring in tomato paste to cook out a bit. Mix in herbs, and add everything to medium baking dish and bake in the oven at 450 for 30-45 minutes depending on the moisture content. You want everything to be tender and creamy with a bit if "sauce" in the bottom of the dish.

 




Hearty enough to be served alone with bread or as a pasta sauce. If adding to pasta, save a bit of the salty pasta water to loosen it up a bit and toss in some freshly torn basil and some grated parmesan.  Need a party dish? Make a large dish of whole wheat capellini pasta and mix with Ratatouille as shown, top with shredded parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, garlic salt, dried italian herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil and bake at 450 until topping is golden brown. 


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