Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ratatouille: The Last of the Season

My second ratatouille of the season was not quite as nice as the first, but turned out pretty well. I adapted the recipe from Joy of Cooking. I was thrilled to still see all these delicious veggies at the market, given how late we are in the season (particularly the tomatoes). I'll describe what I did here, but also provide the alternative recipe (which I thought was better) for you to choose from.

Ratatouille (Heavy on the eggplant, less on the tomato)

What You Need:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 small eggplants, chopped in 1 inch cubes
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (less of this or replace with basil depending on how you feel about parsley)
- Salt and pepper to taste

What You Do:
1. Chop the eggplant into 1 inch cubes.
2. Saute eggplant, on high heat, in a dutch oven with 1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil for 10-12 minutes.
3. Chop onions and mince garlic while eggplant cooks.
4. Remove eggplant from dutch oven and set aside.
5. Reduce heat to medium high and cook onions and garlic until onions are soft.
6. While onions are cooking, slice and chop the remainder of the veggies.
7. When onions are soft, add in the bell peppers and zucchini and cook for 8-12 minutes.
8. Season veggies with salt and pepper as they cook.
9. Add in the tomatoes and the tomato paste with additional seasoning.
10. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
11. Add in the eggplant, stir, and cook another 20 minutes.
12. Serve with some bread and Parmesan cheese.
13. Enjoy!

Ratatouille makes a great left over, and you will have a lot of left overs if you follow the recipe above. I like to eat it on pasta or on its own in a bowl with some cheese and bread. I've heard that it makes a great topping for a pizza, but I haven't tried this yet. The recipe above, like I mentioned, disappointed me a little bit at first. However, the next day, it tasted great. I would still say that the first attempt this season was a greater success but I hope following the steps above will not disappoint those looking for a great way to end the veggie-fest of the season.

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