There are particular Mediterranean* dishes that simply scream “summer season” and ratatouille is considered one of them. (Gazpacho is one other one.) In fact, now that I’ve stated that, I actually assume this dish will work any time of 12 months. Sure, even when the staple elements — eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes — usually are not in season.
*FYI, I did write just lately in The Seattle Instances that I might be focusing much less on the Mediterranean food plan, as a result of I feel it’s been unfairly held up on a pedestal. That stated, I do get pleasure from Mediterranean dishes and embody them in my repertoire.
In contrast to, say, a contemporary vegetable dish, the place seasonality issues (no tasteless mushy tomatoes, please), whenever you stew veggies this manner, it’s extra forgiving. I get pleasure from making a giant batch that I can eat for days, particularly when it’s too scorching to wish to prepare dinner each night.
Notion vs. actuality
I’ve made this recipe a number of instances, however one explicit time stands out. I had made it a day forward of time, and after we had it for dinner the following night, my husband stated, “I do know you labored actually exhausting on this, however…”
I swear, I believed he was going to say, “…however it wasn’t that good.” (I don’t know why I believed this, as a result of, once more I’d made it a number of instances and he all the time favored it.) However no, he completed, “…are you able to make it each week?”
As for the “working exhausting” half, this recipe isn’t difficult. It does take a while chopping and being close to the range, true. Nonetheless, in case you have all the stovetop elements chopped and able to go earlier than you begin sautéing, it’s a breeze.
As you control issues and stir the contents of the pan often, there’s loads of time to drink a cup of espresso — or glass of wine — load or unload the dishwasher, clear up the bowls you’re achieved with, chat together with your partner, pal, youngster or pet, and so forth. I assume it’s good that the completed product fools whoever you serve it to that you just have been working like a fiend within the kitchen!
This basic Provençal dish includes a wealth of summer season greens, cooked in olive oil and flavored with basil and tyme.
- 1 pound eggplant sliced crosswise into 1-inch thick rounds
- 4-5 tablespoons additional virgin olive oil
- 1 pound zucchini trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half-moons
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 massive pink bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
- 4 massive garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 4 Roma (plum) tomatoes seeded and chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 sprigs contemporary thyme
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/4 cup contemporary basil finely chopped
Place a rack in the course of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400F.
Organize the eggplant slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (line with foil or parchment paper for simpler cleanup).
Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl, and brush onto the eggplant, then flip the slices and brush the second sides. Both sides ought to have a skinny coating of oil.
Bake for half-hour, flipping the slices midway by. When achieved, the slices shall be comfortable and flippantly browned on all sides. Take away from the oven and funky. Lower into tough 1-inch items and put aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high warmth in a Dutch oven or a big, deep skillet. Add the zucchini half-moons and sauté, stirring often, till golden and simply tender, about 10-12 minutes. Take away the zucchini to a big bowl, taking care to go away any extra oil behind within the pan.
Scale back the warmth to medium and add 1 tablespoon olive oil if there isn’t any oil left within the pan (this typically occurs). Add the onion and prepare dinner, stirring often, till barely softened, about 4 to five minutes.
Add the bell pepper and garlic and prepare dinner, stirring often, till simply tender however not browned, about 6 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, salt, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to mix. Scale back the warmth to low, cowl, and prepare dinner for five minutes.
Add the eggplant and zucchini, stir all the things collectively, and prepare dinner for an additional 15 to twenty minutes. Style and regulate the salt as mandatory. Discard the bay leaf and stir within the basil.
Serve scorching, heat or at room temperature.
This can be a excellent summer season dish, not simply because it makes probably the most of high-summer greens, however as a result of it’s simple to double and is even higher made forward. The leftovers work fantastically with some grilled salmon or hen on the facet, or maybe a bean dish. For breakfast (or heck, lunch or dinner), prime with a fried or poached egg. To maintain with the informal summer season theme, please not that you just don’t must be exact with the quantities. Whenever you’re coping with complete elements like eggplants and zucchini, it’s exhausting to make it come precisely to a pound. The recipe will nonetheless be simply high-quality!
Carrie Dennett is a Pacific Northwest-based registered dietitian nutritionist, freelance author, intuitive consuming counselor, writer, and speaker. Her superpowers embody busting diet myths and empowering ladies to really feel higher of their our bodies and make meals decisions that help pleasure, diet and well being.